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Former Framingham lax player to ref at world games

Posted by Katrina Ballard  July 6, 2010 12:09 AM

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Jim Carboneau was inducted into the New England Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 2002. Earlier this year, the longtime Holliston resident received his 35-year pin from US Lacrosse in recognition of his years as a lacrosse official. His latest honor, though, has been chosen to referee at the Federation of International Lacrosse Men’s World Championship in Manchester, England.

‘‘This is the culmination of my lacrosse officiating career, the last great accomplishment,’’ said Carboneau, who was chosen at a tryout a year ago at Bryant University and underwent right hip replacement surgery the following month to make sure he’d be in the best possible physical shape for his prestigious assignment.

‘‘Officiating has kept me involved in the game that I love and going to the world games is a validation of everything you work for.’’

The men’s world championships will feature 30 teams, including defending champion Canada and 2002 champ United States — the two teams that have dominated the event. The games will utilize 65 officials and will take place July 15-24 at Manchester University.

The US team includes a few familiar faces, including Ryan Boyle, Paul Rabil, Ryan McClay, and Kyle Sweeney of the Boston Cannons, and former Cannon Kevin Cassese
Carboneau, who played lacrosse at Framingham South when only six schools in Eastern Massachusetts fielded programs — there are now more than 200 — and also at Holy Cross (class of 1974) has officiated at every level of the sport, from high school and college to the professional ranks. He was presented the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association’s Frenchy Julien Service Award last year for his contributions to officiating, and is president of the Division Officials Council of US Lacrosse.

‘‘Refereeing at the world games is literally a once-in-a-lifetime accomplishment because you are only chosen once,’’ said Carboneau, who helped start the Holliston youth lacrosse program a dozen years ago. His position as athletic director at Holliston High, a job he held for seven years, was cut from the budget for the coming year.

‘‘The call basically goes out to anyone who wants to referee at the world games, after which you send in your resume to US Lacrosse. In 1998 they expanded the games so more officials have been added, but in reality, as I got older and had the problem with my hip, I had pretty much given up on my quest after 1998, and I was training other officials to help them prepare for the World Games in 2002 and 2006.’’

Carboneau, one of six senior clinicians sanctioned by US Lacrosse, will also help tutor officials from other countries who are new to the sport after he arrives in England on July 11. All officials will be given a written and physical test to determine their assignments, which has sent Carboneau to the gym for some extra workouts.

‘‘I’m running around like I’m 49 again,’’ joked the 58-year-old Carboneau, who was team MVP as a freshman and team captain as a senior at Holy Cross, ‘‘and I’ve been refereeing college and high school games and some club matches recently to keep in shape.’’

Carboneau, who was an assistant lacrosse coach for two years at Holy Cross and one year at Holliston High, and head lacrosse coach for one year at Brookline High, will be accompanied by his wife, Neva, and daughters Leah and Erin.

A former dean of students at Keefe Technical School in Framingham, Carboneau retired as an active player in 2005.

He played for Team USA at the grand masters (over 45) level at the 1998 and 2002 World Games, and was instrumental in forming the grand masters division.

Marvin Pave can be reached at 508-820-4223 or marvin.pave@

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