Bob Lopez - Referee - 2014
Trainer/referee at practices for NY’s rugby team since 1990
Board of Directors for the NY Warriors: Vice-Chairperson 2006-present
United States Quad Rugby Referees Association (USQRRA) Executive Committee: Treasurer
Stoke Mandeville Games 1994
World Championships since 1995, 1998, 2002, and 2006
Officiated at Atlanta 1996, Sydney 2000, and Athens 2004 Paralympic Games
Athens Paralympic Games – Gold Medal Game
Bob has been a member of the EPVA Strykers (now EWAF NY Warriors) and has trained the players and officiated at practices since the team’s inception in 1990. Joining his late brother, Rick Lopez, who was recruited to the game by Angelo “Fudge” Nicosia and Peter Zarba, Bob officiated at the very first practice in the NAVY gym at Mitchell Field in January of 1990. Even after his brother left the game, Bob stayed on and became recognized as one of the best officials in the country, if not the world. During a recent conversation, former NY teammate and current coach of the Portland Pounders, Ed Suhr, explained, “Bob’s consistency, court-demeanor and knowledge of the game make him the referee that players want to see for the big games.”
He has traveled across the country and throughout the world officiating the sport he loves. Whether it was a regional or sectional tournament, Nationals, World Championships, or the Paralympic Games, Bob was there with the same selfless dedication to the sport. Even his wife, Joan, says, “Bob is at his happiest when he’s getting ready for a rugby tournament,” but his dedication goes so much deeper than that. Bob remains involved in the “workings” of the sport; most recently as the treasurer of the USQRRA and as vice-chairperson of the Board of Directors of the EWAF NY Warriors.
Since 1990, he has been at almost every practice whether it’s once a week, twice a week, or weekends. He has introduced numerous players to the sport of quad rugby and has given them the skills and court sense to be successful in the game. Bob’s fund of knowledge and wealth of experience give him a unique understanding of chair positioning, adaptive equipment, and game strategy. In addition, he chooses to act as a member of the Board of Directors and offers his time for the governing and day to day operation of our organization. These roles are all done voluntarily with absolutely no compensation.
Throughout the New York team’s evolution the team changed from the EPVA Strykers, to Eastern Paralyzed Veteran’s Jets, to USA NY Jet, to NY Jets, to the EWAF NY Warriors, he has been the one constant. He has remained the team’s voice of reason, and the glue that holds the team together.