When Chris Kaufman, David Kaufman and John Kaufman officiate basketball games, they don't want to be noticed.
When all three are on the court at the same time, though — as they were last Saturday night for the Wichita Collegiate-Andover doubleheader — it's tough to miss them.
Being they're related and all.
Chris and David are brothers; John is Chris' son.
"It only happens about once a year, maybe twice, that we are together," Chris said. "It's very cool. It happens so very, very seldom, and that's why we enjoy it so much when it happens."
Theirs is a close-knit family, so it's no surprise that they have fun working together. They don't only spend every major holiday together, they spend a lot of their free time together.
The family has a ranch east of Winfield, where they grew up and where David still lives. So they spend time at the ranch, often doing necessary upkeep.
"Our interests are pretty much the same, too," David said. "We're really interested and active in KU sports, we hunt and fish very frequently, we go on a summer camping trip together."
And when they're together, most conversations ultimately turn to officiating.
"At family gatherings, we'll trade war stories, 'how was your basketball game last week?' It dominates the conversation," Chris said.
They also officiate on the same football crew — which has worked 19 straight state championship games — and Chris and John officiate baseball games together. David umpired baseball games with Chris up until about 10 years ago.
That the Kaufmans are close is an advantage during games.
"We're so familiar with each other's officiating styles," John said. "It's a comfort zone. It's definitely easy to communicate out there, just knowing each other's styles, knowing how each other is going to call different stuff and adjusting to different situations."
"In the locker room, we keep it light," he said. "We don't have to talk about basketball or football. We don't have to have an intense pregame (conversation) because we know each other so well."
Chris, 55, and David, 53, have been registered with the Kansas State High school Activities Association for 33 years, while John, 29, is in his ninth year.
Officiating is a passion and they take it seriously. They critique their work, they're constantly trying to improve.
And when they work together, there's the added bonus of being able to tease the others. Sometimes the teasing is about a missed call, mostly it's, well, anything.
"It's non-stop," David said.
"During games, it's all business," Chris said. "But there's some good-natured ribbing before and after the game."
If there is a target of teasing, John is pretty sure it's him.
"I would say I take more heat, but we all give it out pretty good," John said. "I like to turn it around when I talk to coaches and say, 'I'm a young guy. I have a heck of a load to carry tonight.' I did that to (Collegiate boys coach Mitch) Fiegel on Saturday, and he got a good laugh out of it."
But they respect each other's work. Chris points out that David is level-headed and stays calmer than the other two, while John has strong mechanics and a good rapport with coaches.
David and John both agree that Chris works well with any coach or player, as well as any situation that arises.
And those are the things that they want noticed.