It’s rough being a ref

Published 7:00 am Saturday, June 18, 2016

When your team loses an important game, who is the usual suspect to blame? Referees.

I could imagine that referees have one of the most stressful jobs on the planet, and I’m sure if you ask them, they would agree. It doesn’t matter at what level they work, professional, amateur or high school, all referees get blamed and yelled at for their “controversial” decisions when the game is on the line.

For example, in the NBA Finals, lots of fuss was floating around about the referees ejecting Stephen Curry and suspending Draymond Green. This is an instance where you cannot blame the referees. To blame the referee for something these players did themselves should not be a mind-set. The referee’s job is to protect everyone on the court and discipline with equality, no matter how prestigious the player. If a player such as Draymond Green, is taking cheap shots at opponents to try and get momentum for his team, then the refs should step in and make sure he and the rest of the league knows the action is not tolerated.

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How do you do that? Well putting a fine on a player of $10,000 might seem a lot to the average person, but to these multi-million dollar athletes, that’s not a big deal. Fining a player is equivalent to slapping him on the wrist; it simply won’t work. However, taking away the thing that athletes cherish the most, court time, will get them to stop whatever offense they are committing.

The same thing applies to other levels of sports like high school. No, fining is not in the arsenal for referees of a high school sport, but suspending the player for actions they commit is a great way to help them understand that what they are doing is not allowed.

In my experience, referees get yelled at constantly in all sports at the high school level. The kids are trying to get noticed and make a name for themselves at this time in their lives, and when everything seems to go wrong, it’s the ref who’s abused verbally to let out some stress, but that can’t be the answer.

Referees work hard every day to make sure they are fair and accurate just like most of us. Imagine getting yelled at for almost every decision you make in your profession.

Referees deserve the utmost respect so if you disagree with a call, instead of yelling at your TV screen or at them in person, take a second to reflect and understand that they are attempting to see every single action that happens during a game. Human error is inevitable; as such it is also a part of sports.