Tuesday, December 19, 2006

A Word on Refereeing

Call it an immature act of showmanship, but I sometimes like to look at message boards the morning after Davidson beats a team. Overall, the fans over at Chattanooga Mocs were pretty gracious. There was a little bit of McKillop hating and ref hating, but that is very understandable. If you watched the game, I think that you would say that the refs were not very accurate overall. Thomas' last two fouls were obviously not on him, and the Mocs got away with some huge pressure pushes early on in the contest. What's even more unfortunate was that the refs seemed to be making up for those calls late in the game by allowing Davidson to literally barrel roll anyone that lept into the air. There were some horrible no-calls that should have gone the Mocs' way.

I spent the last two summers coaching basketball camp, and have a feel for what it is to be referee. It is never easy to know that you missed a call and have everyone tell you about it. It is easy to start second guessing yourself and to try to find a way to make up for your mistake. I did this once or twice and found that it made matters much worse. I'm a firm believer in not attempting to call things fairly, but rather trying to be accurate throughout the game. If you miss a bad call, that should not make you call another bad call to even things out. You only begin to start cheating both sets of players out of playing the game they love.

So refs out there. No matter what coaches and fans might yell at you, call what you see in front of you. Don't make things up, and don't ignore what you see in order to make the game even. To do that is to violate the honor code of all referees and make the game about your performance, instead of the players and coaches.

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