What are bad officials?
Is it someone who makes a call we disagree with? Someone who doesn’t call enough fouls or penalties? Someone who is thin-skinned and can’t stand a little bit of disagreement from the spectators?
I think if we are being honest, we would say that the term “bad” official is not really a fair label to place on anyone. Sure, an official may make “bad” calls, but that does not make him a bad human being.
As parents, we often feel helpless when we see a bad call; our yelling usually doesn’t help and if we complain too much, we run the risk of getting thrown out of a game.
So what’s a sports parent to do in response to “bad” officiating?
Bad Officials: let’s stop blaming them for everything
I think one of the reasons parents and coaches get so upset at the officials is because they are looking for someone to blame when things are not going their way in a game.
How many times do you see a coach or parent get all bent out of shape when they are way ahead and an official makes a bad call?
It’s usually the opposite. They are behind, or the game is close, and they are looking for any excuse or edge they can get.
Let’s be honest with ourselves and with our kids: very seldom do officials ever cause a team to lose games. Oh, I know there are unique stories about an official who made a call at the end of the game that determined the outcome, but that rarely happens in youth sports.
Bad Officials: shabby stuff?
When your child plays in a game with some shabby officiating, the best thing to do is:
- Model self control to your young athlete. Controlling emotions is part of learning to play sports. Your child needs to accept bad calls as part of any game. When competition is over, he should shake hands with opposing players, coaches, and officials.
Remember that sports officials are held accountable…to the state association, commissioner, co-officials, school, coaches and players. If you feel you must voice a complaint, do it through the proper channels.
- Understand that those “idiot” officials do not intentionally miss calls. Sure, they might accidentally miss one because they are looking away for a second, but I sincerely doubt that any official feels he’s called a perfect game.
- Let the coaches handle the official when a bad call is made or when an official doesn’t seem to be doing his job properly.
Youth sports cannot exist without officials. Let’s try to be a little kinder and stop treating them like the enemy.
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