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Referees – A Necessary Evil

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These past two weeks the College World Series has totally grabbed my attention. I had a truly memorable experience watching young people play with all they’ve got just to get a chance to win the national championship. The College World series had everything a sports fan wanted, from the extra-inning battles to the victory dogpile that is a tradition at the pitcher’s mound.

During one of the tournament’s several elimination games, the Cal State Fullerton and UC Irvine were in a deadlock in the extra innings. During the entire season, everything the players did boiled down to this very moment. Suddenly, in the 13th inning, it came crashing down. A UC Irvine player deliberately stepped into the inside pitch which placed him on the base and eventually won for them the winning run. The players of Cal State must be in an outrage and heartbreak. The umpire had the perfect view of the Irvine player while he leaned into the inside pitch. But the player was allowed to take the first base instead of being penalized for the violation. The Fullerton coach complained furiously that led to his ejection because the umpire refused to reverse his call.

This moment reminded me of the years past when referees make those critical mistakes consistently over the years. Do you recall the notorious “Hand of God” goal by Diego Maradona when they played against England? This eventually led to their Argentine World Cup victory. How can anyone forget George Brett and his bat that had too much tar? The rule was clear when it states that the bat could be removed but the player must not be called out. Fans are questioning what could be done to resolve the problem of critical blunders? Can the players simply police the game themselves? That will not work. The Referees are the necessary evil that without them, there will be more disagreement.

How can the sports officials guarantee that these situations will not repeat themselves? The only way to solve this issue is to treat the umpires and referees the way they treat players. If the player does something offensive, they are fined. If the situation calls for it, they are suspended. The same penalties must apply to referees. If they make an outrageous call, they should also be penalized. In the face of being punished monetarily, the referees will be more careful with their calls.

This is a sports fan who could not accept any more ridiculous decisions from referees. Implementing a revolutionary regime that is devoted to punishing and scrutinizing referees who make errors will go a long way in correcting the existing problem. Just ask Joe Crawford if you think I am wrong. Will he be giving Tim Duncan those silly technical fouls if he knew was will be suspended indefinitely? I didn’t think so. By putting a short leash on referees, this will improve the quality of their decisions and improve the quality of sports.

Robbins Sports and Athletics sells athletic apparel and equipment including Gym Bags and Portable Scoreboards.