Officiating: Suddenly A Hot Topic

Sixty Feet, Six Inches Correspondent IOctober 23, 2009

ANAHEIM, CA - OCTOBER 22:  Johnny Damon #18 of the New York Yankees argues a call with first base umpire Dale Scott at the end of the third inning in Game Five of the ALCS against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim during the 2009 MLB Playoffs at Angel Stadium on October 22, 2009 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

It seems like everyone everywhere is talking about officiating in sports these days. Every baseball fan has had a conversation about how bad the officiating has been in the playoffs. Pat has a post about a replay system he thinks would work in baseball without disrupting the game. Dutch from Post Game Heroes has a post discussing officiating as one of the most important factors in sports.

Interest in officiating has risen steadily since the Tim Donaghy scandal was making the rounds. That was probably the moment that people realized just how important the officiating is to deciding the outcome of a game.

As a guy who rarely criticises officials, even I admit they're far from perfect. Unless we replace all officials with robots, there will always be mistakes when calling a game. But when bad officiating swings a game, there's a problem.

I'm not sure what can or will be done. I have absolutely none of those answers. But I'm glad that this is at least a topic being discussed now. Perhaps this will lead to reforms in sports. Perhaps the only thing it will lead to is new stats based on officiating. Perhaps it will lead to nothing.

But at least we're headed in the right direction.

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