Why do so many people treat referees/umpires so poorly?
Is it because they can’t seem to find the glory they think they should have? Is it because they never got their shot to make it to the major leagues? Is it because they believe they are entitled to play how they want to play? Is it because they think they’re better than everyone else, and when they’re not dominating, it’s obviously the ref’s fault?
Most of the times, players in the leagues I play for have never have a problem with the ref. But there are times when people push it way too far.
There was one time in my men’s ball hockey league where a guy just lost it. It was a close game, and the players on the other side were mouthing off at the refs. The refs gave both teams a warning that no more would be tolerated.
Our team was up by one with a couple of minutes left. The ref called penalties on a player on each side. The guy on the other team lost it (even though the penalties cancelled out). Throwing his stick, yelling, cursing, etc. At one point he started yelling that the guy would never ref in the league again, and he would call the president of the league personally to see to that. In the end, he got another penalty and was kicked out (three penalties and you’re gone). One of his team mates didn’t like that, so he started arguing. So he got a penalty, and then he threw his stick, resulting in another penalty and an ejection. This was followed by one more guy, and then the ref called the game.
After the game, they got in the refs face (just the first two who were kicked out). Our team kept an eye out to make sure they didn’t do anything stupid (they didn’t), but why would you get so upset at a rec ball hockey league game? Especially in such a close game?
Probably not a coincidence, but the first guy who got kicked out was suspended three or four times over the course of a season (three penalties in a game is an automatic suspension).
Did this guy think that by threatening a ref that he was showing everyone else that he was a man? Because in the end, he just looked like a little boy who couldn’t take the fact that he wasn’t as good as he thought he was.
I think there needs to be a major change when it comes to this, and it needs to start with the coaches. First off, a coach who mouths off to a ref at any point is automatically canned as a coach for the rest of the season.
Then, every time a coach hears a parent mouth off in the stands at the ref/ump, the kid’s son or daughter is automatically benched for a shift.
And because kids follow the leads of parents, this should help them learn it’s not okay to mouth off. If a kid does, automatic one-game suspension, and then it doubles for every incident after that.
I’m not saying that coaches or parents can’t say, “that was a bad call ref.” Because there will be missed calls. But there should be no cursing, threatening, physical violence, etc.
Things are getting out of hand with attacks and threats. It’s time to take a hard stance on players, coaches, and parents.
Or else there might not be any one left to be referees or umpires.