This is something that has began to wear thin on me through this basketball season. The games themselves have been fun to watch, for the most part, and there have been great plays made by our area athletes on the hardwood. However, despite their good play this year, there has been a fair amount of bad play, and it hasn’t been made by the players.
Rather, the amount of backseat refereeing in basketball games has reached a boiling point to where everyone in the crowd can seemingly call a better game than the officials.
Every game this year that I have been at, high school and collegiate level, have had numerous fans yelling their lungs out at a missed call, or a call that might have been incorrect, because they had a better angle across the court and 10 rows up.
Look, I’m court side for a majority of the game along with players, coaches and other various workers or journalists. Like many people who watch the game, I at times question what the official may have seen or not seen depending on what happened. Unlike a majority of people who paid for a ticket, I am unable to yell that’s a travel, they’ve been in the lane for three seconds or the ever popular over the back, which doesn’t even exist.
These officials travel, sometimes from hours away, to do their best at a high school or collegiate contest. They do their best to call the games, but after a day at work and then donning the stripes to help out when they absolutely don’t have to, is something that should be appreciated.
Everyone makes mistakes, even the officials, but does anyone really berate you in your daily life if you forgot the loaf of bread at the grocery store? Weird comparison, yes, but mistakes are always made by people. Just because an official missed a couple of traveling calls because they were a little out of position doesn’t make them an awful person.
Rather, it just means they missed a call. A kid going cleanly over someone else to get a rebound isn’t a foul, they just played the ball right and came away with the rebound. You’re likely to see a push in the back called when someone goes for that rebound, and that isn’t over the back. It’s just a push, simple as that.
This is my challenge to anyone who sits in the stands and does nothing but complain over every missed call or bad call. Become a referee yourself. Put yourselves in their shoes and attempt to go to different towns and get yelled at and berated for a couple of hours for a little bit of side money. That whole walk a mile in someone else’s shoes saying comes in a little handy here.
All I’m trying to say is that no one is going to be happy with every single call in a basketball game or any game that needs an official. Something will be missed. A travel, a reach in, a three seconds or what have you, it’ll happen.
No one play really decides the outcome of a game, anyways. It’s a series of plays that decide a game. Even when it comes down to the wire on a last second shot, it wasn’t a missed call that caused your team to lose, it was a bad switch on a screen, it was a few missed defensive rebounds, but it wasn’t some random traveling call in the second quarter.
Please, give the officials who take the time to do this because no one else will, a little bit of a break. After all, if they keep taking this abuse and deciding it’s not worth it, who is going to don the stripes, put the whistle in their mouth and let these kids play ball?
Without the officials there won’t be any games. Then who is left to yell at but the person in the mirror who acted like a jerk to someone they don’t even know.