Let’s call it Wednesday!

Posted: February 1, 2023 by Sports Time Radio in sports

Between the National Basketball Association and the National Football League there’s been quite a bit of discussion about officiating.

This is actually something I have experience in since I’ve coached Baseball, Basketball and football at the youth level and have dealt with referees and umpires. I have also umpired some baseball games as well, so I have some experience on that side as well. I also have three very close friends that have been Illinois high school basketball referees for over 20 years now.

I’ve had people tell me that the officiating is much worse now than it used to be at all levels of sports, but I’m not sure that’s the case. You have to wonder if the fact that technology has improved so much that we’re seeing things that have always been there and we didn’t notice before.

Now any time you have a human being doing something there’s always going to be human error involved there’s just no way around that. None of us are perfect and every referee or umpire is going to miss a call or two from time to time. The best you can really hope for is that the game is called evenly for both teams.

I read a report yesterday on how referees and umpires are quitting right and left, and I can’t say I’m surprised by that. Now the reason their quitting is one that should be controlled, but it’s not. We’re losing these referees and umpires because of the way the parents are treating them.

Now I have no issue at all with a parent being upset with a call that an official made and voicing their opinion while the game is going on, but some of these parents take it way too far. Parents have followed officials to their vehicles and in some cases have even gotten physical with them and there’s no place for that in youth sports.

Now I’m not a parent, but like I mentioned I have umpired baseball games before and I have been yelled at quite a bit by parents, but that was all that ever happened to me. I honestly don’t know how I would’ve handled a situation like some of these officials have had to deal with, but I know the first question I would’ve asked that parent would be, is this the example you want to set for your child?

You actually have to start to wonder if there will come a time when we don’t have enough officials for these games. It’s not a well-paying job and in some cases it’s actually a volunteer position. Imagine getting screamed at when you’re just there as a volunteer. I don’t know how you get people to sign up for that.

Now in baseball there has been a lot of talk the last few seasons about having a robot umpire to call balls and strikes, but there are plenty of other sports where having a robot officiate the game isn’t a possibility.

I’m not sure what the answer is or if there even is an answer, but I keep hoping that adults will act like adults and understand the position some of these officials are in especially at the youth levels. In no means am I saying that you can’t voice your opinion. All I’m saying is remember who’s watching you voice that opinion and remember the affect you could have on those kids or even young adults that are also able to hear what you say and see how you act.

I’d love to hear if you’ve had experience with a situation like this. Maybe you coached or officiated like I did. Or maybe you were just a parent watching your kid play and did some yelling at an official. I’d like to see as many sides of this as possible.

Here’s an update on my NFL playoff picks. I actually went 3-1 on Sunday. I had the Philadelphia Eagles winning and covering which they did. I also had the Kansas City Chiefs winning and covering. Well, the Chiefs did win, but they didn’t cover. Either way as we head to the Super Bowl in just under two weeks, I’ve actually managed to win more than I’ve lost this playoff season. I’d have to go back and check, but I believe that I am now 14-10 on my playoff picks. Now, I know that’s still not great, but usually I’m right at .500 or under .500, so I’m pretty happy how these NFL playoff picks went.

Since the Super Bowl is still aways off I’ll wait until the Sunday of the game to make my pick. I did see that Philadelphia was the early betting favorite, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see that go back and forth between both teams quite a few times before the game.

As always don’t forget to look me up on Twitter, I’m @Burketime.

  1. There is way too much inconsistency in the way the referees make calls in the NBA and the NFL. The KC- Cincinnati was a prime example where those decisions had a huge impact on the result of the game.


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