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  • Interesting article.

    I know this is long, but it's very true. I had to copy and paste because I have no idea how to get and post the link.

    ARE YOU PART OF THE PROBLEM OR THE SOLUTION?



    About this website
    WKYT.COM
    Editorial: Dear mom and dad, and in some cases, school personnel: Cool it
    If you are the mother or father of a high school athlete here in Kentucky or one of the key school administrators in a member school or member school district, this message is primarily for you.


    About this website
    WKYT.COM
    Editorial: Dear mom and dad, and in some cases, school personnel: Cool it
    If you are the mother or father of a high school athlete here in Kentucky or one of the key school administrators in a member school or member school district, this message is primarily for you.

    This is an op-ed written by Karissa Niehoff, Executive Director of the National Federation of State High School Associations and Julian Tackett, Commissioner of the Kentucky High School Athletic Association.

    If you are the mother or father of a high school athlete here in Kentucky or one of the key school administrators in a member school or member school district, this message is primarily for you.

    When you attend an athletic event that involves your son or daughter, or the members of your student body, cheer to your heart’s content, enjoy the camaraderie that high school sports offer and have fun. But when it comes to verbally criticizing game officials or coaches, it’s time for everyone to cool it. “The time has come for everyone involved in the game to “pump the brakes” as it relates to conduct at games, particularly, the parents who attend,” noted NFHS Executive Director Karissa Niehoff.

    Make no mistake about it. Your passion is admired, and your support of the hometown team is needed. But so is your self-control. Yelling, screaming and berating the officials humiliates your child, annoys those sitting around you, embarrasses your child’s school and is the primary reason Kentucky has an alarming shortage of high school officials.

    It’s true. According to a recent survey by the National Association of Sports Officials, more than 75 percent of all high school officials say “adult behavior” is the primary reason they quit. And 80 percent of all young officials hang up their stripes after just two years of whistle blowing. Why? They don’t need your abuse.

    “It is time for everyone to take a deep breath, regain control of their emotions, and remind themselves of the great purpose of high school sports, enjoyable participation by the student-athletes,” said KHSAA Commissioner Julian Tackett. “This is a game played by imperfect humans, coached by imperfect humans, and officiated by imperfect humans. I don’t know if it’s the higher levels’ insatiable desire for perfection through replays and the bloviating by announcers who think they know everything or the tone and tenor of general conversation in our country, but this cannot be allowed to continue in this level of sport and this level be maintained.”

    Plus, there’s a ripple effect. There are more officials over 60 than under 30 in many areas. And as older, experienced officials retire, there aren’t enough younger ones to replace them. If there are no officials, there are no games. The shortage of licensed high school officials is severe enough in some areas that athletic events are being postponed or cancelled—especially at the freshman and junior varsity levels.

    The shortage is likely to get worse based on recent acts by parents and school administrators. Consider a few incidents that occurred just in the last few weeks:

    - The spouse of a contest official, choosing to attend the game her husband was officiating, was verbally abused by parents around her to the point that she genuinely feared for her safety. Her husband is trying to decide if it is worth it to continue officiating. And this conduct went unchecked by local school administrators.

    - A school Superintendent, who has a son participating and a relative coaching, sent a threatening text to the local independent contractor who assigns games. “That crew better not be on one of our games ever again” read the text. And that same school removed a team from the floor in a non-varsity game in dissatisfaction over the officiating.

    - A veteran Athletic Director cursing an official during a non-varsity game and refusing to allow the official into a dressing room to retrieve his belongings after disagreeing over the handling of a fan situation.

    - A veteran school Athletic Director not only refused to handle a situation with a fan when asked to do so, but after the contest, barged into a dressing room and threatened the game officials following the ejection of a head coach after a third technical foul.

    “I wish I could say that these incidents occurred in another state or in a different year. Unfortunately, not only were they here in our state but in the last few weeks as well,” said KHSAA Commissioner Julian Tackett. “On what planet does any adult, especially a school administrator, think this type of conduct is permissible? We will, of course, issue penalties against the school for removing a team and likely issue some form of administrative penalty against the schools that failed to exercise institutional control during their recent games, but the cause is an indication of deeper, systematic problems.

    “I don’t want to indict all by the actions of a few, but offer a reminder to all involved. A Superintendent has zero authority over game assignments, thankfully, due to the Federal Court Order that has over-arching authority over our officials’ division. And certainly, our school administrators are expected, if they are to maintain membership in the KHSAA, to handle things at the playing sites in conjunction with officials’ directives. If everyone involved, especially our parents and school administrators, don’t get a handle on their own actions and emotions, as well as the environment surrounding athletic events, not only will the pool of available officiating contractors dry up, but sooner or later, and sooner I fear, those remaining contractors will choose not to accept game assignments at those schools.”

    Research confirms that participation in high school sports and activities instills a sense of pride in school and community, teaches lifelong lessons like the value of teamwork and self-discipline and facilitates the physical and emotional development of those who participate. So, if the games go away because there aren’t enough men and women to officiate them, the loss will be infinitely greater than just an “L” on the scoreboard. It will be putting a dent in your community’s future.

    If you would like to be a part of the solution to the shortage of high school officials, you can sign up to become a licensed official through the KHSAA.org or by showing your interest at HighSchoolOfficials.com. Otherwise, adult role models at high school athletic events here in Kentucky are always welcome.
    John 3:3

  • #2
    Been a big problem for years Steve. Seems like a lot of parents live vicariously through their children. It’s just a game and you are not just embarrassing yourself you are embarrassing your kids.
    Isaiah 5:20

    Comment


    • #3
      Where is Ryan Lemond?
      Jordan Peterson is my spirit animal...

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      • #4
        Anyone that has ever attended a game has seen actions similar to what is described. While not at the same levelnornlongevity as you Lighthouse, I officiated for about 8 years. Everything from rec leagues to high school games. I was even blessed with a “fan” showing me his displeasure by making his gun visible after a call with which he disagreed. And this was several years ago...
        The prevalence of an entitlement mentality and lack of self control is getting in the way of what the game is all about...at every level. Sports is about entertainment, personal growth, relationships, and team building. I love all of the positives sports competition offers, but really wish people would realize that when the final horn sounds, it’s just a game and has no real impact on the quality of ones life. A little humility and a lot of practicality would go a long way to improving this situation.

        Comment


        • #5
          When my son, he is 40, was playing grade school basketball for a local Catholic grade school, there was a coach of one of the opposing schools who yelled constantly at officials. To the point I didn’t want my son playing when it was that school. Only because he wanted to did I go. Seems to have gotten worse.

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          • #6
            Years ago, I attended a game in south Tennessee in a little gym where our small school was playing against a very good Class A school. I am a somewhat low key guy and happened to the Chairman of the School Board that year as well as an elder in our Church. Early in the 4th Quarter, the Policeman on duty in the gym that night tapped me on the shoulder and told me I was going to have to calm down or he was going to have to escort me out!! We were behind by about 40 pts and granted, I had done my share of yelling at the refs, but was totally shocked by this. Everyone there that knew me, too, were surprised and came up to me to laugh about it after the game.

            While we were standing there talking afterward, however, one of our fans who I barely knew came up to me and admitted that it was he who the ref had pointed out as the trouble maker. He had threatened to meet the ref after the game for ...........(use your imagination). Just so happened, we were wearing the same color tops and I was in the line of sight between the cop/ref and the guy the ref was pointing out.

            Guy was a trouble maker. Yes, the ref that night seemed very biased and made some blatantly bad calls, but no excuse for guys like our fan.

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            • #7
              I'm not a big believer in bias but I do think officials try to even things out from time to time. That's human nature. In almost every game you watch there'll be a situation where somebody says, "Ref, the fouls are 8 to 2 in their favor!" You can almost bank on a foul being called very soon thereafter to get the thing balanced out.

              If anything officials are at times too concerned with being overly fair and will react to what coaches are screaming at them rather than the game.

              The problems that have come in with college officials have a lot to do with refs becoming household names. That should never happen, and it's kind of a genie-out-of-the-bottle situation. As officials have gotten more facetime, and as refs' names have become known across college basketball, I think you've seen more officials enter the game who are as interested in sort of the spectacle of college sports than they are officiating it fairly. And it makes sense given the money and eyeballs that are on games these days. But so much goes on in college basketball that wouldn't happen if all these games weren't televised and if TV deals weren't so astronomical.

              Comment


              • #8
                From a retired official, your argument isn't a very good one Will. I know you're being honest with your opinion, and I accept that. There are some good new officials coming up, but the facts stated in the article are the very reason some officials are becoming household names. Take the officials who worked the Kansas game. Had you ever seen them before? But they worked a good game, and other than the F1, were pretty much unnoticeable.
                John 3:3

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Lighthouse View Post
                  From a retired official, your argument isn't a very good one Will. I know you're being honest with your opinion, and I accept that. There are some good new officials coming up, but the facts stated in the article are the very reason some officials are becoming household names. Take the officials who worked the Kansas game. Had you ever seen them before? But they worked a good game, and other than the F1, were pretty much unnoticeable.
                  I thought it was good but I'm actually talking generally.

                  I just think there are incentives for people to get in any profession. Teaching, banking, construction, officiating, whatever. And there isn't going to be one incentive but an array of them including money, travel, seeing great athletes, etc.

                  One incentive that you have these days is that you know you're going to be on TV. You know, because of the enormity of television options, that you are going to be much more of a feature than officials have ever been at any point in the history of the game. Most refs probably don't worry with this, but you have to think it plays a part in the way some officials call the game.

                  And sometimes this isn't even bad. They're not making the wrong call 90% of the time. But what they're doing is inserting themselves in the game. The histrionics during charges, the huddling up they do at midcourt, the conversations with TV broadcasters, the conversations we've heard they have with coaches, the monitor visits: all of that is a way to get the officials on the screen. And that's big for officials. It gets their names out there and it gets them more work. Why wouldn't they want that? There is no downside for them at all.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Some things, unfortunately, never seem to change …….

                    My involvement with spectators making fools of themselves goes back to the mid-1970s.

                    I coached freshman FB for a JCPS high school. A big crowd was 50 people and most were, of course, parents.

                    With so few in attendance, players, coaches and officials could hear every comment from the stands. Players were also able to identify their parents by voice; think about that for a minute.

                    Believe me, it is embarrassing for everybody.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Catgrad7072 View Post
                      Some things, unfortunately, never seem to change …….

                      My involvement with spectators making fools of themselves goes back to the mid-1970s.

                      I coached freshman FB for a JCPS high school. A big crowd was 50 people and most were, of course, parents.

                      With so few in attendance, players, coaches and officials could hear every comment from the stands. Players were also able to identify their parents by voice; think about that for a minute.

                      Believe me, it is embarrassing for everybody.
                      This is hilarious that you say this because we've talked about this very thing all year. This weird silence happens in every freshmen game my son has played. I've yelled at officials (never threatening) but I spend more of my time having entire conversations with my son. He ignores me as he should but my comments are 90% positive but the other 10% go like this: "Left hand!" "You've got to help on defense!" "Run!" "Push it!" "You've got to put that shot in!" Basically the same things I say to the TV screen when the Cats are on.

                      We were at Central High School in Louisville and I swear to God it was the quietest game you've ever heard. Their parents did not so much as clap. The officiating was actually pretty decent but at one point the boys were down on the floor and I screamed, "Timeout!" The gym was so quiet the official granted it to our team. There was confusion, Central's coaches were pointing at me, I just sat there and pretended I didn't say anything. We inbounded the ball and immediately hit a three.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Lighthouse View Post
                        From a retired official, your argument isn't a very good one Will. I know you're being honest with your opinion, and I accept that. There are some good new officials coming up, but the facts stated in the article are the very reason some officials are becoming household names. Take the officials who worked the Kansas game. Had you ever seen them before? But they worked a good game, and other than the F1, were pretty much unnoticeable.
                        Seen Joe Lindsay many times. But I would take that crew every game if I could. IMO, one of the best called games I've seen in years.

                        See, I can be complimentary of officials when it's deserved. Lol

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                        • #13
                          I tend to think the officials should let them play in college basketball and keep it up for the entirety of the game.

                          The most entertaining college basketball games are those where there are very, very few whistles.

                          Coaches have put in a bunch of things over the years that necessitate whistles, starting with hand checking probably 30 years ago. I've posted this but when you watch YouTube clips of basketball in (for instance) 1982 it's crazy. Defenders are standing a good 10 feet off. Coaches changed the game by putting defenders up on offensive players. Then they started adding stuff like jostling for position, illegal screening, hip checking, etc.

                          Officials have reacted to all of that. And it's very hard to call it fairly, as fast as the game moves. I don't envy what they have to do.

                          But I think officials hurt themselves a little at times by not being as transparent as they could be and sprinting off the court after games so they don't have to answer any question about the part they may've played.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Will: I'm sure parents like you never attended our games.

                            I'm thinking back to those who stood at the top of the bleachers and drank adult beverages from styrofoam cups. We should have opened the concession stand for freshman games and, at the very least, sold them mixers. : )

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Will Lavender View Post
                              I tend to think the officials should let them play in college basketball and keep it up for the entirety of the game.

                              The most entertaining college basketball games are those where there are very, very few whistles.

                              Coaches have put in a bunch of things over the years that necessitate whistles, starting with hand checking probably 30 years ago. I've posted this but when you watch YouTube clips of basketball in (for instance) 1982 it's crazy. Defenders are standing a good 10 feet off. Coaches changed the game by putting defenders up on offensive players. Then they started adding stuff like jostling for position, illegal screening, hip checking, etc.

                              Officials have reacted to all of that. And it's very hard to call it fairly, as fast as the game moves. I don't envy what they have to do.

                              But I think officials hurt themselves a little at times by not being as transparent as they could be and sprinting off the court after games so they don't have to answer any question about the part they may've played.
                              Funny you mention the quick exit. That never changes and won't. All the Referee must do is approve the final score and that is accomplished with a glance at the official scorer. There was an old college coach that said they should require one official to remain on the court. He suggested they call him, The Abuse Official.

                              John 3:3

                              Comment

                              Interesting article.

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