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Luke Creasy: Leave the refs alone

January 30, 2019

Let me set the scene.

Chapmanville had just won the tip, the Wayne Pioneers were getting in their defensive set for the opening possession of the game. Devin Collins split the defenders and connected for the first score of the game, Wayne missed a shot, and the Tigers came roaring back up the floor.

The gym was relatively quiet, but when the clock hit 7:36, a voice from behind the scorers table broke the silence.

“That’s five seconds, ref! Call it!”

Wait. “We’re twenty four seconds into the game and you’re already upset with the officiating?,” I thought to myself. I couldn’t help but glance back and chuckle a little, prompting a short conversation between the Chapmanville book keeper and I about how downright silly some parents are while watching their child’s team compete.

Contrary to popular belief, game officials get some calls right. It’s not a personal vendetta against a kid, school or team. They’re doing their job, and it’s a tough one. There’s a serious problem nationwide about how officials are treated in the midst of games. States like Tennessee and California have had major problem getting and keeping officials, citing behavior from both parents, students, and coaches among other things. Complain if you must, but you’re not going to make anything better by telling a referee that he “should never be allowed to see a varsity game again.” He doesn’t care, he’s getting paid for that varsity game.

If I had to guess, he’s probably a better official than you. I know that I could never do it and to those of you who do endure the constant verbal reprimand, I tip my cap. For those that may have called it quits as a referee, I don’t blame you.

Griping, unhappy parents are to be expecting at any high school game anymore - it’s become part of the experience much like eating a hot-dog or drinking a nice cold can of Mountain Dew at the game is. But yelling about a bad call not even 30 seconds in? I think that might be a new record.

This column won’t change the way anybody acts, I’m aware of that. Just some food for thought. While you scream at the officials, just know that you’re giving me a nice laugh while I sit at the scorers table. The occasional book keeper and even some coaches are laughing with me.

Luke Creasy is a staff writer for the Wayne County News. Follow him on Twitter @HDcreasy.

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