Jump to content
Vegas_Ump

Open Season on officials?

Recommended Posts

My topic comes up from the NFL, but it applies to all sports, including baseball.

Of late, the NFL Referees have been taking a beating by the pundits (and sometimes the retired referee in the TV booth) as being really bad.  And on the sports shows, you hear some really uncomplimentary verbiage aimed at referees in general in the NFL.  [By the way, I have been impressed by the teamwork and bearing of the refs in many of the NCAA games I have seen.....]

Anyway, in my neighborhood, people take baseball seriously.  And our assigner is apoplectic because a lot of umps DO NOT want to do the plate during Fall Ball playoffs!  They are just tired of the managers and fans riding their butts.  I know what they are talking about because I'll call a close strike, and some parent will yell, "That was WAY outside!" in a most derogatory manner.

That stuff does not bother me, but I sense that it's open season on all sports officials, and it's sifting its way down to the baseball that I officiate.  I have done WR in 2017, so I have seen some high-paced play, high quality play, and so Fall Ball is a bit of a letdown.  But I think it's a shame that umps won't take plates!  Heck!  I'll take every plate I can get!

Just venting some spleen!  Sportsmanship seems to be going the way of "journalism":  an undefined quantity these days!

Mike

Las Vegas

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

short story - Had a partner several years ago who I would consider to be a good umpire, and very consistent.  Hearing trash from both sides of the field.  He called time, walked over the 1B bleachers and told the parents, we are going to play this game, with OR without you here.  You decide, I'll be right back.  He then turned and went to 3B side with the same speech.  When he returned to 1B side (and then 3B) it was crickets.  Now I know we don't "talk to the fence" but seeing it in person, took EVERYTHING that I had, not to bust out laughing.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know why people think this is new.  It has ALWAYS been open season on officials.

"Kill the umpire" didn't enter our lexicon just last week...the phrase is about 150 years old.   Umpires have always been abused and I see nothing to indicate it's worse than it has been in the past.

That doesn't make it right, by any stretch, but I fail to understand why people are surprised by any of this.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know how to quantify that the abuse has gotten worse, but I can say, for me, it accretes. I work three sports, and as I approach the end of my officiating career, I have little tolerance for abuse.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Two old sayings :

"Character is not made in a crisis . . .  it is only exhibited." . . .

                                and

         "What you permit, you promote."

:-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, yawetag said:

It's not the presence, but the prevalence.

it's neither...it's the fact that I can type, record, or whatever and have it seen by hundreds of people in seconds, thousands in minutes and millions shortly thereafter.that was possible 10 years ago. It makes everything seem to be happening faster and in greater volume. without the internet I wouldn't have a clue about an ejection in a Pennsylvania HS game.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, LMSANS said:

it's neither...it's the fact that I can type, record, or whatever and have it seen by hundreds of people in seconds, thousands in minutes and millions shortly thereafter.that was possible 10 years ago. It makes everything seem to be happening faster and in greater volume. without the internet I wouldn't have a clue about an ejection in a Pennsylvania HS game.

Lot's going on over there in NJ. Just wonder what would/would not have been swept under the rug in less open days, and who//whom,  would/would not, have had their instances seen the light of day in the less open days. Would the next teen who had the coach somewhere on the road have known the guys history and to be on the lookout so they could protect themselves.

Would the local umpire groups refuse to work referee abuse leagues so as to protect their members????  Let coaches call their own fouls on the honor system in those leagues that want to abuse. Refuse to work abuse Leagues. Make them hire local police to stop the abusers and protect officials or let coaches call as mentioned above.

 

https://dailyvoice.com/new-jersey/hackensack/news/closter-dad-who-assaulted-teen-football-coach-has-teaching-license-suspended/774634/

What about making rules more clear and concise so perhaps never have to get involved with situation as below. Either do like LL and have people in state office manning the phones to make decisions in unusual cases in real time, or play and have game written up, or just cancel like a snowout and play later after a state ruling.

 

https://dailyvoice.com/new-jersey/hackensack/schools/nj-referee-suspended-two-seasons-for-forcing-wrestler-16-to-cut-hair-before-match/775880/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The wrestling officials suspension article is not quite correct. NFHS has rules about hair length, if the hair is to long the wrestler must cover it with a APPROVED hair cover. The coaches and athletes are made aware of these rules before the season even starts. If the wrestlers hair is not legal he has two choices at the match, have your hair cut or don't participate for that match. By rule the official acted correctly, all the other things involved in the aftermath I don't even want to consider.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, PABlue said:

The wrestling officials suspension article is not quite correct. NFHS has rules about hair length, if the hair is to long the wrestler must cover it with a APPROVED hair cover. The coaches and athletes are made aware of these rules before the season even starts. If the wrestlers hair is not legal he has two choices at the match, have your hair cut or don't participate for that match. By rule the official acted correctly, all the other things involved in the aftermath I don't even want to consider.

But he must have done something wrong to receive a 2-year ban, require all officials and coaches in the state to take "implicit bias" training by 2021, and literally involve the state's Office of the Attorney General.

Oh, that's right... the official said to the coaches, "Length is not the issue. It’s unnatural." (source). Video also shows his opponent's hair was longer than allowed (source).

In the first source I gave, you'll see the wrestler's hair wasn't outside the NFHS rules for hair length - none of his locs went below the collar, none longer than the eyebrows, and none that would extend below his earlobes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it's always been there, but is getting worse. 

People rightfully have high expectations of their officials. But get too worked up if the officials don't meet their expectations of hold up their false beliefs. 

I'm guilty too. A few weeks ago I made a Facebook post about the C-USA football officials working the ECU vs ODU football game. I don't regret it. I just said they were having a rough day. But anything we as officials do is under the microscope. 

I do believe coaches and parents have gotten worse over the past 15 years of my umpiring. I have been followed to my car on multiple occasions. 

On the other hand as officials, we can't let this get to us and must rise above. Remember, at least in baseball we have no jurisdiction regarding the fans, but we can ask a coach to get his fans under control. I personally wouldn't recommend it because if you do you've just opened the flood gates. I don't know how many times after a game with poor coaches and parent's I've said I'm done, but I kept coming back for more.  This is part of the game - to an extent.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I truly wish I had my wrestling rules and case book with me, it shows why the wrestler needed a hair cover. Like I said what statements the official made or did not make or how they are interpreted is beyond what I feel comfortable discussing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I spent nearly fifteen years as a NASCAR official.   One week the local go kart operation decides to run a race on the "big track" and I get volunteered to help officiate that.    As bad as drivers and team crew chiefs are, driver's parents (most of the kart drivers are kids) are the worst.     I told one parent that I wasn't sure what he was used to at their other venues, but this was a NASCAR track and if he didn't go back to his seat, the nice security guard over there would escort him and his kid off the premises.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, PABlue said:

I truly wish I had my wrestling rules and case book with me, it shows why the wrestler needed a hair cover. Like I said what statements the official made or did not make or how they are interpreted is beyond what I feel comfortable discussing.

That's great--but those comments are the issue, because they show he did not rule properly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, PABlue said:

I truly wish I had my wrestling rules and case book with me, it shows why the wrestler needed a hair cover. Like I said what statements the official made or did not make or how they are interpreted is beyond what I feel comfortable discussing.

Thanks to NFHS on Arbiter, I have access to every sport's rules:

Wrestling 4-2-1: During competition all wrestlers shall be clean shaven, with sideburns trimmed no lower than earlobe level. Hair shall not extend below the top of an ordinary shirt collar in the back; and on the sides, the hair shall not extend below earlobe level; in the front, the hair shall not extend below the eyebrows. (Photos 2-3) A neatly trimmed mustache that does not extend below the line of the lower lip shall be permissible. If an individual has hair longer than allowed by rule, it shall be contained in a cover so that the hair rule is satisfied. (Photo 4) Physical hair treatment items that are hard and /or abrasive such as (beads, bobby pins, barrettes, pins, hair clips, etc. or any other hair-control device) shall not be permitted. A legal hair-controlled device such as rubber band(s) shall be secured so as not to come out readily during wrestling. The legal hair cover shall be attached to the ear guards. A bandanna is not considered a legal hair cover. The legal hair cover must be of a solid material and be nonabrasive. The wrestler opting to wear a legal hair cover must wear it to the weigh-in procedure and be checked for grooming with it on. The legal hair cover must be removed prior to the wrestler stepping on the scale to be weighed. If a referee is not present at weigh-ins, the hair cover must be checked by the meet referee upon arrival at the site. If an individual has facial hair, it shall be covered with a face mask. All legal hair covers and face masks will be considered as special equipment. If an individual's hair is as abrasive as an unshaved face, the individual shall be required to shave the head to the same requirements for facial hair, or wear a legal hair cover.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"If an individual's hair is as abrasive as an unshaved face, the individual shall be required to shave the head to the same requirements for facial hair, or wear a legal hair cover."

????

How is an official to determine what is too abrasive? Fashion police is bad enough--but tonsorial police?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’m not a wrestling official, but I work with one ... Had lots of discussions after that incident.

Thinking these rules are about fashion is a mistake.  Hygiene rules are all safety rules, not to teach boys and girls to bathe or to promote ye olde-fashioned values.

Wrestlers are notorious for doing anything they can to gain an advantage.  Unshaven stubble (face or head) is used to grind into opponents, to the extent they will actually start grinding skin off their opponent, eventually drawing blood.  Think of a cheese grater.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As for the wrestling I think you're stretching things a bit far when equating a hair cut to discrimination. Maybe not the best decision by the official if there are alternatives available, but I don't think it measures up to discrimination. 

I wrestled in HS and actually had a locker room haircut once. I wasn't expected to start so wasn't keeping my grooming to standard. Well in the 11th hour I got the start. I made weight but the ref said my hair was too long (yes, I'd gotten a bit shaggy), I disagreed, my coach disagreed, but my coach pulled out a pair of scissors from the medical kit and gave me a quick trim and I was good to go. I don't think I was even asked, it just sort of happened. My parents didn't complain my mom actually laughed pretty hard at me. I even wore my jagged haircut to school the rest of the week just for a laugh.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, Umpire in Chief said:

As for the wrestling I think you're stretching things a bit far when equating a hair cut to discrimination. Maybe not the best decision by the official if there are alternatives available, but I don't think it measures up to discrimination. 

When there's an agreement for everyone to take implicit bias training, I'm leaning toward it being closer than "a bit far" in the discrimination field.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/18/2019 at 12:01 PM, Aging_Arbiter said:

short story - Had a partner several years ago who I would consider to be a good umpire, and very consistent.  Hearing trash from both sides of the field.  He called time, walked over the 1B bleachers and told the parents, we are going to play this game, with OR without you here.  You decide, I'll be right back.  He then turned and went to 3B side with the same speech.  When he returned to 1B side (and then 3B) it was crickets.  Now I know we don't "talk to the fence" but seeing it in person, took EVERYTHING that I had, not to bust out laughing.

 

 

If he's hearing it from BOTH sides, he might be having a bad day.

 

And, don't ever do what he did.  Ever.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...