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Hey ref! Fans' bad behavior, harassment causes shortage of officials

Original post made on Sep 28, 2022

Words like funding, equipment, field space and coaching are thrown around regularly when it comes to local sports. But there is one phrase seldom mentioned that is the most crucial – officials or rather, the lack of officials.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, September 27, 2022, 12:06 PM

Comments (2)

Posted by Mark Zimmermann
a resident of another community
on Sep 28, 2022 at 4:58 pm

Mark Zimmermann is a registered user.

I would like to comment from an officials point of view...
I had a thought back in 2018, I would become a certified USTA umpire, as an activity in retirement. It would be fun and could make a little cash. I only worked one USTA sanctioned tournament for the 2018 year. The anguish and abuse, I was subjected by the yelling parents/coaches with a few juniors thrown in during my first official USTA tournament, was not worth the money they paid me. To this day, I have not worked another USTA tournament, as a certified umpire.
Of course thinking back, I wish that my first experience working an official USTA event, was a positive one. Those incidents with the parents, coaches and players, if they weren't behaving badly, I may have worked more tennis tournaments.
Just remember, it is harder than you think to be on the field or court officiating/umpiring. It is pretty easy sitting in the stands, just being a well behaved fan.

Posted by Andrea
a resident of Highland Oaks
on Sep 29, 2022 at 9:28 am

Andrea is a registered user.

Dennis, thank you for this piece. I have seen and known this was an issue for a LONG time. Unfortunately, I fear the adults who are at issue won't be the ones to read this article...or if they do, have the self-awareness to know they are the problem. Is there any way to get something included in the preamble for the games that makes reference to official abuse.

I agree with previous commentor, I've coached sports thru out for my son and considered refing but reconsidered it as I wouldn't get paid enough to tolerate the abuse and don't need to fear walking back to my car after a game. Frankly, I'd probably be fired because if fans got too toxic I'd just call the game and say "If we can't play nicely, we won't play at all" over.

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