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280 Kane St. STE #2
South Williamsport, PA
United States

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Be Nice to the Refs

The local boys’ and girls’ hoops seasons are coming to a close. Area teams are now shifting gears and getting prepared to make a run. I was very impressed with the many games that I saw. Lycoming County will be well represented at the state level. Props to our D4 PIAA officials for doing something

The local boys’ and girls’ hoops seasons are coming to a close. Area teams are now shifting gears and getting prepared to make a run. I was very impressed with the many games that I saw. Lycoming County will be well represented at the state level.

Props to our D4 PIAA officials for doing something right. They finally implemented a power ranking for seeding after 35 years of begging. Each classification will have an eight-team tournament. Squads that are .500 automatically qualify. Others have the option to play based on their modified aggregate. Not only the district champions advance. Some, like A boys, have four slots to compete for a state title. It’s a great time of year sports fans.

I’ve had the opportunity to watch and witness quite a bit. Yes, I am back on the sidelines, but perhaps you have seen me in the stands. I wanted to give some love to our local officiating chapter. These guys and girls do a great job in calling all of the action. In case you haven’t heard, there is a major shortage of zebras in our area. Many of these folks are doing seven games a week. Seriously. High demand. Maybe we should cut them a break. I am doing my best to try.

I used to be terrible towards the refs. I was extremely loud and obnoxious as a young coach. It was never personal. I simply cried a lot. Our teams weren’t the most talented, and I was only trying to gain some sort of an advantage. Many of the area’s officials didn’t get my sense of humor. They never laughed at my jokes, and were oftentimes offended. I am not very proud of my actions. But there were a few moments.

HEY VAN. IS THE SCORE RIGHT? (Official heads to the table) Yes. Both books have the score at 24 to 5. NO. THE SCOREBOARD. IT HAS US WITH 9 FOULS AND THEY ONLY HAVE ONE. THIS CAN’T BE. THEY ARE PLAYING FULL COURT MAN, AND WE ARE IN A 2-3.

GIRIO. WHO ARE YOU GUARDING? Number 10 Coach. SWITCH UP. I NEED YOU TO GUARD (pointing the baseline official) HE IS ABSOLUTELY KILLING US!

That’s five Coach. Five? Yes. Number 20 has five fouls. I ONLY HAD HIM WITH FOUR. Start the clock please. SERIOUSLY. THAT LAST ONE WASN’T A FOUL. ALL BALL. CURTIS. DID YOU FOUL HIM? Nope.

I am no longer that guy. In fact, several of the officials have accused me of being nice. Heck. Last week I even gave Frank Casale a compliment. I don’t know what has since changed. I guess am much older and now understand that these guys and girls are doing the best that they can. I get upset when an opposing coach or fan get on a ref. I simply don’t get it. Many of these guys are my friends and are registered voters. They do have thick skin. Luckily, they aren’t too sensitive. But mistreating the referees does more harm than good. I am shocked at some of this unsportsmanlike behavior. I tragically see this all the time at the elementary school level. Contrary to popular beliefs, the officials could care less who wins the game. It is very frustrating.

What kind of example are you setting by constantly yelling at the refs? Kids are like a sponge and coaches and parents have a major influence. Do the right thing by focusing on what you do best. Coach and cheer for your team. Period. It’s so important to teach today’s youth about accountability and respect. Coaches. It’s okay to question calls but do so in a professional and non-aggressive manner. Throwing fits and acting like a child will never get that block call reversed. Fans. Yes. I understand that it is all part of the game, but we should never act like complete morons. I am appalled by some of the things I hear from the stands. Do you think you can do better? I have an extra application. Be nice to the refs. Good luck to all of our area’s teams. Cheers.

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