Referees: To Call Or Not To Call

Who is someone that you can call your best friend in one moment but your worst enemy in another? Many would say a referee without hesitation. We all know their job is to enforce the rules, but what does it really take to be a ref?

To even start a referee training program, one must be eighteen years old with a high school diploma. From there, it is fairly easy to become a ref, but patience is necessary. Most sports require referee trainees to attend specialized training schools or courses. In these courses, lectures, demonstrations, and exercises are implemented to put the soon-to-be referees in real life situations.

One very important skill a referee must learn is the ability to make split-second decisions. In the case of an unpopular or disliked call, having good communication skills is crucial, while also maintaining a short memory. Throughout a career, all referees will run into circumstances of misbehaved players, coaches, parents, and more. A referee that is easily intimidated or offended is useless to the sports community, teams, and fans. In these challenging moments, it is vital that the referee has good game management. This skill not only comes from practice and experience, but also from talking with other officials.

Something that sports officials are most known for is bad calls. Many people make accusations that the referees may purposely make these bad calls for money on the side or helping their fantasy league, but that wouldn’t be helpful to them in the long run. In more official leagues like the NFL, officials can be written up for bad calls or not being in the correct position. Also, if one certain referee has made repeatedly controversial calls, they will not be asked to be used in post-season games. During playoffs, it is key that the best of the best are chosen to run the game.

So, next time when you think the ref is trying to work against your team, just know they are calling what they truly think.