Saturday, September 25, 2010

Respect the Ref

Youth soccer referees have a tremendously difficult job I would not want. A poor performance evokes the scorn of players, coaches, multitudes of parents, grandparents, siblings, and other experts that hardly make the $40 per game rate worth it. A solid performance goes generally unnoticed, few people genuinely thank referees for what they do.

Simply put, there would be no game to play if referees weren't there to preserve its legitimacy and integrity by upholding the rules, encouraging fair play, and protecting the players.

Referees will makes mistakes. Some referees probably shouldn't be reffing because they are not qualified. Nevertheless, when they wear the stripes (or yellow/green/whatever), players have to respect them or be penalized. It has to be this way or there would be no game to play. It's about respecting the office of referee. Generally speaking, when players, coaches, and fans respect the referee, things will go well for all involved with the game.

While there are bad eggs out there, any youth coach worthy of coaching young people strictly enforces a code of no disrespecting the referees. Those of us who coach youth want to develop a culture of respect for the "office" of referee as he or she represent authority that gives our game credibility. Without refs we would not have the game we love to play. I do not permit my players to question or criticize any call by a referee. That's my job, and I do so respectfully. I want my players to respect the office that referees occupy. Sure, Refs will make bad calls from time to time. Yes, we'll come across the occasional person who shouldn't be wearing the stripes. Still, the development of sportsmanship, fair play, intense and satisfying competition, and a healthy overall sport, depends largely on a credible authority governing the games. Most youth coaches agree with my philosophy of teaching the boys to play the game and not question the calls of the referees. Respect the office referee's occupy and we'll all be better off.

It makes me sick when I see players disrespecting referees. Such is the coach's fault. Even coaches should be respectful and careful when asking referees for clarification or disputing a call. Too much is at stake to break down the relationship between the referee and the game we love, no matter how bad the guy or gal is doing their job. I think disrespectful displays against referees should be loathed by anyone who loves the sport.

Now, take all I just wrote and substitute "referee" with "pastor". Think about it.


pjw said...

It helps if the pastor doesn't diss my team on Facebook!

Zach said...

All that "respecting the referees" stuff is good in theory, but if the referees are really, really bad, I think you should take your team to the adjacent field and find some referees you like better. ;)

Reepicheep said...

Zach- glad you're back...I think :)

If they really are should stay...if they're not...go to the field with real ones... :)

Anonymous said...

Respect? Sounds more like tolerance here. Respect should be mutual.
Referees, Teachers, Pastors, and Presidents are all respectable positions, but sometimes the person in that position does not deserve respect, becsuse they have abused their authority or position. It is right to teach respect, but there is also a time to stand up for what is right.

Woody Woodward said...

Some might powerful lessons of life in your blog today. Respecting those in authority over us is a virtue that indeed is lacking in today’s post modern, “I demand it my way” culture. What a great role model you are for these little warriors learning, not only about the game, but listening to authority and gaining respect for rules as well as their elders.

Jim said...

"For we ought to receive every one whom the Master of the house sends to be over His household as we would do Him that sent him. It is manifest, therefore, that we should look upon the pastor even as we would upon the Lord Himself."

Ignatius of Antioch, Epistle to the Ephesians 6.1.

Brother Titus said...

But, you probably make more than $40 a Sunday.

Glenn Wardell said...

Redeemer PCA gets it right (in the opinion of a Low Church Anglican)when the pastors don gowns for the service. No longer Tony the Deerslayer, it's Pastor Felich. The liturgical gown is a uniform. Respect shown to its occupant is respect shown to the Presbytery that examined him and respect shown to the Church that chartered the Presbytery. Just like a military officer, that respect extends to a degree when not in uniform. However, unlike a certain global police state, that liturgical uniform can be stripped away if the office is abused.