Sporting officials don’t live up to expectations

Jansen Hess, Sports Editor

A referee is an individual whose job is to officiate and make sure a sporting event goes as smoothly and fairly as possible. Unfortunately, all referees don’t do their jobs as well as they should.
As an athlete, and someone who has been playing soccer for more than a decade, I seem to know the rules a little better than the referees do.
Take the offside rule — if I make my run when I am behind or even with the last defender when the ball is played, then I’m onsides. And if I do happen to be offside, then please feel free to make the call before I sprint 30 yards down the field.
Aside from the little calls, soccer referees don’t know what constitutes a foul. If I’m getting hacked from behind, pushed in the back or elbowed in the face, then I strongly suggest you blow your whistle. Granted, not all referees are going to call everything, but it really makes me mad when the ref only calls something because he was pressured into the call by a parent, player or coach.
For example, last year, a goalie and I were both going after the ball. We both knew neither of us was going to stop, it was just a matter of who was going to get knocked down. She ended up falling and the ref came up to me and told me to calm down.
I apologized to both the goalie and the ref, stating it was my fault and proceeded to walk away. Suddenly I heard a dad yell from the stands, “Ref, that’s a card.” The referee came over to me, after everything was said and done, and gave me the yellow card.
I’m sorry sir, but if you’re relying on a middle-aged father who has most likely never played soccer before, then you seriously need to reevaluate yourself as a ref.
Why are you so afraid of a parent or a coach when you’re the one with all the power? Don’t let their uneducated ideas and opinions influence your calls.
Honestly, you’re the one who sat through the referee certification classes. Parents only know the rules from what players or other adults have told them.
Plus, parents are always going to protect their kids, even if it isn’t a foul.
But even though refs have all the power, they shouldn’t let it go to their heads. I’ve seen it happen way too many times, especially when yellow cards are given for “talking back to the ref.”
Most of the time we’re just asking what the call was. Even if we are saying something derogatory, it’s most likely not towards the ref.
Assistant referees (AR) are probably worse than center referees.
My freshman year: JV girls soccer was facing off with the Saints of St. Thomas Aquinas at STA. Obviously, this is a major rivalry. We were matched up pretty evenly. Well, that was until STA scored their first of three goals.
The girl dribbled the ball out of bounds. Everyone, including her, stopped playing, but the AR was so far away from the touchline that he couldn’t see the ball was out of bounds.
Since nothing was called, the girl proceeded to dribble the ball back in bounds, shot and scored.
I had never seen such an uproar out of my team or my coach.
Our confidence was shot, and we ended up letting in two more goals.
Referees have, and will still, cost some teams a win, whether we like it or not. And unfortunately, refs in every sport make controversial calls.