Fans, players share opinions on referees

Through the many rules in place, sports can become very controversial with the calls that are made by referees and officials. Many fans like to blame their team losing on bad officiating.

Fans, players share opinions on referees

Using their training and skills, referees are tasked to ensure players are following rules and regulations of their designated sport. Some fans believe that they often make wrong decisions, altering the course of the game. 

When millions of people are watching a game, every single call is highly anticipated. No matter what is decided, a large percentage of the audience will be against the call. 

Many fans make their own opinions on referees, often being stubborn with their beliefs.

“A good referee, in my eyes, calls the game fair and follows the rules of the game,” NCAA Division II Assumption College quarterback Jacob Cady said. “They should make calls that clearly follow the rules of the game and they should be 100% in their decision making.”

Other fans agree.

“A referee needs to be confident in their call and stick to it,” junior varsity football player Ruddra Oza said. 

Some fans believe a good referee is based on confidence and fairness. Others believe it is being attentive, according to football referee Jack Stoops. 

“A referee needs to be completely involved in the game,” Stoops said. “There’s no room for laziness or distractions.”

According to Stoops, while all officials receive a “thorough amount of training,” they can still make wrong calls. Some of them even seem “favored to one team or another,” according to Cady. 

“Some call the game the way it should be and some don’t,” Cady said. 

Fans believe there have been many bad calls in every sport out there, but sometimes a “bad call” is not always the wrong choice. People like to use referees as an excuse, according to hockey player Deklan Linthicum. 

“It’s easy for fans to get frustrated with the [referees] whenever they make a call that isn’t good for their team,” Linthicum said. “Nobody is going to be happy if their team breaks the rules.”

Many believe that refereeing can affect large aspects of a sport. Bad calls from referees can change how an entire sport or team is viewed, according to Oza. 

“If a team seems to be given lots of calls that help them, it’s very easy for that team to become hated,” Oza said. “This can change the entire nature of how a sport is presented.”

The large amount of disdain towards referees is making an impact on the job. 

“Being in the world of sports for a long time and working in sports, there has certainly been a decrease in referees due to the backlash they receive,” Cady said. 

The number of sports officials has gone down over the years due to older referees retiring and not being replaced, COVID-19 and harsh reactions by the public, according to The Guardian. 

Some fans understand the apparent pressure on officials. According to Stoops, they believe that referees usually make the right call.

“Everyone will make bad calls here and there, but they’re doing the best they can,” Stoops said.

Whether referees truly make bad calls or if fans are just upset with the outcome of a game, it will be debated by many. Officials will continue to officiate and many fans will continue to complain.