Refs make calls, players make plays

ELKINS — A lot of responsibility rests with so many in order to end up at a prep sports venue with everyone accounted for, and ready to compete. Parents, players, coaches, a school day taught, and WVSSAC officials must all work toward the goal of the games being played.

Once the contest is underway, it’s still all human beings out there playing within the boundaries. As humans, especially while competing, we get a lot right.

However, we can sometimes tend to bring ourselves down by focusing on what didn’t go right, as we saw it.

A good coach once told me, and a lot of good coaches also tell their team’s, “If we do our jobs tonight, we have a good chance to win this thing. Don’t let the environment compromise your commitment to winning the game,” they said.

Part of the environment during a WVSSAC-sanctioned contest also includes the officials who are modestly compensated to call a game. Their pay does not substantially increase once they are approved for varsity contests, though they put in the time and are better for it.

Yes, the refs are decision makers, no doubt about it. They aren’t on television, do not have replay in place and they are put on the spot to make split-second observations. The majority of their job, though, is overseeing a playing court of rules and measurements, where the athletes are expected to be the ones who make the least mistakes after having been coached to do so.

If you look around and know a few things about a lot of the women and men wearing stripes out there, you are aware that many of them are people who played the games. You might also find that they are a bald tire away from an accident, while driving from their day job to get to the gym on time. It’s not a glamorous occupation, though a necessity that comes through night after night.

Largely speaking, it’s safe to say that most humans who are also SSAC refs already have an understanding. The officials usually bring a prior experience of the courts they call with them. Additionally, that can often help the youth they are educating to learn a thing or two as well. They are taught in their training to also use the experience well when they can to help a competitor be more knowledgeable in their youthful strides.

It’s stripes and whites, blue and yellow and soccer expands even more on the ref’s uniform color of possibilities on call to help the schedules be played. Volleyball and swimming referees don white polo shirts; the diamond features blue and yellow and soccer refs run the pitch with the middle man contrasting while communicating with the similar two runners’ outfits on the sidelines. Cross Country and track judges measure well, also.

There is no way to remove the possibility of humans doubting one another when they think they are in a battle. Bad calls will be made.

However, respect for the coach to do his or her job if a question needs presented, should afford them that opportunity. It doesn’t serve the youth well when the crowd surrounds a moment in time with simple arguments. Chop wood and be your best while teaching them the basics at home.

The rest of the time that should be the opportunity it is to let young people learn how to overcome, and be confident nonetheless, should be left on the court. Positivity has been beating negativity, and has a lot to offer for the kids trying to measure up in a current step forward.