Officials, UHSAA team up to remind parents, coaches and fans that sportsmanship matters

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  • The Bossman Payson, UT
    Feb. 2, 2019 9:33 a.m.

    “We continue to have all kinds of problems” says the guy who assigned a DAD to referee his son’s (who started btw) varsity basketball game.

  • Just a CPA Eagle Mountain, UT
    Jan. 31, 2019 1:01 p.m.

    I appreciate the attention on the actions of all participants in high school sports. My behavior is the only thing I can really control at games. We all have different perspectives and desired outcomes. We need to respect each perspective though our actions. Officials also need to commit to their role in this request for increased sportsmanship. This week, a referee told a group of players on both teams before a high school game that he did not want to wear the blue wristband. My son was part of these players. The same referee spent the game yelling and cursing at the players during game-using language players and coaches would be kicked out for-and refusing to talk to players. This is not an isolated incident! Numerous officials have acted the same way to players this year. My son has a front row seat and is extremely disappointed in the actions of adults who are asking for more respect but not willing to extend the same respect. I can only control improving my behavior, hoping it will impact others to do the same. I hope that others will do the same, especially those in the middle of the triangle. Respect, civility, and SPORTSMANSHIP is a two way street not a dead end.

  • JoJax Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 30, 2019 12:28 p.m.

    Less than 4 days ago, a high school parent assaulted an opposing coach... after a game THEY WON. Its sickening what goes unchecked in high school while the UHSAA is super concerned about things like socks and repeating their sportsmanship mantra before games.
    Guess what? ACTIONS speak louder than wristbands.

  • higv Dietrich, ID
    Jan. 30, 2019 7:51 a.m.

    In a rural Idaho high school game I seen fans go after an official. Story I heard was that he threw the ball at a fan after the game. Instead of just walking off. People we after him, and principal saying knock it off. Coaches players and officials make mistakes, but too much goes on in a game to blame the outcome on one call.

    Is a high school athletic contest worth getting worked up over? It is something fun to watch and socialize however life goes on regardless of the contest officials should be able to go to the dressing room and walk to the car undistirbed. In Idaho if a fan is ejected they have to sit out one game. Donlt know how they enforce that on road games.

    Security is. Wedged in so,e places. For professional sports I am sure security is good in the arena and in the home. Don Denkinger umpire and NFL officials recently. They do not cost a team a game mayor help.

  • jdooggyy Provo, UT
    Jan. 30, 2019 6:45 a.m.

    I don’t usually comment on articles, but this one bothers me on so many levels. I was at a game last night in fact where fans were upset.

    The problem though was not the fans it was the officials. One team was pressing. The point guard for the other team was struggling to get the ball across, and so a teammate came to set a screen. She got into the back court and stood straight up and down not moving. The pt. guard ran her defender into the screen. The defender didn’t see it, and got leveled. Nothing dirty or illegal, and no foul was called. I felt badly for the defender that a teammate had not warned her.

    But what happened next is what I am seeing far to often this year. The defender jumped up, ran down the court and shoved the screener in the back - RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE OFFICIAL- and the whole gym.

    The players coach erupted. The ref - shrugged and SMILED - and the player hit the floor. Fortunately, no one was hurt, but it was an obvious foul, retaliatory, and seen by a UHSAA official who just didn’t care.

    This had no impact on the outcome of the game. The team lost by 30. But the officials level of apathy about doing their job is a huge source of this problem

  • WJ_Coach West Jordan, UT
    Jan. 29, 2019 8:35 p.m.

    @Flashback - Kearns, UT

    My experience over the years as a player, parent, coach, and as an official (baseball/softball/soccer), the referees' behavior has a lot to do with how individuals react to their emotions. Fans are going to be emotionally charged at the end of a game that they feel didn't go their way. The referees that can handle the emotion in a calm and concise manner reduce the tension and will alleviate the heated confrontations. The referees that chose to match the emotion with their own emotion tend to aggravate the players, coaches, and parents. Cooler heads prevail!

    Officials need to admit their vulnerability and acknowledge that NO ONE plays, coaches or officiates a perfect game. There are calls there are missed or are chosen to not be called. UHSAA has an issue with who they choose to be the assignors for ALL activities. It is a 'good old boys' network. I used to ref HS soccer games. The quality of referees has diminished over the years as a result of UHSAA not wanting to work with the State Associations. There are quality officials in the state but UHSAA would prefer to hire average joes to work sports who rotate from sport to sport without an specialization.

  • Avdrus Boise, ID
    Jan. 29, 2019 12:55 p.m.

    I have realized that I was a problem parent/fan. I focused too much on the officiating and was vocal. It limited my enjoyment of magical times with my sons and daughters. I now work security for referees in a local college and have found that I love watching the games more since I realize I have no basis to criticize the officials. But it was a hard journey. Emphasis on sportsmanship and discussions with parents and fans should be part of the season process for teams and institutions.

  • Magnet Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 29, 2019 11:30 a.m.

    Basketball officiating will always draw intense scrutiny as a foul called will limit playing time and ultimately be disqualified. It's a harsh reality and major impact on the game. I have seen summer league games - where the foul count is not kept - rather the penalty is simply imposed by awarding free throws, or the ball to the other team. Needless to say, no one screamed at an official. The foul did not force a player to the bench. Not going to happen in real games.

    I feel for HS officials. Most HS players, play two or three times the number of AAU games during the year, than HS games and if you have ever had a son or a team on the AAU circuit, the definition of a foul, the intensity of the defense and the speed of the game are dramatically different than Utah HS, intended to keep the game moving, and mimic the tone or level of contact in a college game. I find most HS officials trying to enforce a set of HS rules, that don't match up to the level of play that many players and coaches want to play at. And frankly there is not much continuity between how a set of officials will call a game vs. a different set of officials.

    No excuse for insulting an official.

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    Jan. 29, 2019 9:07 a.m.

    Simple solution: Don't allow spectators into games.

    Think I'm kidding? It happens all the time in sports around the world when there's bad fan behavior.

  • Coach11 Ogden, UT
    Jan. 29, 2019 8:18 a.m.

    as a coach, I have set out personal goals to be better with officials. I am failing to find a line of when to defend my players and when to remain quiet and calm

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    Jan. 29, 2019 7:45 a.m.

    As a long time sports official in several sports, this really ticks me off.

    Question #1- Where were there not police acting as security in the arena? They should have been there. If so these "Dads" would have been immediately disbursed. Also, where were the tournament officials from the UHSAA? Other officials had to come to the aid of the ones being blocked from leaving. It appears from the article that the police and tournament officials were AWOL.

    Question #2- Why was the father that bumped the official and made the threat not arrested for Assault? He also should have been arrested for making Terroristic threats. Yes, that is illegal in this state.

    These incidents happen way more than reported because most officials don't report them. They just walk away.

    I've had "fans", players, coaches and sometimes league officials follow me to my car after a game or contest, threatening me the whole way. I've been bumped or pushed several times and had at least two fans arrested. I've seen many punched by "fans".

    Most states have a specific statute regarding the assault of sports officials. The Utah Legislature needs to pass one. Make it a Class A misdemeanor to start.