Sadly, the violence that dominates the daily news has made its way onto our athletic fields. Outdoor games are meant to be fun, but a dangerous trend has emerged. Once respected referees, the overseers of good sportsmanship, have come under attack from angry players and disgruntled fans.
Challenging the Referee's Call… Physically
The referee’s ruling is final. Whether or not we agree with it, we should respect it. Unfortunately, recent cases suggest a trend in not only disputing a ref's call, but also reacting to it with physical violence. In June, 2013, 46-year-old Richard Portillo of Salt Lake City died after being assaulted for doing his job. The soccer referee gave a player a yellow card and then looked down at his notes. A 17-year-old coward took that opportunity to punch the referee in the side of the head. Portillo later died in the hospital while being treated for the assault.
In December 2012, a Dutch referee died after being attacked by three players at his own son’s football match. Forty-one-year-old Richard Nieuwenhuizen was overseeing a match when three teenaged thugs attacked him after a game because of a ruling. He was rushed to the hospital but died later that evening.
How Updated Coaching Equipment Can Help
Those who cause tragic violence won't be stopped by an official's whistle. Maintaining a professional appearance enables referees to be visible at all times. And updated sports equipment provides more personal control and safety in the event the ref is threatened:
Fingergrip whistles are recommended over traditional pea whistles. Wrist watches with built-in heart monitors and stopper capabilities are far superior to strap-based stop watches. Until helmets are required for staff and cameras are installed in every stadium, basic equipment updates and personal backup must be implemented to put an end to senseless violence and tragedies on our playing fields.
Protect yourself when officiating with the best equipment: Contact Wolverine Sports today.
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Ann Arbor, MI 48108