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Sport most difficult to officiate (referee, judge, umpire, etc.)?

Discussion in 'Other Sports' started by SwoLy-D, Apr 23, 2009.

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What is the sport most difficult to officiate (referee, judge, umpire, official)?

  1. Basketball

    55.8%
  2. Baseball

    11.6%
  3. Football (soccer)

    9.3%
  4. American Football

    16.3%
  5. Tennis

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  6. Hockey

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  7. other (rugby, cricket, volleyball, etc., or any sport not named in 1-6)

    7.0%
  1. SwoLy-D

    SwoLy-D Contributing Member

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    After seeing most of those threads blaming referees for poor officiating, and for lack thereof, I decided it was time to ask you all what you thought would be the sport most difficult to officiate.

    It seems that nowadays, people like to blame officials only when involved in a loss, but the question is unimportant when their team or player is favored by that bad officiating. I believe that most people fail to see that they should complain about the officiating even when they win because of bad calls, as in the case was against Portland the first game the Rockets won. Lots of calls went the Rockets' way, but Portland really lost the game if those would have been OTHER officials and calling the same game.

    I am not asking which one you WOULDN'T officiate, or for which sport you DON'T KNOW the rules. Try to pick one sport for which you know the rules, and how much pressure it brings to a person to have to be the one calling out-of-bounds, fouls, violations to the rules, goals or no goals, interferences, etc.

    I think FOOTBALL (soccer in the U.S.) is the most difficult sport to officiate.
    • The field is so large, you must have peripheral vision,
    • and you're aided by two line judges who can't get close to the action and can only traverse half of their sidelines.
    • Also, the entire weight of the world might be up to you to decide on a fall or a dive or a non-call inside the penalty area in a decisive game, and you will miss violations occurring behind your back. There would be no one at whom to point fingers than you.
    • In the NFL, NBA, MLB, and USTA, the judges have an almost 180° view of the field of play, and in soccer you don't.
    • Lastly, you must make decisions based on criteria all the time (was the foul too hard, too soft, will you let the players play or call every foul? etc.)

    It's difficult to be a referee in football.

    Of course, that's only my opinion :eek: . Please give yours :cool: .

    [please note, the poll is public]
     
    #1 SwoLy-D, Apr 23, 2009
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2009
  2. Supermac34

    Supermac34 President, Von Wafer Fan Club

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    Basketball. Too many calls are judgement calls and the game is officiated so differently than the actual rules allow.

    Also, the players are so fast and strong, its hard to see the contact and play in real time.

    The fact that the rules are set up in a way and the calls are so much based on judgement leaves it open for players to be officiated differently based on star power as well.
     
  3. SwoLy-D

    SwoLy-D Contributing Member

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    ^ That's #2 on my list, followed closely by Tennis (have you seen how thin those lines are and how thin the tennis ball is?!?!? :eek: ).

    For the purposes of this thread, let's all pretend we have 20/20 vision and know the rules of the sport we select. :eek:
     
  4. kaleidosky

    kaleidosky Your Tweety Bird dance just cost us a run

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    i call american football. you have a lot of help out there, and yet it's still incredibly difficult to see things like holding, pass interference, rule a catch (possession and the ball not moving when you hit the ground), breaking an imaginary plane for a score, and good lord--spotting the freaking ball on every single play!

    such a fundamental part of the game--gaining 10 yards to make a 1st down. And they come in and spot the ball somewhere...sometimes a foot off, sometimes a yard off..determining where forward progress stopped, etc.. 1 foot multiple times a game plus 1 yard a couple of times a game--that can make a huge difference. And yet it's their call. Sometimes it's the difference between a 3rd and 3 pass and a 3rd and 2 run. Or a 4th and 2 punt or a 4th and 1 go for it.

    Then you add in the illegal contact in the secondary, offensive pass interference with picks (whereas the "semi-picks" aren't called).. fumbles and getting to the bottom of the pile to determine who actually gained possession and whether the ball was loose before hitting the ground.




    I'll shut up. that's my pick
     
  5. Xenochimera

    Xenochimera Contributing Member

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    agree with soccer, huge field so the refs need to be in good shape, too many players to keep track of and field vision aren't always great. i was under the impression they have the option to review tapes?

    MMA i would say is hard too, stop too early, fighters and fans get pissed and you might have just screwed someone's ranking/career (UFC have clause where you lose 2 consecutive fights you are out). telling fighters to breakup even though they are probably jockeying for dominant position. Stop too late someone gets seriously injured/possibility of death, or when fighters refuse to tap you have to wait for them to pass out...
     
  6. kaleidosky

    kaleidosky Your Tweety Bird dance just cost us a run

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    tennis actually isn't that hard. You have 1 line to keep track of for the most part, and you have the help of "the eye in the sky" (chair ump) to overrule..

    (I'm not taking into account replay since the rules aren't the same everywhere)
     
  7. Hayesfan

    Hayesfan Contributing Member

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    I have been both a line judge and ref in soccer and had no problem doing it. The higher the level the more difficult it gets, but if you really rely on your line judges you should be fine. Plus most all of the penalties have to do with where the ball is... if you can follow the ball you can do a pretty good job.

    Football on the other hand is a nightmare.. why do you think they have so many of them on the field?

    Basketball is second for me.
     
  8. rocketsjudoka

    rocketsjudoka Contributing Member

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    I'm voting "other" primarily because I am a Judo referee and coach and also was a Judo competitor who played on both the national and international level.

    Even though I love Judo I personally think there is a huge problem that more scores and penalties are completely subjective, that is even acknowledged in the Judo rules. Because of that you can get very divergent results depending on who is the ref and also changes the strategy.

    For example we had a local Judo tournament last week and I was the ref on one mat and there was another ref on the other. I tend to be a much stricter scorer on throws where as most other refs are much looser. I also tend to allow ground work (pins and submissions) to continue more than other refs. So depending on what ref you got you might not even bother with ground work since you know the other ref isn't going to give you time to execute.

    I will admit that I have a bias but it is one that is allowable under the rules given the latitude of interpretation. That is a problem with the sport since it allows the refs to be more than just someone to police infractions but whose opinion determines who wins.

    I think that problem applies even greater to sports such as gymnastics, figure skating and diving. Any sport where you don't just referee but actually judge the performance. In all of those cases subjectivity determines the outcome.
     
  9. weslinder

    weslinder Contributing Member

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    I'm going with diving. I have no clue how it is judged. I'll see two people do the exact same dive, both almost perfectly, and the judges will rip one and reward the other. So it's either completely arbitrary, or the judges must be the most observant people in the world.
     
  10. rocketsjudoka

    rocketsjudoka Contributing Member

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    I agree there is a certain amount of subjectivity to MMA and any combative sport regarding when you stop a fight. I've never referreed an MMA match but have done it and generally you need to learn to tell when a fighter can't continue and is helpless. I don't know whether most MMA refs are also players or former players but if they aren't it should be mandatory that they are so they learn to recognize when a fight is over.
     
  11. SwoLy-D

    SwoLy-D Contributing Member

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    Do you know the rules to diving? :confused:

    I'm talking about if you read the entire book on the rules, then you have to be an official to call the rules during the sport... not... I guess... I don't know if you misunderstood me.

    What are the rules to MMA fighting? Just no elbows to the back of the neck, no hitting the crotch area, right?
     
  12. Nice Rollin

    Nice Rollin Contributing Member

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    boxing is pretty hard sometimes.
     
  13. rocketsjudoka

    rocketsjudoka Contributing Member

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    Different associations have different rules but off the top of my head I recall that UFC scores primarily on submission and TKO (when one player can't defend themselves anymore). Strikes landed are scored like in boxing and their is scoring for take downs. Like boxing there are three judges that score the match when it isn't a submission or TKO.

    Regarding the rules on what is prohibited I believe crotch strikes, throat strikes, fish hooks, eye gauges, finger locks, weapons and bites are prohibitted otherwise everything else goes.
     
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