by Gary Moore – President – Shasta Sports Network

Gary Moore

Whoever imagined you could blow a whistle and get paid for it? The vocational choice to be a sports official comes with a lineup of considerations, but the culture of the profession is rapidly changing and the prognosis for the future is of great concern. Just this week I witnessed a parent shout out “Why don’t you read the rulebook” which caused the official to issue a verbal warning to the team captain. Officials are human and humans are imperfect so when a parent vocalizes their frustration in a manner unbecoming, nobody wins. In fact it’s embarrassing for other parents and even players and students. Leading by example is paramount especially for coaches and I’ve seen some of the rudest and out of control coaches behave like children with their temper tantrums. You hear parents at every game spewing their displeasure with the refs and this fosters such a negative example for our youth. So much in fact that the latest chant by student groups is “I’m blind, I’m def, I want to be a ref”.

Referees and officials are becoming extinct because they are fed up with being yelled at that by people in the seats. These antics are deteriorating the sports world as we know it. Simply put, the current generation of officials and referees are tiring of this and there is no longer an interest in the occupation from up and coming prospects. There is a drastic shortage of interest in becoming a whistle blower due to the way people behave and utter their displeasure just because the call didn’t go “their way”.

Roger Weigel – President Les Remley – Member
California Basketball Officials Association

Roger Weigel and Les Remley are both heavily involved in officiating and recruiting potential referees, umpires and other officials for various sports in Northern California. Remley who grew up in Anderson has been a long time member of the officials Association and very well respected in the sports world. “It’s out of control” says Remley who cited a recent game between Pierce and Hoopa Valley where heated altercations warranted a CHP escort for the crew of officials.

The officiating crew was not the catalyst for this ugly event but it just goes to show you the lengths of how out of control emotions can be dangerous for everyone. “I think people are just not happy in this day and age and just don’t realize what they are doing” Remley says adding “when I was in school it wasn’t like this and teachers were the coaches, now you have a lot of walk on coaches that are judged by wins and losses. I think there is a great lack of respect by some players and it’s easy to just quit and go do something else. I believe athletics is not all about winning and losing and should find the way to get back the way it was as an extension of the classroom”.

The interest of officiating is declining everywhere and in some places they are playing with no spectators to circumvent the problem. Fact is, we all need to do some waking up to the issue or be prepared for the alternative and the decline of sports competition everywhere. Everyone has the responsibility to show some restraint and respect the officials we have and let them continue blowing the whistle or suck on the demise for which we are contributing to!

Learn more by contacting either Roger or Les here 530-690-5468 530-945-8075