View Full Version : Referee Abuse
05-18-2004, 02:05 PM
Referee Abuse is rampant throughout any league. How do you guys handle it in the Pro Division? We all know it occurs but I would love to hear some players perspectives on what they feel is abuse of the referee by a player and also when they feel a referee is abusing their power?
05-18-2004, 03:08 PM
I wouldn't assume it is rampant in all leagues. We have done a great job of eliminating it by never tolerating it in the first place and bringing up the respect level and value of the league as a whole, on all parts - administration and membership. You handle it by building a league where it is not tolerated. Then you weed it out by penalizing players and eventually you have more refs applying to ref in your organization. Thus you can get better quality officials who do not abuse their own authorities.
(didn't mean to sound smug, but was in a rush and wanted to post real quick. First thread I have posted in in a while.)
05-18-2004, 04:38 PM
It would be nice if every official had the same perspective on what is abuse, some refs will let you voice your opinion as long as you don't make it too personal towards them, and that is how it should be in my opinion, other refs in the league give out game misconducts for things like slamming doors. I do not know how that constitutes a game misconduct. Ever have a bad shift? i have and im sure everyone else has too, and slamming a door is a relief sort-of, without cursing, yelling, you get the idea...
its just a pain when every ref in the league is on a different page. Abuse of the officials should not be tolerated at all, agreed... but make it know before the season, in a press release on-line even, what constitutes this penalty.
just my .02
05-18-2004, 05:29 PM
R, are you speaking for the college league(s) or another league? Some new posters may not know who you are yet. You stated "we" have so it may not be real clear on what league you are referencing.
05-18-2004, 07:19 PM
Welcome back Rebecca!
05-18-2004, 09:55 PM
Unfortunately we are all human and abuse will vary from official to official. Being a former player in the sport I can understand door slamming and foul mouthed frustration. The problem is that there is no line that is drawn on abuse....If you put your hands on a referee what is your penalty in the leagues PIHA, MLRH, TORHS, NARCH, ECRHA. When I officiate basketball I know that no matter what level game hands on an official is a minimum 1 year suspension. Some of you guys do it in the heat of the moment and get in our noses and think we over react. How would you feel if somebody was weilding what could be considered a weapon while they are nose to nose arguing with you. Until stricter punishments are given out for abuse it will continue. Maybe fining a player more than $50 for a game misconduct would stop the abuse. Referees may also feel further support from the league they are reffing for. They might not be as nervous to make a call against the bruiser if they know they will walk out alive. I have gone through it personally last year when I called a penalty at a Torhs regional in the adult divison and when I went to leave found my car trashed. Now you can say it happened earlier in the day but I only did two games that night after coming back to the rink from the hotel. I left immediately after the 2nd game so it had to be player A. Unfortunately there was no proof and I will no longer officiate at some tournaments because I know this player will be present. Do I need to live in fear when I lace up the skates.
That is obviously an extreme case, and unfortuneate that the perp could not be found to make an example of....if indeed it was the player in question. No way should refs be subject to that sort of abuse.
Have only seen one ref in PIHA that really blew calls so badly that he was subject to abuse.
Specific example of what happened will help to understand why abuse can occur.
In a close game this ref made two consecutive calls on the same player which were both blown calls, and he made them from positions where he could not see the actual events....calling the penalties from the reaction rather than the actual event. Both were high sticking calls....in the first case....a stick came up as both players fell to the rink..but no contact with the stick was ever even made nor did it look intended..simply a reaction as a player fell. However the call was made from well behind the play where no actual vision of contact or non contact with the stick was possible.
The second incident took place when a player in front of the net, was being held, and fought to break free...which he did to get to a loose puck in the corner...as he was breaking free, the goalie on the opposing team took a swipe at this player with his stick, missing the player in question, and clipping his own player in the throat. The player who was struck fell to the floor grasping his throat. The ref called the penalty on the player skating to the corner....everyone else in the rink saw what happened...but this ref who obviously did not see the event, simply reacted to seeing the injured player fall to the floor and called the penalty on the nearest opponent.
There was definitely some verbal abuse at this point. Then one of the players on the penalized team....trying to calm things down, skated over to the referee to appologize for the behaviour of his own team. In a conciliatory gesture, this player gently patted the referee on the lower back...and I do mean gently...essentially to say "it's ok...we will calm down". This player was then tossed from the game for "punching the referee in the back".
With everything else that just happened there was definitely some verbal abuse, as well as offers to demonstrate what a "punch" would really be....in the parking lot. The team in question managed to subdue the offending player and clear him away from the bench area..as he has already recieved a game misconduct for the "punching" incident. Here is a case where physical abuse was threatened in the heat of an emotional game....however the real cause of the abuse was not just lack of control on the part of a "goon", as this player is just not a "goon" type player. The real cause of the abuse was inexperience on the part of the ref, making one bad call after another, and then compounding the situation by further penalizing a team, who had no right to be penalized in the first place. I do not necessarily think this was a case of "abuse of power" so much as simply paranoia and inexperience.
While I understand the "no physical contact" part....this kind of reaction on the part of an obviously inexperienced ref, is what gets the blood boiling. The fact that his skating skills were minimal did not help his credibility either.
The effect of these penalties was to turn a one goal game, with all the momentum going to the team who was mounting a come back, into a rout for their opponents.
Perhaps a more thorough system of pre season evaluation should be in place to avoid having unqualified referees creating situations which result in severe penalties to players and teams...well beyond their actions.
Having just said that, I will be the first to admit that this was the exception rather than the rule.
05-19-2004, 02:18 PM
A pat on the butt is called a game misconduct I just find that hard to believe. Blowing a call happens all the time.
Unfortunately to get the better referees the money has to be there. I for one know I am not doing anymore PIHA games due to that. It's not worth the money to me for all the travel to get so little. With the way the economy is I spend a 1/4 of what I make on gas just to do a game.
Anyway back to the topic at hand. I for one personally know that if a player punched me not tapped me on the rear he is going to get hit back. Screw being a referee I have work the next day just like the rest of you guys. If somebody were to pat me on the butt and I was not in a good mood or happy about the situation I may turnaround and say don't do that. Game misconduct is way out of question for the pat on the tail. To be curious I would love to have known what game that was in.
I also heard that over the weekend from a colleague that an official totally blew a penalty. Player A gets knocked down but was never seen. Referee stops the game asks what happened and player says he doesn't know which player from team B touched him. Obviously should be a no call. Can't see it Can't call it rule. Well, when I was told the referee went to the Team B bench and said put the person in the box who hit them. Of course nobody from Team B said they made such contact but yet was still forced to put a player in the box. Situations like this embarass me to be a referee.
Anybody else run into poor officiating in situations as such? Granted we aren't perfect but as a referee I wouldn't want to be reffing a game with a shmo like that!
05-19-2004, 02:53 PM
actually is happenedin the breakaway vs lunatics game, and MDE83 is correct, theplayer went over and patted the official on the back, thats all it was.. and the ref lost it and flipped out.
It's part of the job. Have you ever turned up the volume after penalty has been called during a Flyers game? Bleep Bleep Bleep
05-19-2004, 05:37 PM
Hey Mike where was I when this all happened, I did goalie in both games. Sometimes my memory aint so good.
Goalies do it better with their eyes closed!!
The blown calls in the game by this individual far exceeded the ones I mentioned. I brought the sequence up because it shows how things can escalate when a ref panics due to inexperience. And I would not mention the tap on the back if it really was more than that..I was 20 feet away from the incident, and watching carefully. The player in question was not the one just penalized for high sticking, and in fact had just come on the rink for the PK...there was a lot of hullaballoo about the blown call because so many people clearly saw what happened, with players gathered around the referee protesting the call. The individual who was ejected, was really trying to calm things down.
I can truly sympathize with the plight of the costs.
I would like to emphasize though that in general I can say that very few other instances I have seen in Piha really had any game altering consequences in the games I have watched, and in general, the reffing has been decent. This one instance was truly "noteworthy" as an example of what can lead to referree abuse.
05-20-2004, 02:38 AM
Here is my two cents. I watch all kinds of hockey from all different places. I'm also an off-ice official for USA Hockey and enjoy the occasional NHL game and really enjoy Minor League hockey (it's cheaper and most of the time, a better game).
Anyway, one thing that I have noticed is that the higher up you are, the better the angle on penalties you actually are. Most of the inline rinks I've been to have elevated viewing points (as do others I've heard about). If money allows, one referee on the rink and one in the stands. Use an airhorn/light system to signal the penalties.
Now in USA Hockey, the worst officiated games I've seen are in the 3-man system (2 line, one ref). The two referee system that's used by a lot of youth organizations and the system that was used in the MLRH Finals this season works out to the better as the trailing official can track the cheap shots and see the first penalty.
In summary, give two guys--whether on the rink or off--a whistle to call penalties.
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Actually it was in the Minuteman/Breakaway first game on April 4th. Nike had just come back from being down 5-2 in the first half to bring the score to 5-4, along with a big surge in momentum, when the first blown high sticking call occured. The times indicated on the game sheets are not accurate if you are checking the sequences there.
05-20-2004, 10:25 AM
did this player get suspended for "punching a ref". If not maybe, he was thrown out because of what he said, did the anouncer report it as a punch on a ref. it does sound like this ref was a little power strong. but we dont know what the person said!! and like you said he was offering him outside after, who do we beleive the calm player that now wants to take it outside or headstrong ref. i recently tried to apply to this league for officials assignment, and found out their REF IN CHIEF is no longer with them. i dont know him personally , but have seen him work , i was impressed, any one know what happened and who do i talk to now if i want to work.
05-20-2004, 10:52 AM
Talk to me I guess. I will point you in theright direction.
Actually he came off the rink saying he was tossed..and by that I assumed a game misconduct..however the score sheet simply indicates a 10 minute misconduct, and two minors.
This guy really did try to calm things down...that's why he was so upset afterwards, in combination with the team being penalized on these two other Phantom" calls. He had no reason to lie about things to us. For the sake of bravado it would have been more likely he would have come off bragging that he called the ref a &$$#&*@, rather than complaining that he was trying to be a good guy.
05-21-2004, 09:50 AM
OK, I have read this whole thread and am totally confused over what we are talking about. I can't really comment on what went down with this ref or in the game that people are referring to.
I can tell you that I have run hockey leagues for 10 years though and now I run what I feel is a top-notch organization. In 10 years I have worked hard to get the level of officiating to where I feel it is needed to be in order to propel the sport and accomplish unity in a sport that is often as confusing to officials as it is to players. Most of which all stems from the fact that there is NO ONE CENTRAL body.
In the past year, I have worked close with USAHIL and our Ref In Chief has as well in order to teach referees more consistency and better game management. Anyone of them can learn and know the rules but it is how they apply them and their experiences on the rink that count. Teaching them is only a portion of the battle. The other portion is finding the right "personalities" to become the referees of tomorrow and finding PLAYERS, teams, and leagues who will be consistent with policy. This is one area that I am proud of ECRHA in - we have tried so hard in this area that we have eliminated most of the nonsense and our teams can now play hockey and the refs can ref it and there is little conflict. People work together not against each other.
On the other hand - this is how I perceived it. My Ref In Chief still feels as if the players are crossing lines all too often and have little respect for the game itself (not the league or the refs persay) - the fact that it is still perceived even by the player as a lesser value than icehockey and they dont act better than that. Too much whining and crying and scene-making where in our icehockey counterpart people wouldn't dare say or act the way they do cause they would be done from a league.
In ECRHA the penalty for abusing an official is pretty sever. Lay a hand on the ref and it goes to a hearing which will not have a favorable outcome most likely. Although the occurance of assaults are non-existent. The teams themselves would never allow a player of their own team to even be in the position.
I don't understand why this occurs in other leagues though. I have my theories and some of it involves the administration of leagues and the quality of team allowed to join them. This is not a knock on any league in particular, but I know that some of these officials are the same ones who work for my organization and we NEVER have problems with them or the teams they ref.
I can tell you though that if something isn't done, leagues will find themselves without quality officials because they are getting scarce.
Anthony - why did the RIC leave? Am I right to say he resigned to go work for another organization and also because he just had too much on his plate? No knock there - the ECRHA RIC is resigning too possibly and plans on going back to ice maybe. Not sure of his exact reasons but I think in both cases it is nothing that our leagues have done wrong.
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