We all know that officiating ANY sport is not easy. However, it becomes even more difficult when fans, coaches and students become unruly during the game. In just the first four weeks of the Colorado football season, there have been multiple incidents of on field conflicts and disqualifications. In fact, one recent football game had to be terminated in the 4th quarter due to parents and coaches coming on the field to confront officials. Police intervention became necessary to control the crowd and provide for the safety of the officiating crew. It’s behavior like this that drives officials away from the game, contributing to our record low number of officials this season. Many are leaving the officiating ranks and cite Coach and fan behavior as one of their top reasons.
At the high school level, these kids are out there competing for a different reason….they are not paid athletes. Sure they want to win but the camaraderie with their peers, honing their skills and enjoying the game should take priority. When parents, fans and coaches lose their cool, it sets a bad example for the student athletes and takes away from their enjoyment of the sport. Constant badgering of game officials makes the situation even worse as this becomes a distraction and officials can’t focus on the game when they fear for their own safety.
The DFOA recently came across this video published by an Ohio School District. It’s published by the students and encourages good sportsmanship and behavior by ALL that attend the event. We wanted to give a big thumbs up to these kids and the school district for creating this video. It’s under 2 minutes and well worth watching….feel free to share with your officiating friends and area coaches….a positive message we should ALL listen to.