I’m not about to tell you that I don’t chirp at the officials, because I am just as guilty as everyone else for sharing my feelings with them from time to time over a call I don’t agree with… it’s happens in every sport. I will tell you though, that I do my best to keep my mouth shut and worry about coaching, just as I tell my players to worry about playing. Bad calls are just as prevalent as bad playing, and disrespecting the refs won’t help you in either situation.
Recently we ran across a story over at the Williamsburg Lacrosse blog that brought a smile to my face. It depicts leading by example at its finest. Read the story below and we’ll chat some more afterwards.
But the Game Was Over…
By Mark Moreno of WilliamsburgLax
Recently our first year boys high school team played in an awesome game against an undefeated well established team. The game saw several lead changes after our team overcame a 3-0 deficit early in the game to ultimately end up at one goal ahead with a little over four minutes left in the game. With a little more than a minute to go we gave up the ball to our opponents who were able to score two successive goals leaving a little under thirty seconds left in the game on what turned about to be the last face-off of the game. On the last face-off the ball went out of bounds and the ball was awarded to the opposing team. Time ran out and the opposing team won by a goal.
Now for all the parents, players and coaches of lacrosse out there I am sure that you can all understand how exciting that kind of ending can be for everyone concerned and all of the commentary that can come from an ending to a game like this. But in the end, whether you support the officials call or not it is the officials job to make that call, so I will not make any commentary on that call. Unfortunately, one of our players made an negative comment directed at the official to a teammate when the game ended which was overheard by the official. The official threw the flag and the player quickly responded “but the game was over”, subsequently the player was reported to the league and was reprimanded by receiving a one game suspension.
That player is my son and I am part of the coaching staff. I have spoken to our league commissioner and I am totally supportive of his decision and as such I will serve the suspension with my son. I believe that parents should be responsible not only for our own actions but that of our sons. It is inappropriate for any player to make negative comments about the players, coaches, and officials before, during, and after the game and by serving the suspension with my son I am hopeful that we can bring attention to the fact that we all should respect the values of the game and exercise good sportsmanship at all times on and off the field.
Good sportsmanship does not end when the game ends. Honor the Game!
To learn more about the game please click here. To hear more of what WilliamsburgLax is saying, click here to go to his blog.
Mark served the suspension with his son and had this to say about the experience.
“At the game in which I served my “symbolic suspension” with my son we received some really positive feedback. Even more interesting was the fact that our team won the game in overtime with a heroic save by our first year goalie and a controlled shot to the goal by one of our first year attack. We joked later that it felt like one of those “Remember the Titans’, “Mighty Ducks”, “ESPN 30 for 30” kind of moments.”
It’s very cool to see a leader of the community like Mark take the initiative to reinforce and support the referee’s decision by “serving the suspension” with his son. When you have Bounty-Gate in the NFL, Metta World Peace elbowing guys in the head in the NBA, and many other poor examples out there, I think it is important that we hold ourselves to a higher level and represent our sport in the most respectful way possible.
If you think the ref makes a bad call then you have to deal with it – that’s just part of the game. Coach your kids so they are able to overcome adversity of all sorts and you will soon find the refs to be the least of your worries.
It’s important that people consider the role of being a ref and the demands they face as well. In Idaho, we have a shortage of lacrosse officials, and alienating them by constantly being in their ear probably doesn’t reinforce their desire to officiate in the future. I’m sure Idaho isn’t the only area facing this issue as lacrosse is growing more now than ever before.
Besides, when in doubt, you can always take the KG approach instead.