College Athlete: Do you need a REFEREE?

As a college athlete it is to your advantage to recognize all the authority figures in your environment.  This includes those in the sport in which you play.  Once you have determined who these authority figures are, identify their areas of expertise and give them what they require of you.

She hit me again.   “Hey Ref, you didn’t see that?”

“Cool it, number 23!”


She bumped me on the arm.  Missed again. 

I can’t get open.  She’s holding my jersey. 

“Ah, come on Ref!  Man, she holding me!”

Whistle blows.

It was about time he called her for a foul.


“Number 23, I call the game not you!”

“Technical foul on number 23.”

This is an all too familiar scene while I was playing basketball.  You think that those officiating the game are not doing a good job or they are giving your opponent too many breaks.  Whatever the case maybe, as you can see above the officials are still in control.  You abide by their decisions or be penalized.

As an athlete there are times when you forget you are playing a game and your actions become dictated by personal feelings and not by what is allowed by the game.  You forget the rules and that everyone is watching.  You are in your own world.

The referees are there to keep you in the game mentally and physically.  They are there as a way of reminding you that it is a game and a particular game.

Every sport have rules that everyone is expected to follow.  These rules serve to maintain order and to keep the game fair for all who are competing.  The officials are present to enforce these rules, to level the playing field.  They are the experts of the rules of the game.  They know what is allowed from every aspect of the game and for each person participating in the game.

These authority figures know the whole purpose for the game for everyone involved.  They know what it takes to get the parts to work together to create the desired experiences.

They are trained to keep the game organized and to make sure that the game flows smoothly and in a manner that is enjoyable and safe to watch and play.  The integrity of your sport is dependent on how successful they are.

To sustain the integrity of your sport and the game, I encourage you to honor and respect the officials by allowing them to do their job.  Comply with their decisions without resistance.  Allow any disagreements about any call to be settled between the officials and your coaches – the authority figures.

One last flashback.

Remember on the playground when you were playing and there was always this one player that called a foul whenever he, or she, didn’t hit a shot, but call the foul back if the shot was made?  Or, when you were playing and players started arguing whose ball it was and it took about an hour before the game started again? Image a different game with these same people, but with a referee present.

Do you think the game would have been different?

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