Has refereeing/umpiring gotten significantly worse in all sports recently?

Or does it just seem that way?

Not a week goes by in which I don't see people berating referees and umpires in every sport: football, basketball, baseball, soccer, you name it. To whit, from just a few minutes ago:
This is the worst I ever remember officiating this season.
It is by far the worst I've ever seen.

It's a catastrophe every weekend.
Why is this? Do improvements in television production (camera work and directing) simply make it seem worse than it is by highlighting all of the mistakes? Are we just less tolerant than we used to be? Or has it really gotten worse?

I have a theory - just a theory, with no empirical evidence of my own to back it up - that over the last 20-30 years, refereeing has become a significantly less attractive proposition because of how referee villification has become so omnipresent, which means that fewer people want to become referees, which means that the talent pool is much shallower. (It's a bit like how so many of the best and brightest no longer want to go into politics or the judiciary, leaving the worst and the darkest to fill so many positions in government.) But I don't know...are there other causes? And are there any solutions? Or are we doomed to a future in which sportsmen and women get better and better even as referees keep getting worse, to the point that the former's talents become increasingly unwatchable on account of the latter's defects?
 

luckiestman

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I doubt it has. Because of RZ and basically focusing on the NFL way more at the expense of other sports, I watch way more games than ever so am probably noticing way more misses or questionable calls.

NBA has always been awful.
 

Cellar-Door

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I don't think it particularly has. I think people watch more sports in super hi-def, the rules have generally gotten more complex due to instant replay, social media and All-22 angles, etc. let us see every mistake in detail. ALso... athletes continue to get better which makes it harder for refs to get good angles and harder to see things happening at faster speed.
 

jon abbey

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As for solutions, baseball has an automatic strike zone coming before too long. That will be a huge improvement to the sport assuming it works correctly.
 

Ed Hillel

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To clarify, my comment was for the NFL only. I think baseball is better than ever, and the other sports about the same. The NFL has been just terrible this season In my eyes.
 

Philip Jeff Frye

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Hi def, super low mo replay, etc... have made a huge difference in our ability to second guess decisions. To me, the real problem is that we're refereeing the games basically the same way we did 100 years ago, despite players being massively better athletes than they were then.
 

j-man

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To clarify, my comment was for the NFL only. I think baseball is better than ever, and the other sports about the same. The NFL has been just terrible this season In my eyes.
no the nba is way worse esp in the last 5 min of a close game
 

singaporesoxfan

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Or does it just seem that way?

Not a week goes by in which I don't see people berating referees and umpires in every sport: football, basketball, baseball, soccer, you name it. To whit, from just a few minutes ago:


Why is this? Do improvements in television production (camera work and directing) simply make it seem worse than it is by highlighting all of the mistakes? Are we just less tolerant than we used to be? Or has it really gotten worse?

I have a theory - just a theory, with no empirical evidence of my own to back it up - that over the last 20-30 years, refereeing has become a significantly less attractive proposition because of how referee villification has become so omnipresent, which means that fewer people want to become referees, which means that the talent pool is much shallower. (It's a bit like how so many of the best and brightest no longer want to go into politics or the judiciary, leaving the worst and the darkest to fill so many positions in government.) But I don't know...are there other causes? And are there any solutions? Or are we doomed to a future in which sportsmen and women get better and better even as referees keep getting worse, to the point that the former's talents become increasingly unwatchable on account of the latter's defects?
You’re in the UK right? I think there’s been a lot of news there on the uselessness of VAR as implemented in the EPL, and that might be skewing your perception.

One common thread in bad umping/refereeing is the circle the wagons mentality against technological aids to reffing. Where that exists – such as VAR refs refusing to overturn decisions in the EPL, or Angel Hernandez – then technology development further shows up bad reffing, then the refs circle the wagons further. It’s a vicious circle
 

Zedia

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I’m fine with seemingly arbitrary holding and PI calls, but it’s very annoying when they just flat-out miss obvious things, like the face mask on Pop.

Blandino had a good explanation of the roughing the passer - it’s just an absolute dog shit rule.
 

SocrManiac

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I suspect that the improvement in athletes is a contributing factor. These guys are faster than ever before, the fields are too big, and there aren’t enough officials to cover the area.

My perception is that the on field respect level has dropped significantly as well. Officials are regularly getting berated by players, which can’t improve performance.

In some sports, simulation is becoming wider spread as well.

Finally, the introduction of video review has forced officials to apply the letter of rules that aren’t meant to be interpreted in a black and white fashion. NFL catch rules and soccer offside are the poster children for that. Video review is structured across almost all sports that isn’t set up to get the call right, but to support the officials on the field. We perceive that we now have a tool to get games called correctly but it’s being wielded awkwardly and in a limited fashion.
 

NomarsFool

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There's also been a renewed focus on avoiding / more heavily penalizing plays which are dangerous to players. Which is a good thing, of course. The problem is that these things get even more difficult to try and referee. The flagrants in basketball are ridiculous. No one has any clue how they are decided. Football is an incredibly violent sport and trying to police appropriate violence vs. inappropriate violence is very difficult. The roughing the passer penalty in the Pats game yesterday was impossible to understand. I also felt like the personal foul on the interception last week in the Pats game was also the incorrect call, in my opinion. Some times it seems like almost any hard hit could be labeled as a foul, but you obviously aren't going to call all of them. So, it lends itself to very arbitrary interpretations of the rules.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Hi def, super low mo replay, etc... have made a huge difference in our ability to second guess decisions. To me, the real problem is that we're refereeing the games basically the same way we did 100 years ago, despite players being massively better athletes than they were then.
Bingo right here. The eye speed is the same as it was 50 years ago but the athletes and the speed of the game has changed dramatically. Add to that replay of every play....and slo-no replay of every controversial play and we get fooled into thinking officiating is worse when in actuality the training of officials is at its highest point ever.
 

Van Everyman

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There's also been a renewed focus on avoiding / more heavily penalizing plays which are dangerous to players. Which is a good thing, of course. The problem is that these things get even more difficult to try and referee. The flagrants in basketball are ridiculous. No one has any clue how they are decided. Football is an incredibly violent sport and trying to police appropriate violence vs. inappropriate violence is very difficult. The roughing the passer penalty in the Pats game yesterday was impossible to understand. I also felt like the personal foul on the interception last week in the Pats game was also the incorrect call, in my opinion. Some times it seems like almost any hard hit could be labeled as a foul, but you obviously aren't going to call all of them. So, it lends itself to very arbitrary interpretations of the rules.
The league fucked up royally by being too pig-headed about accepting anything Belichick suggested by rejecting his idea to just make everything reviewable.

There should also be a federal law that replay reviews in any sport should last no longer than 90 seconds – under the penalty of death. That not only would have the effect of speeding up the game but also of minimizing the Zapruder-ization of plays like “His foot came a hair of the bag while he was standing up“-type calls that aren’t in the spirit of the game or why replay was instituted in the first place.
 

CFB_Rules

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I can only really speak to my experiences in officiating college football (although I've done training camps and stuff for the NFL).

First, officiating is much better than it was 30 years ago. 30 years ago officials didn't even get video, much less graded. There was no feedback on whether their calls were correct or not, unless it made headlines. Some officials who were self-motivated to improve would reach out to teams directly and get mailed VHS tapes of the game 3-4 weeks later. But you simply can't get good at something unless you get feedback for when you are doing well and when you are doing poorly. There are a lot of plays from back in the day that I could show you that are so unbelievably wrong that it would be a scandal today. Players being tackled at the 2 and ruled touchdown. This was called a touchdown in the Super Bowl:
View: https://youtu.be/r8ad3pDqFO4?si=5Tw6ZAJtWsPnVT_h&t=26


yet this was incomplete in the NFC Championship:

View: https://youtu.be/m24r9JiKV14?si=Xj0fpHmjFBSP4R7B&t=65


But I don't think the NFL is serious about officiating either. The NFL VP of Officiating is a revolving door. I know when Blandino he was making $350K...to be the second most public face for the NFL living in Manhattan. He left for Fox for 3x the money. Riveron got fired after the NFL's experiment with reviewing pass interference was an abject failure.

The league fucked up royally by being too pig-headed about accepting anything Belichick suggested by rejecting his idea to just make everything reviewable.

There should also be a federal law that replay reviews in any sport should last no longer than 90 seconds – under the penalty of death. That not only would have the effect of speeding up the game but also of minimizing the Zapruder-ization of plays like “His foot came a hair of the bag while he was standing up“-type calls that aren’t in the spirit of the game or why replay was instituted in the first place.
What things are not reviewable now that should be? Do we really want to have an official review for every holding call? Or non call?

95% of reviews already happen under 90 seconds. The vast majority take under 30 seconds. The additional time is getting the equipment out to the R, gathering all the information necessary to adjust the game situation (ball location, clock status, chain location, etc.). Getting the team to leave their huddles before they are ready when the coaches think they have a free timeout. That kind of stuff.

I have a theory - just a theory, with no empirical evidence of my own to back it up - that over the last 20-30 years, refereeing has become a significantly less attractive proposition because of how referee villification has become so omnipresent, which means that fewer people want to become referees, which means that the talent pool is much shallower. (It's a bit like how so many of the best and brightest no longer want to go into politics or the judiciary, leaving the worst and the darkest to fill so many positions in government.)
This isn't a theory, this is established fact. After COVID, 40% of ALL the officials working D3 football didn't come back. 30% of all D2 officials didn't come back. D1 losses were about 9%. High schools all over the country are moving games from Friday to Thursday because they don't have enough officials to go around to play all of the games on Friday. Many of the reasons for this are well known, but here is another: Money.

Let's say you are a D3 official. The NCAA takes $125 to register every year. You probably need to spend $100 in uniform upkeep (shoes, flags, etc. Start-up costs closer to $300-$400). You can get sent to any school in your conference, and travel/hotel is on your own. So maybe one week the game is near your house, the next week it's 400 miles away and you get to drive 7 hours and get a hotel room (or worse, fly). You get paid $180 a game. It's easy to see how this is a monster money loser.

Even when you get to the D1 level, the game fees increase substantially but so do the requirements. You need to get to the game site by 6pm the day before, necessitating a day off of work or a very flexible job. The schools are now literally all over the country and so are the travel requirements, even at the FCS level. Hell, Conference USA just played an entire month where all of their games were on Tuesday nights. So if you officiate in CUSA, you need to take Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday off every single week. There are only certain kinds of high-level white collar jobs that will allow that kind of freedom and flexibility.
 

Humphrey

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I did watch a local Mass. high school play on cable last night and I was taken aback by the coaches' domination of the game. For years they have allowed the coach to come on the field a couple yards to facilitate giving plays to the qb; in this game, the guy was doing that from the painted yard lines on the turf. One time, he sprinted a good 20 yards, way over the hash marks, to call a time out. When a given play started, he was still out there, didn't retreat to the sideline at all. A tough call went against him late in the game and, of course, he was right there to debate it with the head referee. I don't know if this was the fault of the officiating crew, the coach, or both. It seemed like it was a hindrance to the officials doing their job. If I had to put up with similar crap doing soccer, I wouldn't be doing it any more.

Agree lower levels of college football and other sports are losers unless the official in question thinks he can move up. Once it's a no go, high school is a better option.
 

Van Everyman

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What things are not reviewable now that should be? Do we really want to have an official review for every holding call? Or non call?

95% of reviews already happen under 90 seconds. The vast majority take under 30 seconds. The additional time is getting the equipment out to the R, gathering all the information necessary to adjust the game situation (ball location, clock status, chain location, etc.). Getting the team to leave their huddles before they are ready when the coaches think they have a free timeout. That kind of stuff.
The reviews have gotten faster but they still allow for three ridiculous freeze frame things that take forever to ascertain and, again, aren’t in the spirit of the game.

Belichick has said that all calls should be reviewable. Beyond PI, which the league has reviewable for 25 seconds a few years ago and never used, it’s absolutely ridiculous that the personal foul calls have been ramped up and they can’t use video to just see if the foul actually occurred. The league sucks at this, sorry.
 

CFB_Rules

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The reviews have gotten faster but they still allow for three ridiculous freeze frame things that take forever to ascertain and, again, aren’t in the spirit of the game.

Belichick has said that all calls should be reviewable. Beyond PI, which the league has reviewable for 25 seconds a few years ago and never used, it’s absolutely ridiculous that the personal foul calls have been ramped up and they can’t use video to just see if the foul actually occurred. The league sucks at this, sorry.
A lot of calls are judgment calls. Even some personal fouls. You are just substituting the judgment of the on-field official with someone who is in New York. Rarely is it the case that the on-field official just doesn't see something. The on-field official can explain to the players and coaches why they are calling what they are calling, to which they can adjust. There's also an accountability aspect: For better or worse, you know who is making the call. Allowing all judgment to come from New York removes that. And it's not like the guys in New York have shown exemplary decision making with the aspects in which they are allowed to intervene.
 
@CFB_Rules - thank you for injecting your perspective into this thread. As you may or may not recall, I'm a Scottish Football Association-qualified soccer referee and have always enjoyed refereeing various sports casually; I certainly start in all sports on the side of wanting referees to succeed and being in their corner, although (e.g., when commentating) I am equally willing to point out calls that I disagree with.

My follow-up question to all of your observations is whether or not you think both if a) anything can be done about these issues, and if b) anything will be done. I mean, the 32 NFL teams could pledge to contribute $500 million every year to referee training, development and salaries across every level of the sport from high school to college to pro, with a view to ultimately making games as fairly refereed as they possibly can be...but of course that will never happen, not only because owners would never open their wallets like that but also because controversy generates publicity, which generates more money, etc. I just wonder whether we are condemned to a future in which the ever-draining refereeing/umpiring talent pool is likely to continue making games less fair and less fun to watch, or if there are any realistic ways to arrest the slide. @singaporesoxfan correctly noted that I'm based in the UK, and IMHO English Premier League soccer - historically one of my favorite sports - is becoming increasingly unwatchable both because refereeing has gotten worse *and* because the supposed cure of VAR is in many ways worse than the disease. Maybe there is a point beyond which declining refereeing standards will hit owners in their pockets because fans really do start getting fed up? (Or maybe that's wishful thinking?)
 

Gdiguy

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The league fucked up royally by being too pig-headed about accepting anything Belichick suggested by rejecting his idea to just make everything reviewable.

There should also be a federal law that replay reviews in any sport should last no longer than 90 seconds – under the penalty of death. That not only would have the effect of speeding up the game but also of minimizing the Zapruder-ization of plays like “His foot came a hair of the bag while he was standing up“-type calls that aren’t in the spirit of the game or why replay was instituted in the first place.
This is more baseball-related, but I agree; I think we were better off when a lot of call were 'yeah he beat the throw, I don't care if there was a half second between his two legs touching the base during his slide' or the opposite 'look, you blew through a stop sign to try to go home, the ball beat you by 10 feet, you're out and I don't care if you happened to slightly sneak around the tag' calls weren't being crazily scrutinized

This isn't a theory, this is established fact. After COVID, 40% of ALL the officials working D3 football didn't come back. 30% of all D2 officials didn't come back. D1 losses were about 9%. High schools all over the country are moving games from Friday to Thursday because they don't have enough officials to go around to play all of the games on Friday. Many of the reasons for this are well known, but here is another: Money.

Let's say you are a D3 official. The NCAA takes $125 to register every year. You probably need to spend $100 in uniform upkeep (shoes, flags, etc. Start-up costs closer to $300-$400). You can get sent to any school in your conference, and travel/hotel is on your own. So maybe one week the game is near your house, the next week it's 400 miles away and you get to drive 7 hours and get a hotel room (or worse, fly). You get paid $180 a game. It's easy to see how this is a monster money loser.

Even when you get to the D1 level, the game fees increase substantially but so do the requirements. You need to get to the game site by 6pm the day before, necessitating a day off of work or a very flexible job. The schools are now literally all over the country and so are the travel requirements, even at the FCS level. Hell, Conference USA just played an entire month where all of their games were on Tuesday nights. So if you officiate in CUSA, you need to take Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday off every single week. There are only certain kinds of high-level white collar jobs that will allow that kind of freedom and flexibility.
This stuff is crazy to me - you're going to tell me that the NCAA can't simply take a couple $M out of the D1 contracts to pay $1000 per game to D3 refs?

I mean of course I know the reality here - it's the same as a lot of places where the job is 'fun', for along time companies/orgs were able to take advantage of the fact that there'll be essentially volunteers willing to do it for free. But that train may be stopping with the amount of crap refs take
 

8slim

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I can only really speak to my experiences in officiating college football (although I've done training camps and stuff for the NFL).

First, officiating is much better than it was 30 years ago. 30 years ago officials didn't even get video, much less graded. There was no feedback on whether their calls were correct or not, unless it made headlines. Some officials who were self-motivated to improve would reach out to teams directly and get mailed VHS tapes of the game 3-4 weeks later. But you simply can't get good at something unless you get feedback for when you are doing well and when you are doing poorly. There are a lot of plays from back in the day that I could show you that are so unbelievably wrong that it would be a scandal today. Players being tackled at the 2 and ruled touchdown. This was called a touchdown in the Super Bowl:
View: https://youtu.be/r8ad3pDqFO4?si=5Tw6ZAJtWsPnVT_h&t=26


yet this was incomplete in the NFC Championship:

View: https://youtu.be/m24r9JiKV14?si=Xj0fpHmjFBSP4R7B&t=65


But I don't think the NFL is serious about officiating either. The NFL VP of Officiating is a revolving door. I know when Blandino he was making $350K...to be the second most public face for the NFL living in Manhattan. He left for Fox for 3x the money. Riveron got fired after the NFL's experiment with reviewing pass interference was an abject failure.



What things are not reviewable now that should be? Do we really want to have an official review for every holding call? Or non call?

95% of reviews already happen under 90 seconds. The vast majority take under 30 seconds. The additional time is getting the equipment out to the R, gathering all the information necessary to adjust the game situation (ball location, clock status, chain location, etc.). Getting the team to leave their huddles before they are ready when the coaches think they have a free timeout. That kind of stuff.



This isn't a theory, this is established fact. After COVID, 40% of ALL the officials working D3 football didn't come back. 30% of all D2 officials didn't come back. D1 losses were about 9%. High schools all over the country are moving games from Friday to Thursday because they don't have enough officials to go around to play all of the games on Friday. Many of the reasons for this are well known, but here is another: Money.

Let's say you are a D3 official. The NCAA takes $125 to register every year. You probably need to spend $100 in uniform upkeep (shoes, flags, etc. Start-up costs closer to $300-$400). You can get sent to any school in your conference, and travel/hotel is on your own. So maybe one week the game is near your house, the next week it's 400 miles away and you get to drive 7 hours and get a hotel room (or worse, fly). You get paid $180 a game. It's easy to see how this is a monster money loser.

Even when you get to the D1 level, the game fees increase substantially but so do the requirements. You need to get to the game site by 6pm the day before, necessitating a day off of work or a very flexible job. The schools are now literally all over the country and so are the travel requirements, even at the FCS level. Hell, Conference USA just played an entire month where all of their games were on Tuesday nights. So if you officiate in CUSA, you need to take Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday off every single week. There are only certain kinds of high-level white collar jobs that will allow that kind of freedom and flexibility.
Great post, really appreciate the perspective!

The sports that stand out to me as a having serious officiating issues are the NFL/CFB and the NBA/CBB. My theory is that both football and basketball have used the rule book to dramatically change their respective style of play for the past many years. And this has led to problems

Football wants a “safer” game and a lot more offense. Basketball wants less thuggery and more offense. To achieve that there has been massive rule bloat. It seems to me that officials are frantically looking for a million different potential infractions during every second of game play.

So we get poor calls, wrong calls, missed calls… just a shit ton of calls… because that’s the league mandated expectation.

I have no doubt that refs are better today than they’ve ever been. I just think they have an impossible job because the rule book they’re enforcing is a bloated mess.
 

CoolPapaBellhorn

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Not a week goes by in which I don't see people berating referees and umpires in every sport: football, basketball, baseball, soccer, you name it.
I only skimmed the thread, so apologies if this was already mentioned, but if the complaining is what is really increasing, then the legalization of sports gambling may be the culprit. Far more people now give a crap if that pass interference was called correctly because their second half parlay depends on it.
 

Humphrey

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@CFB_Rules - thank you for injecting your perspective into this thread. As you may or may not recall, I'm a Scottish Football Association-qualified soccer referee and have always enjoyed refereeing various sports casually; I certainly start in all sports on the side of wanting referees to succeed and being in their corner, although (e.g., when commentating) I am equally willing to point out calls that I disagree with.

My follow-up question to all of your observations is whether or not you think both if a) anything can be done about these issues, and if b) anything will be done. I mean, the 32 NFL teams could pledge to contribute $500 million every year to referee training, development and salaries across every level of the sport from high school to college to pro, with a view to ultimately making games as fairly refereed as they possibly can be...but of course that will never happen, not only because owners would never open their wallets like that but also because controversy generates publicity, which generates more money, etc. I just wonder whether we are condemned to a future in which the ever-draining refereeing/umpiring talent pool is likely to continue making games less fair and less fun to watch, or if there are any realistic ways to arrest the slide. @singaporesoxfan correctly noted that I'm based in the UK, and IMHO English Premier League soccer - historically one of my favorite sports - is becoming increasingly unwatchable both because refereeing has gotten worse *and* because the supposed cure of VAR is in many ways worse than the disease. Maybe there is a point beyond which declining refereeing standards will hit owners in their pockets because fans really do start getting fed up? (Or maybe that's wishful thinking?)
From my lowly high school soccer official perspective, the unwritten rule that is/was stressed at most of our board meetings, COMMON SENSE, is something that replay technology for the most part cannot coexist with.
 

CFB_Rules

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This stuff is crazy to me - you're going to tell me that the NCAA can't simply take a couple $M out of the D1 contracts to pay $1000 per game to D3 refs?
The NCAA has almost nothing to do with officiating, each conference runs their own officiating program and considers themselves in competition with other conferences. So they're not going to help anyone else out. Which is problematic on several fronts: One, conferences have significant financial incentive to have the "good" teams go undefeated. When things happen like the PAC-12 commissioner overturning replay decisions made by actual game officials from the command center, it at best has the appearance of impropriety. And then when conferences re-align or sometimes go completely belly up (looking at you again, PAC-12) all of those officials are out of a job.

The NCAA appoints a "National Coordinator of Officiating", currently Steve Shaw. He puts out training tapes for the entire country, and is responsible for editing the rule book. The tapes look like this:
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qZn6C6imDiY


Each conference has their own quirks as to what they want the officials to do though, and if the conference disagrees with Shaw then Shaw will be ignored. Shaw has no ability to hire or fire any of the conference supervisors or any NCAA official.
 

snowmanny

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This is more baseball-related, but I agree; I think we were better off when a lot of call were 'yeah he beat the throw, I don't care if there was a half second between his two legs touching the base during his slide' or the opposite 'look, you blew through a stop sign to try to go home, the ball beat you by 10 feet, you're out and I don't care if you happened to slightly sneak around the tag' calls weren't being crazily scrutinized
Good point. Second base is worse. I could live without stolen base reviews.
 

Rick Burlesons Yam Bag

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There's also been a renewed focus on avoiding / more heavily penalizing plays which are dangerous to players. Which is a good thing, of course. The problem is that these things get even more difficult to try and referee. The flagrants in basketball are ridiculous. No one has any clue how they are decided. Football is an incredibly violent sport and trying to police appropriate violence vs. inappropriate violence is very difficult. The roughing the passer penalty in the Pats game yesterday was impossible to understand. I also felt like the personal foul on the interception last week in the Pats game was also the incorrect call, in my opinion. Some times it seems like almost any hard hit could be labeled as a foul, but you obviously aren't going to call all of them. So, it lends itself to very arbitrary interpretations of the rules.
I disagree with you regarding football and I will get up on my soap box to do so.

Youth/High School football is incredibly important for kids 12-18 in my opinion. I think that young men struggle with a lot of stuff, and contact sports give larger kids, heavier kids, aggressive kids, horny kids, whatever an important outlet for that energy, anger et al and helps them form productive team relationships with other young men during a period when it can be immensely confusing to understand how that stuff all works.

For right, wrong or indifferent, the NFL (and to a slightly lesser extent, CFB) represents "Football." When a mom who is on the fence about whether her son should play football sees a helmet to helmet knock, or a guy spear another guy, her likelihood of letting that kid play diminishes meaningfully, particularly when the commentators complain about how that stuff really shouldn't be a penalty because when they were playing it was a man's game. Troy Aikman, who was practically a special needs patient by the time he left football makes me want to punch my tv every time he does this.

Personal foul penalties - in my opinion - are practically never called inappropriately (particularly since Tom Brady retired. ZINGER!!). Yes, the ones that are missed or mis-called go viral and everyone who never played, or were JV for half a season complains that the game has gotten softer, etc., but in practice, I don't see those as being any more than a very small fraction.
 

Rick Burlesons Yam Bag

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I did watch a local Mass. high school play on cable last night and I was taken aback by the coaches' domination of the game. For years they have allowed the coach to come on the field a couple yards to facilitate giving plays to the qb; in this game, the guy was doing that from the painted yard lines on the turf. One time, he sprinted a good 20 yards, way over the hash marks, to call a time out. When a given play started, he was still out there, didn't retreat to the sideline at all. A tough call went against him late in the game and, of course, he was right there to debate it with the head referee. I don't know if this was the fault of the officiating crew, the coach, or both. It seemed like it was a hindrance to the officials doing their job. If I had to put up with similar crap doing soccer, I wouldn't be doing it any more.

Agree lower levels of college football and other sports are losers unless the official in question thinks he can move up. Once it's a no go, high school is a better option.
Coaches going way onto the field in HS football has been going on since HS football started. It stems from a good place - the coach is supposed to be teaching and instructing, and many schools don't have budget (for extra coaches, etc) or whatever to get effective communication to the QB or defense. But to your point, this gets abused by assholes. Refs will call it if they feel that it is unacceptable, but it gets subjective.
 

Humphrey

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Aug 3, 2010
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Coaches going way onto the field in HS football has been going on since HS football started. It stems from a good place - the coach is supposed to be teaching and instructing, and many schools don't have budget (for extra coaches, etc) or whatever to get effective communication to the QB or defense. But to your point, this gets abused by assholes. Refs will call it if they feel that it is unacceptable, but it gets subjective.
This particular ref was quite generous in what he allowed to go on, at least from what I've seen in other games.
And, if anything, I wanted the coach in question's team to win, nearby town, know a few people connected to that school.
 

DJnVa

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Dec 16, 2010
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Northeastern vs. ODU basketball game the other day. FT were 51-9 for Northeastern.

That's laughable.
 

grsharky7

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Mad Dog was going on about this recently after a Sunday with a lot of questionable calls. He said Mike Pereira has said for years that the NFL keeps adding language to refs rule books, but never takes anything out, so the refs constantly have more things they have to look out for and it just becomes too much.

Football is a fast moving violent game, and you'll never make it a 100% safe. Nobody wants safeties to go head hunting like heat seeking missile, but some of the personal fouls and targeting penalties in college are ridiculous. If you watch enough college football on a Saturday, you'll see a few kids get ejected for some real weak things. The worst is when a qb takes off and goes to slide but the defender is already breaking down for the tackle and makes contact with the runner and gets a penalty or sometimes a targeting call because the quarterback's head gets hit as he is lowering them.

I was at a WVU/TCU game a few years back and the TCU WR ran about a 10 yard hitch and the ball was high and he jumped to make the catch. The cornerback was coming in to tackle him as he came down and caught him in the back head. Nothing malicious or dirty, just got there as the receiver was coming down, no flag on the initial play either. Booth buzzes down 20 seconds later, reviewed it and ejected him. That's a football play that sometimes happens, it's not like Eugene Wilson rocketing up into Reggie Wayne back in the 2003 AFC title game.
 

CFB_Rules

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Nov 29, 2016
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Mad Dog was going on about this recently after a Sunday with a lot of questionable calls. He said Mike Pereira has said for years that the NFL keeps adding language to refs rule books, but never takes anything out, so the refs constantly have more things they have to look out for and it just becomes too much.

Football is a fast moving violent game, and you'll never make it a 100% safe. Nobody wants safeties to go head hunting like heat seeking missile, but some of the personal fouls and targeting penalties in college are ridiculous. If you watch enough college football on a Saturday, you'll see a few kids get ejected for some real weak things. The worst is when a qb takes off and goes to slide but the defender is already breaking down for the tackle and makes contact with the runner and gets a penalty or sometimes a targeting call because the quarterback's head gets hit as he is lowering them.

I was at a WVU/TCU game a few years back and the TCU WR ran about a 10 yard hitch and the ball was high and he jumped to make the catch. The cornerback was coming in to tackle him as he came down and caught him in the back head. Nothing malicious or dirty, just got there as the receiver was coming down, no flag on the initial play either. Booth buzzes down 20 seconds later, reviewed it and ejected him. That's a football play that sometimes happens, it's not like Eugene Wilson rocketing up into Reggie Wayne back in the 2003 AFC title game.
High school football this year completely eliminated forcible contact against anyone attempting to catch a pass. You can try to rip the ball away from a receiver but you cannot hit them and hope to knock the ball out.

It'll be in the NCAA within 5 years.
 

8slim

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High school football this year completely eliminated forcible contact against anyone attempting to catch a pass. You can try to rip the ball away from a receiver but you cannot hit them and hope to knock the ball out.

It'll be in the NCAA within 5 years.
That exact play happened in my son’s high school’s Thanksgiving game this season. They were up 3 with under a minute left. Opponent is on their 12 and throws a nice pass into the end zone. Our DB meets the receiver and completely blows him up. Ball dropped via the massive contact.

Flag.

But our DB had no choice. He couldn’t rip the ball away in that situation. Catch, a foot down, and it’s game over.
 

grsharky7

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High school football this year completely eliminated forcible contact against anyone attempting to catch a pass. You can try to rip the ball away from a receiver but you cannot hit them and hope to knock the ball out.

It'll be in the NCAA within 5 years.
So my question is, how soon can you make forcible contact then? Possession and two steps? What if the receiver is juggling the ball? I'm just curious as that seems like it would suck to try and enforce.
 

CFB_Rules

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So my question is, how soon can you make forcible contact then? Possession and two steps? What if the receiver is juggling the ball? I'm just curious as that seems like it would suck to try and enforce.
Once they're no longer defenseless, which is after they've clearly established as a runner.

Basically the layman's version of the rule before was "No blow-up hits/decleaters, unless you are hitting a receiver". They've taken away the receiver part.