Letters to the Editor

Stoddard letter: Referees

I read with interest the Guest Opinion by Tim Brady on Jan. 30. Coincidentally, I witnessed parental harassment of refs at a junior high school basketball game that very afternoon. After the next game, I walked over to the two refs and told them thanks for giving their time for those kids. They acknowledged my thanks, but looked almost embarrassed to receive it. Or maybe they just don’t get much of that, and were surprised? At any rate, I think all of us who attend youth games of any sport need to remember that refs are giving us a lot when they wear those stripes. They take time to teach while enforcing the rules. Kids learn sportsmanship, how to follow instructions, and how to be gracious winners and losers. And yes, they sometimes learn that calls – and life – aren’t always fair, but we all must deal with those things. I’ve witnessed refs comforting an upset player to de-escalate tempers and tensions. I’ve seen them aid an injured kid before anyone else got to them. Most folks who harangue refs from the stands could likely not do half as well, so where do they get off being so mouthy?

Curtis Stoddard, Eagle