Referees are terrible. Referees are great.

It doesn’t matter, the game sounds the same in the stands.

Some referees let kids play and call fewer fouls. Some fall in love with their whistles and call every foul.

In any case, parents and fans interpret every call as those slimy officials showing their allegiance to the other team and setting out to help them win.

Referees make the calls. It doesn’t matter if they call that push-off, this hand ball, ball or strike, charging or blocking. Those are judgment calls and, even if the officials miss a few, the breaks tend to even out during the course of the game.

But there are some rules which are not judgment calls. They are the black and white issues in every sport.

When fouls are no longer accidents which occur while a player is attempting to play the game and become physical assaults on another player, there is no room for special consideration.

Just such a case was handled improperly in a Chickasha High School girls’ soccer game Tuesday night.

During the first half, Chickasha’s Amy Faulkner became involved in a skirmish for the ball which took her and a Carl Albert player to the ground. Alicia Cave came over to help as did an additional Carl Albert player. After a few seconds of trying to let the play sort itself out, the referee finally stopped the play and awarded the ball to the Lady Titans calling a foul on Chickasha.

As the pile was resolving itself, and in plain view of the referee, a Carl Albert player took a full swing and it found its mark. Cave was hit in the leg with a slap/punch.

At this point, the player should have been removed from the game and awaited further punishment by the Oklahoma Secondary School Athletics Association.

Instead, the referee called her aside and gave her a verbal warning - no disqualification, no even a yellow card. The girl was allowed to remain in the game as if nothing had happened.

The OSSAA web site clearly defines fighting as striking another player with your arm, leg, hand, foot or other object. In soccer, violating that rule is supposed to result in a three game suspension.

Maybe the referee saw some activity by a CHS girl which he felt “justified” taking a swing at Cave.

I don’t remember that in any rule book. In fact, retaliation is also defined as being in violation of the fighting rule.

I do remember a case about four months ago where a Shawnee quarterback was guilty of a lot less and was suspended for two games during the playoffs.

His case drew national attention because of the legal wrangling which it created.

That quarterback, Shawnee’s Tucker Brown, merely kicked at a defender who had thrown himself over the line of scrimmage on a couple of plays when Shawnee was trying to run out the clock. The defender certainly started it, but Brown felt the brunt of the punishment because he retaliated.

It was determined that there was no room in the game for such action.

Apparently, last night’s officials missed the memo.

The only justified complaint that Brown had was that he was punished while others have gotten away with much more and received less punishment - or no punishment at all.

Last night was another point in his case.

Fairness means all the rules apply to everyone equally.

Trending Video

This Week's Circulars

Recommended for you