So, you are driving down the highway on an old country road it's dark, all of a sudden you come around the corner and see blue lights and flashlights, it's a traffic stop!!! Immediately you start thinking, Do I have my license? Do I have my insurance card? Is my tag expired? Is my insurance current? Where's my gun? And why in the world are they having a traffic stop? If you are legal according to the state laws you should not have anything to worry about, correct? And the last time I checked it's the law enforcement's job to make sure we all are following the law's for our on protection and the safety and well being of others that we meet on our roadways. Before you ever drive I believe everyone has to pass a permit test and has a year to read and learn the rules of the state laws in which they live in with the understanding that different states have different laws that we should know and abide by when we travel through those states.So, if you get a ticket or a warning who's fault is it? Is it the police officer's or yours? Let's say you get pulled over on Monday and get a warning for a muffler issue, then on Friday a different officer gives you a ticket for a muffler issue. Are you mad at the officer that gave you a ticket, most people would be, because "they" got caught.
The reason I bring up this scenario is that as an official of the game we deal with these issues every game we officiate in, mostly uniform issues, headbands and hair control devices, strings hanging out, uniforms not worn properly as they are designed to be worn. Different sports have different rules on uniforms and attachments, each organization has their own set of rules such as in softball (NFHS) National Federation of High Schools has their rules and regulations, (USSSA) has their rules and regulations, (ASA) has their rules and regulations and its up to the coaches and players to know the rules in which affiliation they are playing in, and its the officials responsibility also to know and enforce the rules "EVERYTIME".
So, prior to each game you watch, you should see a meeting take place at home plate, in the field or in front of the scorers table between the head coach and the game officials and as a fan your thinking why do they do this every game!!! There are many reasons why. A couple of main reasons are to establish who is the head coach, and to ask and get a verbal "yes" that their teams are legally and properly equipped to play under the rules of which sport or affiliation in which they are playing that game under. So, what if the head coach does not attend the pregame meeting? Whomever attends the pregame meeting is the head coach for that contest period , end of discussion. When the head coach answers a verbal yes to the legally and properly equipped question, the game can proceed. The game will not proceed until the officials get a verbal "yes". When the coach answers yes his or her team is legally equipped they are taking the responsibility and liability that their teams are legally and properly equipped and will be through the remainder of the contest.
As an official there was nothing more that would get me frustrated than having to be a "fashion policeman" or to go watch a game and see players getting to play with uniform violations, and the game officials not enforcing the rules as stated in the rule book. Yes, if the rules was enforced the same each game without different interpretation's by individual officials, and the coaches and players would learn the rules under which they are playing under and understand it's for their safety then legally and properly equipped would not be an issue. In most sports the penalty is simply the player cannot play until they are properly equipped. In some sports the head coach and player gets penalized by not being able to coach or play, my question is who's fault is it if a player is removed from the game due to being improperly equipped. Is it the coaches fault? Could be for not making sure his or her players understand the rules they are playing under. Is it the players fault? Could be if they know the rules, and decide to not follow them or are warned and decide not to adhere to that warning. Is it the officials fault? Could be if they are negligent and do not enforce the rules no matter the time, place or magnitude in which they enforce the rules. No matter who is at fault the safety of the athletes we serve whether we coach or officiate should be our greatest concern.
I truly hope if you read my blogs you are getting informed somewhat on the rules of the game and mostly to let you know what a game official goes through before, during and after a game. Everyone has opinions on officials just as they do have opinions on police officers. I will be the first to tell you, they are some good ones and some not so good, you have some that prepare and take each game serious, and you have some there that just want to get paid or to wear the uniform. Just as players, you have some that are always the first to practice and last to leave, some that are naturally born with god given talent and love the game and some just wants to be part of a team. The same goes for officials. However, just as players we have to give them time to improve get experience and hopefully they will become an asset to their sport and local association.
Thanks for your time,
Good Luck Broncos!!!!
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