How to deal with the Ref/Linesman
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05-01-2013, 11:21 AM
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: The Rafters
Originally Posted by
In my experience, if the refs aren't doing a good job, they probably won't respond well at all if you try and talk to them, no matter how you approach them.
This is a common problem we've seen around our parts. I think it's the mind set of "I'm the Ref/Linesman, therefor I'm God' that a lot of officials develop. The think that they're the ones who should decide the game.
I'm no fan of the "Let them play" ideology, but at some point, the on-ice crew has to step out of the game a bit and literally let the players play. The on-ice officials are there to govern the game with a neutral, and critical, hand. When they become too involved, it creates problems that can cause the players to become bitter towards officials in general. A lot of this is the officiating crew either being improperly trained, or insecure with their understanding and knowledge of the game.
If you, as a player, ever runs into this, try to talk to the other team's leaders and say, 'Look, let's just be smart, don't loose our cool, and play hard, but not dumb'. Don't give the Ref, or the linesmen, any reason to crack down on the game. Ask the coach, or an off-ice official, to privately speak to the ref about their conduct. If this doesn't solve it, or makes it worse, you can call your region's officiating body can lodge a complaint.
But, having been on both sides of this problem, the best option is to let it go. It's frustrating, I understand, but most refs care less about player opinion, so just let it go. Finish the game, and move on. It's a terrible work around, but it's the safest.
This makes me think of playing a game last year. The ref on the ice was one of my colleagues as a ref (he often was a linesman when I was the ref in a game), and he was being very difficult in a game, making dumb calls and being very unprofessional with players and coaches alike.
Although I was a player, I asked to speak to him in private. He agreed, but I could tell we didn't really want to. When I asked him why he didn't seem to be the great official I knew him to be, he replied that "neither your team or the other team where making the playoffs, so it was a pointless, means-nothing game". I told him that even if this was a game between the 2 worst in the league, it's still a game, and we all paid to play, and that he was BEING paid to work it. I then told him that I knew he was better than this and I hoped he'd mature for the last period of the game.
Although I knew better to do it, I knew that sometimes us officials can view some games as a chore (2 defensive teams can be like this), and was out of line doing so. But, he also realized that although the game wasn't important to standings, he wasn't performing the way he should have been, and that the governing body could be called. He did loosen up in the last period, and called what I consider the best period he had ever done.
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