Referees and umpires: It’s not their fault

Dan Helson Roar Rookie

By , Dan Helson is a Roar Rookie

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    Referee. Umpire. The two words that can make you see red and let your blood boil.

    But they shouldn’t.

    It is inevitable, in almost every sport in the world, that referees and umpires will play an impact on the outcome of any game.

    Not because they want to, but because it is the nature of their job. They see something, they call it. They don’t see something, they can’t call it.

    Now I am not completely defending referee decisions or telling you that they are untouchable, I 100 per cent believe that they need to be held accountable for the decisions that they make, but they are human.

    Rewind to the weekend and the howler of a decision that robbed the Knights of a memorable victory against Manly.

    This was clearly the wrong decision. No questions asked. But we have been slamming the league and the officials for the last two years for going to the bunker on nearly every single try and finally a referee took the leap and simply awarded it.

    Unfortunately, he picked the very worst time to do so as it became evident that he was indeed incorrect in his assessment of the try. It was highlighted more by the fact that it seemed his touchy at the time tried to tell him to go to the Bunker.

    Human error.

    Just like the seven handling errors the Knights had, like the eight penalties the Knights conceded and the 23 tackles the Knights missed.

    Human error.

    Like I said before, I do think the decision was wrong the thought the Knights should have won the game. But teams and athletes need to take this matter into their own hands and have some accountability too.

    Take the outcome of the game out of the referee’s hands. You want to be the elite players in our country of your chosen sport, then if you are good enough, referee decisions should not be costing you games in the end.

    They can’t fall back on an easy out and say ‘We should have won that game but the referee cost us’.

    Wrong.

    Don’t let there be an option for a refereeing decision to ‘cost’ you a game.
    Being on the wrong end of the refereeing decisions is inevitable. It is going to happen whether you like it or not. But the size of the impact can be determined prior or post that decision.

    Jamie Buhrer Manly Sea Eagles NRL Rugby League 2016

    (AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts)

    You have to roll with the punches, because you will also be on the receiving end on some of these errors. Don’t be surprised if in ten weeks’ time Manly have a howler blown against them that puts them on the back foot, the difference may be that game may have already been taken care of by the players involved.

    As for the referees and their decisions, they do need to held accountable and they I can’t see any reason as to why discussing referees is completely out of the question.

    Coaches certainly need to have an extreme set of guidelines put in place for them and they need to know the boundaries, but there should be no reason why a coach cannot walk into a press conference and say they thought a decision was incorrect.

    They can never make it personal towards the referee, but they need to be allowed to voice their opinions. Something like what Alastair Clarkson said is well and truly inappropriate and simply not good enough. That is where the rules need to be in place to keep hot-heads like him and Ricky Stuart and the likes in check.

    A coaches job is to defend their players, their members and their club. If they genuinely believe a decision was wrong, that is their opinion, it might be wrong or it might be right, but they should be allowed to voice it either way.

    We need to move on as a society and accept the fact that there will be decisions go against our favourite teams, I am not saying to not be upset when it happens, because trust me my TV has copped a fair few sprays in its time, but move on once the decision has been made.