Referee Research Paper

Feb 24, 2012
by: seamusa

After doing all of this research in my opinion, the most important thing for people to understand about my topic is that the attitude of the general public in regard to authority and referees in professional sports has changed. In the past no one would ever have considered throwing a ball at a ref or tossing food from the stands at them. Referees were respected and it was a reputable profession. Today people constantly complain about them, their calls are always subject to review, and the players and coaches argue with them constantly. Today most people cannot imagine why anyone would want to be a referee. This is shocking but I think it shows how Americans’ views of authority figures have shifted.

Also, in the past referee’s would never have thought to place bets on games or at least very few would ever have considered doing something that might have resulted in a scandal. And yet in one of my sources, I found an article about a ref who had placed bets on over 100 games some of which he himself was officiating. He discussed how the refs are biased because of the impressions certain players make on them and he used this to predict the out come of certain games. Personally, I find this absolutely horrifying and cannot believe that people would even consider placing bets on a game they are officiating. That is in a way fixing a game.



Submitted by sarah1994 on Fri, 2012-02-24 14:00.

I completely agree that ref's are biased because in my games I have seen ref's who definitely are nicer to one side more than another if they know the coaches or the players are more respectful towards them. The refs are also subject to bad calls and get unending abuse from fans which I agree is a sign for the lessening of respect for officials.


Submitted by seamusa on Tue, 2012-03-06 17:31.

Thank you very much for your input Sarah. I think it is interesting to see how this lack of respect and bias in the refs is reflected not just in the NBA but also in High School basketball.


type's picture
Submitted by type on Fri, 2012-02-24 14:08.

It's crazy how biased some refs can be. I think some people just need to work harder at separating their personal preferences from their job. Being a ref is a job, you are getting paid to be honest and efficient. This also means that fans and an audience should respect a ref's decisions - they are just doing their job. But if they bring bias into it, they are not being effective.

Seamus,I disagree with

Submitted by phickman3 on Mon, 2012-03-12 11:44.


I disagree with certain things from your article. I think "people throwing a ball at a ref" or "tossing garbage" is not a sign of a societal shift. I also don't agree with some of the previous comments that refs have become more biased. The reason refs take so much these days, is technology. 50 years ago, if a ref made a bad call, there was still a lot of question to the spectators whether it was correct or not. Nowadays, every close call in analyzed from 4 different angle in high definition, when the ref only had one, split second opportunity with his own eyes.

I do agree with you, however, that some refs lack integrity. Betting in sports is pretty messed up, and it's not fair to anybody involved in sport. I also agree, that refs form biases on some players, but I don't know how this is their fault, or can be fixed, until we have robot refs. If a guy walks onto the court smack talkin and acting like hes hot stuff, and ref will probably have an unconcious feeling of dislike towards him. I don't think there is anyway to fix this though.


Submitted by WLamb on Tue, 2012-03-13 23:57.

I like your research topic a lot, seeing as my everday life has to do with sports involving referees. We should respect most referees, they are there for us and most of the time they are experienced and know more than we do.

One thing bothering me is how someone said referees are biased and bla bla bla. The teams who are playing and the spectators are clearly the biased partisons!

Your comment about this relating America's respect for authority I think shows a lot of insight. Consider the Barack Obama; rather than respecting him for being the president and debating him with class, people such as the person who called our "Your a liar" disgrace our entire country. It's like Billy and Little Johnny aren't listening to Papa.