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the official student-produced news site for Saint Stephen's Episcopal School

the Gauntlet

the official student-produced news site for Saint Stephen's Episcopal School

the Gauntlet

Your guide to getting along with high school referees

Relationship building is important, and if you follow these tips you’ll be garaunteed to get closer with your favorite referees
Sarabeth Wester
If you follow my five tactics, I’m sure the ref will be blushing so hard he’ll be as red as a tomato.

*The following piece is satire.

We’ve all been there, playing in a match, be it soccer, basketball, or lacrosse.  The crowd is going crazy, and the ref, well, the ref is making some questionable calls. These calls definitely will be sure to impact the outcome of the game, and that’s when it’s your time to shine: It’s time to get yourself on the Ref’s Radar. 

There are five key sure-fire methods to get on the Referee’s Radar and really help your team during an intense match.  For those of you who don’t know, the Ref’s Radar is a term that applies to those being watched for something they’ve done or said during an athletic event.  In other words, it’s a place you want to be.   

So below, take a browse through some of the clear-cut ways to make yourself known at your next match.  Whether it’s pointing, screaming from a distance, fouling to prove a point, imitating his unfair calls, or completely ignoring them, there’s something here for every one. 

5. If you’re looking for an efficient and safe method that is not too serious, entirely ignoring the referee is the way to go. Refs can’t card you for remaining silent. This is because they understand your point if you turn your back, walk away, or only make sneering eye contact without saying a single word. This tactic is useful as you aren’t necessarily being disrespectful, but you’re making a point that is made clear by facial expressions (or a lack thereof).

4. When looking for an effective, but less safe method to get on the ref’s radar, the imitation and mocking of calls is a fine plan. When a player commits a foul, and the ref calls it, the perpetrator has the option to disagree with what’s being called. In this scenario, the player can mock the ref and imitate his actions. In soccer, the classic move is to pretend to pull a card from your pocket, holding it up in the face of the referee. This quality method is one that is often used and is nearly always effective in catching the attention of the ref.

3. A tactic that works over the entire duration of the game is purposeful fouls. When players become increasingly frustrated due to biased or unfair calls, it’s common for players to earn some good old fashioned intentional fouls in retribution. Players do this to show the ref calls that should be called, instead of what they have been calling. When refs see this, they take constructive criticism incredibly well and will thank you for the helpful distinction.

2. The most useful and popular way to deal with a ref is to yell at them from a distance. If you see something from across the field that you believe the ref should have called, be sure to raise your voice and bark out your suggestion. However, you cannot be that close to the ref or else he will most likely take it as disrespect. Many players will enact this method at least once or twice per game, some players even more.  The reason for this is that refs find it helpful and not rude in any way.

1. By far the best and most effective way to deal with a ref is to point at them and start running toward them. This tactic is unmatched in the department of getting your point across. When the ref sees your enthusiasm, he will definitely have some words for you that will demonstrate he’s listening to your point. Not only is pointing an effective attention-getter, but sprinting into their personal space will quickly emphasize your point. With the passion presented, the ref will happily reward you with a brightly colored card.  

All tactics presented are great ways to complete your quest to be placed on the Ref’s Radar.  But in the end, it’s probably useful to understand that not every ref knows everything about every sport; and not ever ref can catch every foul.  However much refs get on our nerves, we still need to accept the call, as without them, there are no games.  

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About the Contributors
George Frano
George Frano, Staff Writer
George Frano is a sophomore in his first year on the Gauntlet, as a staff writer. His favorite color is purple, he has a dog named Myca, and plays soccer and video games. His favorite movies are Asteroid City and the Seven Samurais.
Sarabeth Wester
Sarabeth Wester, Creative Director/Artist
Sarabeth Wester is a senior on The Gauntlet with four years under her belt of hard work in the newsroom as our Creative Director. Her favorite color is purple, she has a cat and a dog who she loves dearly, and she plays video games in her free time - her favorite being Fallout 4 even with it's imperfections. Her favorite movies are Days of Thunder, Top Gun, and Wall-E - she believes everyone should watch them at least once.  

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