Sports Views: Officials face shortage; sportsmanship can help

The SODA Blog

March 28, 2024

Source: Herald-Banner
David Claybourn Sports Views
David Claybourn | Herald-Banner Sports Editor Jan 6, 2024

I’ve always seen taking photos courtside at basketball games as a privilege, not a right.

I don’t interfere in the action and try to not to block the vision of the spectators.

I’m also very respectful to the officials. I see some of the same officials often at basketball games in this area. I’ve known some of these officials for a long time and consider some to be friends. They’re often former coaches or players who enjoy the sport. They have a good knowledge of the game. They seem to be fair and they sure try hard to get it right.

Sure I’ve seen officials miss some calls just like the players in the game miss shots. The best 3-point shooters in the country are ones who still miss more than half of their attempts. The players aren’t perfect and neither are the officials.

From what I’ve been learning there’s a shortage of officials calling games, not only in basketball but in other sports as well. Some of the local high school football teams had to play on nights other than Friday so they can find enough officials to call their games. Cumby, for instance, played a varsity game on a Monday night because of the shortage of officials.

At some of the basketball games I’m seeing two officials calling the game rather than three and at the Greenville Lady Lions’ soccer tournament on Thursday there were two calling and not three.

I’m sure there are a variety of reasons why there is a shortage of officials. But it doesn’t help the situation if the fans get too vocal criticizing the officials.

Fans who were too vocal toward the officials got thrown out of basketball games recently at the Boles and Leonard tournaments.

The Texas Association of Sports Officials now has a three-strike policy. After three strikes against a school, the TASO may refuse to officiate games at that school. Without officials there will be no games.

“We are currently at strike one in this three-strike policy, due to a spectator being removed from a contest,” wrote Brad Connelly, superintendent of the Celeste ISD. “Celeste ISD will begin hosting games without spectators before we get to strike three and have the TASCO organization refuse to officiate our games. We will not jeopardize our student athletes the right to play the sport they love because our spectators cannot exhibit self-control and sportsmanship.”

Most of the fans I see at the games exhibit self-control and sportsmanship. There’s only a few that need to watch it. Sure you love your team but don’t hurt your team or your school with your actions.

There was a Greenville/Hunt County connection at the First Responder Bowl in Dallas, where Texas State whipped Rice 45-21.

The public address announcer at Gerald J. Ford Stadium was Shawn Callaway, a former Greenville resident whose father Gary Callaway was the head football coach of the Lions from 1984 to 1990. Helping Callaway in the press box was former Herald-Banner staffer Kevin McPherson.

Roaming the sidelines was former Texas A&M University-Commerce head football coach David Bailiff, who is now a special assistant to Bobcat coach G.J. Kinne.

Bailiff was a head coach at both Texas State and Rice.

Cheering on the victorious Bobcats was cheerleader Gabrielle Geer, who is a graduate of Royse City High School. Her father Quinn Geer, a graduate of Greenville High School, was also at the game.

Source: Herald-Banner

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