Monday, September 24, 2012

WEEK 3: Replacement Refs still suck

I found this over at Foxsports- Review some of the highlight blunders:
CHAOS: A state of utter confusion or disorder; a total lack of organization or order.

Webster, meet Week 3 of the NFL. If you thought things were bad last week with "The Replacements," it only got more confusing Sunday. It simply comes down to this: The replacement officials don't know the NFL rules, they don't know how to enforce what they don't know and they don't know how to manage the games. I want to be clear — it's not the replacement officials' fault — they are doing the best they can in a very difficult situation. But here are four examples from Sunday that are a microcosm of the bigger, overall problem.

1. San Francisco at Minnesota
2. Philadelphia at Arizona
3. Cincinnati at Washington
4. Buffalo at Cleveland

Read more here

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Thursday, April 12, 2012

Babcock rips NHL game 1 officiating- & the $2500 Zetterburg pancake smash!

"These are the two least-penalized teams in NHL. What's different? ... The referees are trying to get to Stanley Cup Final like the rest of us," - Mike Babcock


and if you haven't seen enough of Shea Weber helping Zetterberg's face get onto the glass- bookmark this vid:

For this moment of WWE in the NHL Playoffs- they hit Weber with a HEFTY $2500 fine.

The NHL, rather than suspend Shea Weber for bouncing Henrik Zetterberg's head off the glass, fined the Nashville Predators' captain $2,500, proving, among other things, how much stock the league puts in whether a player is injured by a particular illegal act.

"We felt this was a reckless and reactionary play on which Weber threw a glancing punch and then shoved Zetterberg's head into the glass," NHL director of player safety Brendan Shanahan said in a release explaining the move. "We reached out to Detroit following the game and were informed that Zetterberg did not suffer an apparent injury and should be in the lineup for Game 2.

"This play and the fine that addressed it will be significant factors in assessing any incidents involving Shea Weber throughout the remainder of the playoffs."

Read more here

Friday, March 16, 2012

Basketball player assaults referee during game!

One way to deal with calls not going your way... I doubt this guy is playing these days!

A Kuwaiti basketball player hits the referee in the Asian Cup game after losing to Saudi in a game that should have been easy for them and would've qualified them to 2nd round, unnecessary & stupid act.
More at

Friday, February 10, 2012

Why do NHL officials suck this bad?

by sean gordon Globe and Mail Update

Here’s a touchy one, hope we don’t get fined by the league.

But several incidents over the last few days have dredged up a persistent, vexing question: why are NHL officials so bad?

The most egregious blunder this week was the non-call on Corey Perry’s overtime winner for the Ducks on Wednesday night after he plainly tripped Carolina’s Jussi Jokinen behind the net to create a turnover.

There were a couple of phantom goalie interference calls against the New York Rangers and Boston Bruins that negated goals - in the Blueshirts’ case a late tying goal against a division rival, New Jersey.

On Thursday night, the zebras missed at least one high-stick goal (on Long Island) and probably another in Newark.

That both stood up after replay makes it all the more puzzling.

And do we even need to bring up Clock-gate in L.A.?

In any case, some people in hockey are doing their best Peter Finch impression: they’re mad as hell, and they’re not going to take it any more.

But they’re also going to speak elliptically so as not to get socked in the wallet by the humourless suits at head office. To wit, one John Tortorella.

It’s always easy to blame incompetence, but what if the issue is the game itself?

Everyone always talks about how much faster the NHL has become since the lockout, and maybe it’s now moving too quickly to be adequately officiated by two refs.

What is already a fiendishly hard job is rendered nearly impossible to do well despite the best efforts of men who, by and large, are top professionals.

One offshoot of trying to keep up with the chaos is that refs develop an unusually close proximity to some players, usually veterans.

None of the foregoing in any way excuses blowing easy calls like the Perry situation.

But that incident does show how people will modify their behaviour - Perry had been slashed on the hand a few moments earlier but there had been no call.

Former NHL ref Kerry Fraser, he of the Alain Cote disallowed goal (1986) and Wayne Gretzky high-stick-that-wasn’t (1993) incidents, pulled the cover back on that whole can of worms in his TSN column.

Money quote: “In an attempt to be ‘fair’ you ultimately become an accountant trying to balance the books instead of a referee. Usually the second infraction you feel you must allow is worse than the first one.”

Footage from HBO’s 24/7 is particularly revealing - refs have conversations with players, who are often referred to by nickname, that have the feel of negotiations.

The NHL is a reputation league, and refs also sometimes make flash judgments influenced by a player’s rep.

Best example: Dan O’Rourke calling Erik Karlsson a diver in a conversation with Ottawa coach Paul MacLean - nice work Rourkie.

At least MacLean has big brass ones and smashed the usual omerta by going public and ratting him out.

So in addition to having competence issues with certain refs - ie. Tim Peel, Stephane Auger and, most egregiously, Chris Lee - the NHL is dealing with complicated psychology.

There are no easy fixes to this, but there are a couple of things the NHL could do.

First, they could be more transparent about ref discipline - the English Premier League issues lists of which refs and assistants have been dropped and why.

Teams can send players to the minors if they don’t perform, why shouldn’t refs suffer the same treatment?

Why not give refs from a lower league a little hope that they might gain access to the exclusive NHL club?

That seems callous and antithetical to hockey tradition, but maybe it’s a way to create distance between ref and player (although soccer players disrespect officials at least as much as hockey players).

More refs could be hired from European leagues, more resources could be spent on training and professional development at all levels - the minor pro and major junior leagues are also dealing with a dearth of top officials.

Another option would be to mike the refs like they do in international rugby - a sport where players rarely, if ever, talk back at the officials any more.

Rugby refs also explain how certain subjective rules - like the breakdown - are going to be called so it’s clear to both sides and the viewing public.

Make the soundtrack available to the television networks to use in replays - it might even clean up some of the homophobic and bigoted language that is tolerated all to often on the ice.

None of this, of course, will ever happen.

But here’s something that might, or at least should: remove some of the discretion and judgment calls that make refs’ lives harder.

Do away with touching the puck with a high stick or kicking it or punching it into the net.

Enforce unsportsmanlike and misconduct offences, make all contact with the head an automatic minor penalty, give a game misconduct to players who fight, enforce the instigator rule.

This will be met by fierce resistance by the refs, who it should be pointed out, nearly went on strike a season or two back.

But something needs to happen.

Credibility is hard-won but easily frittered away, the reputation league should want to avoid gaining a reputation for poor officiating.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Being a hockey ref isn't always easy...

originally posted at

They have been spat upon, cross-checked in the head and sucker-punched. They have suffered sexual and homophobic comments and been grabbed by the throat.

Players have fired pucks at them and parents have threatened them, sometimes making good on their violent promises.

Those are just some of the incidents of abuse listed by hockey referees — almost all from Ontario amateur leagues — who took part in a survey whose findings are published in the Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine.

Some 374 of 632 anonymous respondents, 92 per cent from Ontario, listed specific examples that ranged from a parent breaking a referee’s finger to a fan threatening to “carve out a linesman’s eye” and an ejected player head-butting an official.

The study — titled Violence in Canadian Amateur Hockey: The Experience of Referees in Ontario — was co-authored by Dr. Charles Tator, a Toronto neurosurgeon at Toronto Western Hospital who is founder of the group ThinkFirst Canada, a charitable organization dedicated to the prevention of brain and spinal cord injuries.

The other co-authors were Dr. Alun D. Ackery and Dr. Carolyn Snider.

The study’s objective was “to determine the perception and roles of referees about violence and injury in hockey games.”

“We found that hockey referees in Canada perceived a lack of discipline and obeying of hockey rules leading to an increased aggression and injury,” the study concluded.

“Referees suggest that they are both physically and verbally abused. Referees feel that coaches are the most important individuals for determining player safety. This potential lack of respect and hostility for referees from coaches, parents, and fans creates an environment that may put all on-ice participants at higher risk for injury.

“These responses give new insight on the potential need to give referees more support, authority to discipline, and ability to educate participants with respect to on-ice safety.”

The authors used a web-based study, contacting 21 referees-in-chief from all provincial and territorial Hockey Canada organizations as well as several private adult hockey leagues from April 1 to May 18, 2010.

Nine agreed to distribute the survey link to their referees. The NHL did not allow its officials to participate, the authors said.

read entire article