CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WOWK) – In sports, Players play, Coaches coach, and officials officiate. It seems simple enough to follow. When this formula is carried out, it can result in some thrilling competition, but what happens when this pattern is broken? 13 Sports Reporter Jake Siegel investigates the future of youth sports in our state and uncovers how fan behavior has affected the games we’ve come to love and watch.
Sports will always be about players and teamwork but at times officials can get in the way, leading to an outcry and poor behavior from unruly parents and fans.
“Do my buddies give me a hard time when I make mistakes? Sure so what? I’m not going to take it to heart. I’ve just got to go out there and do my job and I’m trained to do the job a certain way if I do it that way I do the best I can then I really don’t fear that, I don’t even let it bother me at all,” Dennis Blumfield said.
While verbal abuse has not concerned thirty-year veteran official Dennis Blumfield, it has bothered some youth officials across the mountain state, causing more and more referees to put down their whistles and walk away from sports altogether.
“Yelling at me is not getting the job done so you know how can we better go about you going and expressing your displeasure about my decision. We are definitely not perfect and we’re going to make mistakes,” Chris Romaca said.
“We have instruction at the beginning of the year. We have a meeting with the coaches, parents and fans and say look here’s our job as officials we do the best we can, it’s not always the best thing that happens and here’s how we’re going to handle those type of things please don’t be that way,” Blumfield said.
Some feel the future of high school sports across the state could be in serious jeopardy, other close to these games don’t believe that is a realistic expectation.
“I hope it doesn’t come to that. It would be discouraging for our players at that point, I don’t foresee a strike in that nature but again if we can all work together I think we can make some ground in the right direction,” Romaca said.
“I don’t think so, I think they will come to a point where there is a governing body somewhere that is going to make sure that they are going to make sure they are going to take control of something that is probably not being controlled as best as it right now?” said Vince Hubert.
There has been an effort to curb this parental violence police have begun to charge who attack officials with assault, sports leagues are suspending leagues which continue to have problems and in places like Texas and Florida school districts are now offering counseling to unruly parents.
Vince was once a fan who was very close to getting thrown at his daughter’s game and provides some long-lasting advice that everyone should note.
“Love your kids enjoy the game that’s what you are there for, you are there for your children.”
Reporting in Charleston, Jake Siegel 13 Sports working for you.
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