Cronyism

January 10, 2014
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When I watched the football playoffs over the weekend, almost every announcer made some reference to missed calls or just plain wrong calls by the refereeing crews.  In fact, one set of announcers were amazed when their game had a certain crew officiating because during the regular season they were involved in several games in which the league had to apologize for wrong calls.  It has long been suspected by anyone who has ever coached that doing tourney games is reserved for the “good old boys”.  If you are a young referee breaking in, it takes years to get on the tourney circuit.  It certainly has nothing to do with the talent level.  A few years ago, a 70+ year old referee did the Batesville girls’ sectional.  He certainly at one time was a good one, but at this age, he had difficulty just getting down the floor much less being in position to make the calls.  If this is not “cronyism”, I certainly don’t have the right definition for it.  While doing a radio broadcast during a regional one year, I heard a supervisor of referees for the IHSAA make this statement, “that young referee has no business doing a regional”.   What he went on to explain was that in his opinion regionals were reserved for the older referees who had put in their time and not for the young guys.  This particular young referee was the best on the floor that day.  Good thing someone in the IHSAA recognized this.

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