March madness is upon us and as the wife of a local basketball referee, I have a whole different perspective on the game when I’m sitting in the stands. And, based on my perspective, it might surprise you to find out that referees aren’t always highly REVERED and RESPECTED as the authority on the floor by the spectators in the stands.
As a matter of fact, as much as I love my husband, sometimes after a really good game of closely matched competitors that was hard fought and finally won by either 1 free throw or a 3-point basket, AFTER two or three OVERTIME sessions, I walk a few paces in behind him and his partners so people don’t know we’re together, but I do keep a watchful eye on him! I never know how someone might react to him and any calls he may have made during the game!
Now, back to the spectators. Why do you suppose it is that during a really fierce game, spectators may not have good things to say about some of the ref’s calls? It comes down to one’s perspective. On the floor, the referee is part of the game and is trained to know what to look for. That doesn’t mean they always get the call right. But it does mean that they have the training and experience that far exceeds the majority of those in the stands who are looking on from a completely different, and somewhat removed, perspective.
THE REFEREES HAVE THE BENEFIT OF THE LIVED EXPERIENCES THAT COMES WITH YEARS OF SERVING AS A BASKETBALL REFEREE. Unless the fans in the stands have the desire to connect and understand the perspective of a referee, they do themselves a great disservice by not benefitting from a diverse perspective.