The Right Call

Imagine a running back running through the line of scrimmage and, all of a sudden, a linebacker flashes through and lays a thunderous hit on the running back that knocks him down. He gets up, shakes his head and runs back to the huddle. Now imagine a referee going into the huddle and telling him that he is done playing for the rest of the game.

This is the situation that will now be happening in the California. The California High School football board has just made a rule that officials can now rule when players are not fit to play. I understand the reasons behind trying to do this, but ultimately, this isn't the job of the official.

When officials are trained, officials are not trained to be doctors. That's what trainers are there for. In no way are officials qualified to make that decision. If anything, they have enough on their hands during the game besides trying to pay attention to what every player looks like on the field.

Ultimately, I think that the issue should be taken up with the coaches of the teams and the trainers. If a coach sees someone looking like they are a little dinged up, then the coach should be able to pull him out and have the trainer take a look at him. Until their are doctors that are referees, there is no reason that a referee can tell a player he cannot get back in the game when the referee isn't even a qualified doctor.

5 Responses

  1. Jonathan Reynolds

    I have to half way agree with you on this one. Yes The are not qualified but they don’t,or better yet not suppose to, have an vested interest in seeing a team win. So in a big game a coach might not take out his star running back to win the game especially if there stopping the passing game. The same thing goes with the trainer, he might have a vested interest because thats his team or better yet if he tries to remove the player, for minor a minor injury that if aggravated to much will get serious, he might be fired or under social and political pressure be asked to resign. Even the player himself might not want to come out so they fake being okay. It seems to me that the referee is the only one, hopefully, not vested in the game and can make the right call.

    • What would stop a referee from having an interest in who wins or loses? I think that the bigger issue is why is the referee getting this authority to be treated like he is a doctor on the field.

      • Jonathan Reynolds

        Nothing would stop the refs from having an interest but one would hope that they don’t. As for the reason there being treated like doctors on the field in my opinion is leaving the players health to people who definitely have a vested interest is one not smart and probably has not been working so far. Not sure whats going on in Cali but it sounds like there have been some incidents in which kids who should of been taken out were not and they suffered the consequences. So who will look out for those players? Seems to me the California High School football board has tapped the refs on the shoulder. Is it smart, probably not like you said they’re not doctors, but someone has to do it with out disrupting the flow of the game. Could you imagine independent doctors running on the field to check players after the get they’re bell rung? But to defend the refs some have playing experience and years of refereeing so they have seen it all and can spot a injured player based of their experience.

        • Its a bad idea. This decision is opening up a can of worms. And Tim Donaghy proved that any type of official cannot be trusted either.

      • Jonathan Reynolds

        I total agree with you. Just the question of which is better doing something or nothing?

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