By: Maggie Will
Recently at a Male field hockey game, in a tournament, our team and coaches were reprimanded for our parents’ and fans’ sideline behavior towards the officials. This event brought up the question: what makes a “good” fan?
In many sports, fans are often outspoken on calls that they deem unfair or on other decisions made by referees. However, it has been commonly noticed that watchers of field hockey and soccer games, specifically, are getting called out by refs due to their vocal outbursts.
Officials are through with putting up with negative comments from parents regarding other teams’ players or the refs themselves. These derogatory comments have proved to affect the game for the worse.
Daniel Peterson, (10), as a current Male soccer player, was very outspoken in regards to this issue. “Officials getting on fans is unprofessional. However, when parents become too out-spoken, it affects the ref’s judgement on calls, resulting in them becoming more biased to a single team”, (despite this being unfair).
Similarly, it has been stated by Amy Shumate, (field hockey program coordinator/former field hockey player), that “fans need to keep in mind what they say and how it affects others. Respect needs to be implemented and encouraging, positive comments, only, should be made.”
Many current field hockey players at Male have expressed that although crowds become rowdy occasionally, they love the support and cheering from the fans, as it boosts their confidence and helps them to stay pumped up. These cheers and encouraging, positive comments will create a supportive Bulldog community, while still maintaining an electrifying atmosphere throughout the entire game.
Although it is a common perception that refs make many bad calls, it is important to remember that they are human, and that calls are made in the heat of the moment, but you have to keep playing your game, as said by Christian Lauria, (Male’s girl’s soccer coach). He stated that the most important things to look for in your ref’s calls is their consistency. “If the same calls are not being made the whole game, it falls to the coaches to speak to the officials, not the players or parents.”
Soccer player Cierra Collins, (10), expressed her views on this topic. “Officials are saying things to fans, because parents are at times becoming too involved in the game. The discouraging comments yelled by fans affects the players negatively because it keeps them out of their head and “game mindset”.”
Although it is very important and exciting to have the sidelines roaring with praise and cheers, it is important to keep in check and not go overboard. Derogatory comments directed at the refs not only slow the game down, but could cause backlash at you personally, your school team, and the calls being made.
A shortage of good officials has resulted due to how they’re treated and talked to by fans; so it is very important to maintain a good and positive composure throughout the whole game.
Male’s sports teams love having fans to come out and support them, but it is the fans’ responsibility to promote an optimistic comradery and to preserve the rights to keep cheering for the Bulldogs!