I recently had the opportunity to officiate a football game southwest from Shawnee. Everything from the pregame conference with the coaches to the final play went normal. Still trying to understand why coaches think they can make fools of themselves? A coach during this game wanted a time out so that he could talk to the referee. During this discussion the coach told the referee that we will never get a big game again since we can’t handle it. What was strange to me is that our crew was not aware this was a big game. The game was one sided for the most part and neither team was that good. The only thing I can think of was when the coach was upset about a no call on a “hold”. Now I have had coaches upset about no calls and when I attempt to explain to them the philosophy on a hold they tell me there is no such thing as philosophy. When I hear this statement I basically give up. The reason for giving up is because if the coach thinks there is no such thing as philosophy in the rule book then he has never made it passed page 3.

Shouldn’t it be a requirement for coaches to take and pass the NFHS Rules Test? You would think if coaches become more studious of the game that we would have less arguing and the game would run a lot smoother. This same coach mentioned that he understands that we don’t do this for a living but we need to understand the rules better. Seriously? This came from the guy that tried to talk to us about blocking below the waist and cutback blocks. Cutback blocks do not exist in NFHS and he was not even close to correct on the blocking rule.

Now as for the opposing team, that coach had class. We had a punt at one point in the game. The ball was muffed by the return man and the player from the kicking team picked up the ball and ran towards the end zone. When the player from the kicking team gained possession of the ball the play was blown dead. Immediately everyone started yelling. The head coach then asked the official on his sideline about the rule. Our Head Linesman simply said, “K cannot return a kick”. The coach said, “ok, hey guys calm down it’s the right call”. Never heard anything else about it that night. It’s not very often that you run in to a coach that is calm and professional, but when you do it’s very much appreciated. Especially when your players have the same respect for the game. That night I really noticed how much a coach can influence a student/athlete. Unprofessional coach = disrespectful players, professional coach = respectful players.