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Whistle happy

Written by James Potter

Nothing grates on me more than over policed sporting events. Officials are there to control the game not grind it to a slow and painful halt.

The argument is that officials simply work to enforce the rules and they are not to blame if this inhibits the game. This is a cop out and one that sports fans should not have to swallow. Don’t get me wrong, officials have a hard job and need to have thick skins. But they are well paid professionals and should be scrutinized just like players.

Referee Stuart Dickinson

Referee Stuart Dickinson

The litmus test for whistleblowers should be quite simple. A penalized infringement needs to be clear. When an official blows the whistle and players, commentators and fans are waiting to see which way the penalty goes you know there is a huge problem.

The worst sport in the world for over-officious adjudicating is rugby union. Whistle happy referees in this sport ruin game after game. You can watch two rugby matches back to back and it will seem like each game is played with a different rule set. The craziest thing is they tend to ease off the whistle blowing in the last 20 minutes of the game. Why can’t they do that through the entire match?

In the NBA it is common practice that players are given more leeway in the finals. Why? Give players more lee way all the time and we’ll get to enjoy watching the competition instead of watching some over zealous rule checker getting his five minutes of fame at the expense of the spectacle.