Letters submitted by BDN readers are verified by BDN Opinion Page staff. Send your letters to email@example.com
The editorial in the Bangor Daily News on May 3 addressed the action of a town in New Jersey that is going to require rowdy fans at Little League games to officiate three games before being allowed to return as a spectator. They are definitely fitting the punishment to the crime! However, there are unmentioned difficulties.
Officiating, whether on a national, collegiate, and high school or younger level, is difficult. Each sport, gymnastics through T-ball, has rules, requirements and fine points that must be learned. You can not just get up off of the bleachers and start making calls as though you know what you are doing. Officials are trained extensively, not just told to read a rule book. Hopefully officials are fond of the sport, and in the case of school level officials, are also fond of young athletes. Of course they need to be able to be unbiased — completely!
Those fans who think they know best are in for an awakening! Officiating can be a joy, but it is not easy, and is almost always under-appreciated by many. Now it seems that some of those “many” are going to see what it is like to be on the other end of the stick! Provided they can pass the training, of course.
Meets, matches and games could not be held without the willingness of officials to be there. Young athletes should see fans thanking the officials — not swearing at them!
Good job, New Jersey!