Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A tale of two emails

In ten years of officiating, I had only once heard about a parent responding to my work. I'm certain that assignors filter almost all of the bitching out and shield it from officials, but one day in about 2000, after a smooth-as-silk varsity game between tiny schools...awesome flow, lots of running up and down the floor, quality play, and minimal assignor called me to say that there was parent complaints of terrible pushing, and rough play.

Apparently I'd reffed a game at the Academy of Bizarre Hallucinations.

I told him nothing of the sort happened. He said "Thanks, buddy! That's all I need to know!"

Now I've had two game-related emails get to me in a week--about consecutive games.

The first email was a parental complaint that might have been about these very run-of-the-mill games, or maybe the C-team game that night that I didn't do, or maybe about a game that took place somewhere in the upset mom's brain. Mom claimed that there a player slapped her daughter's face during a jump ball, that one official closed with a jump ball call while "the other" (funny phrasing for a 3-person game) closed with a T, that we ignored the T and continued play, that her daughter was so upset that she removed herself from the game and asked the coach not to be reinserted.

I can certainly understand why this mother is upset, except for the fact that the entire story is fictional.

Seriously, loyal readers...would something like that (a T and a jump ball double-whistle! and conflict about what to call!) have not merited a mention? Would neither coach have uttered a peep about it?

I reviewed my game log, wrote a probably-too-long email back to my assignor, CC-ing my partners, and let it go. Both of my partners followed up thanking me for the email and saying they agreed with my assessment. Assignor loved my email so much that he sent it back to the AD who sent him the mom's letter in the first place. Ah, the advantages of being a writer-ref!

So that's over.

Then, today, another one, about my most recent boys' game.

It was very brief and from the losing coach to the assignor, who forwarded it to my partner and me:

I just wanted to let you know what a great job our officials did Monday night. It was by far the best we have been officiated all year. I don’t remember their names but they did a great job.

Wow! And hmmm...

It's clear that this coach didn't remember me from the previous Monday, when he was as annoyed as any coach all year long. It would have been funny if he'd said "They were WAY better than that last clown we had!" I guess you're only as good as your last call.

So I can't take either comment too seriously, can't say that the coaches/parents who like you are correct and the ones who hate you are delusional. That's some weird kind of critique cherry-picking. But still...what a weird week. Emails about consecutive games!


Post a Comment

<< Home

Add Me! - Search Engine Optimization