Commentary: Intramural soccer officials unprofessional

My experiences with the intramural soccer officials have been awful. They call the most ridiculous fouls and completely over-involve themselves in the game. They seem to think they are the main focus of the games rather than the players and the ball.

One of my friends had started an intramural team and needed another player, so we filled out the proper forms online and I was added to the roster after the first game. When I went to play in my first game the officials operating the score board said I was not on the roster. They said we could file a roster addition protest form, basically saying we had filled out the correct forms, so I could play in the game. The only downside was if we had screwed up even a little when we filled out the form we would forfeit the game.

We ended up winning the game 2-1. As it turned out we had incorrectly filled out the roster addition form. Our mistake? We put an apostrophe in “that’s,” (a word in the team name). Apparently we were supposed to ignore the rules of grammar that dictate how to properly use conjunctions. So we were stripped of our win because we used proper spelling filling out a form.

The officials seem to imagine they are refereeing a junior league of 7- or 8-year-olds. For example, if someone falls down, even if there is no one around them, there will invariably be a call. Also, if the team that “committed” the foul says anything to question the call he or she is automatically given a yellow card and sent off the field. One of my friends, who questioned an official after receiving two yellow cards, is now banned from the league. This is despite the fact that he treated the situation with maturity, and after receiving his second yellow card, walked off the field quietly and waited until after the game to talk to the official.

The second game I played in was called a win for the other team because too many yellow cards were issued. Two of these cards had been for asking “Sir, what was the call?” Since when is that a rule in soccer? No one had even been thrown out of the game. As a result of the game being called we had to forfeit that game as well.

Our season did not go well. We lost two of our games because of the officials. We went on to win our last game because the other team received three yellow cards and as a result, they had to forfeit.

There are three officials on the field at all times, and at one of the games I counted nine officials on the sidelines doing nothing. As for the three officials on the field, the field is about a quarter the size of a regular soccer field, which is normally refereed by three officials. I think that an average official could have done a better job refereeing the games at Cabot with his eyes closed – going by just the sounds of the game – than the officials I encountered.

– Greg Allen is a freshman mechanical engineering major.

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