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What to do When the Youth Sports Ref Upsets You


Youth sports refs really haven’t changed much in the 25 years since I watched my oldest daughter’s first game. Over the years, I’ve seen refs who called way too much or way too little and many many many “bad” calls.

When my kids were playing youth sports, I often found myself yelling at the officials and saying some very negative things. The older the children got, the more I learned that what I was doing was not setting a good example and not solving any problems. By the time my kids graduated from high school, I’d calmed down a lot.

But last week as I watched my son-in-law’s varsity basketball team (he’s the assistant coach), I felt myself reverting back to my ref-yelling days. It was almost a default really. I felt the urge take over me again and I realized that honestly, I’m a recovering ref-yeller, and just like a recovering addict, if I’m not careful, it’s easy for me to fall off the wagon.

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