Refereeing can be a dangerous profession
A referee is an easy target for a disgruntled athlete
Referee is the man who is responsible for not only conducting a game or match in a sport but also keeping an eye on the players so that they play according to the rule book. A referee is a sports official who is not a part of the management. He is not a part of the players either. But he is the most important figure in any sport that involves players and spectators. The need for a referee has always been felt in all sporting events whether or not the event is being telecast on television. There are many who say that more emotions and passions get involved when players know that their activities are being seen by millions around the country say in NFL or NBA. The charged up atmosphere of any sporting event plays a great role in the behaviors of players on the ground and it has become common for players to display their raw emotions. This creates problems for sports officials who are performing in the match as a referee as they have to handler the players according to the rule book without appearing biased towards a particular team or player.
There was a time when players had great respect for the refs and they even expressed their respect by calling referees sirs. This respect meant that players and spectators took the decisions of the refs in their stride and never showed displeasure or anger against a particular decision. This was also the time of amateurs and there was little money in sports. It was when huge money got pumped in sports and players became professionals making it a full time career that referees started to play second fiddle to players who hogged all the limelight. In professional sports successful players added to the glamour and popularity of a team that won contracts from corporations and sponsors and thus became more important than the game itself. The image of the super stars in sports was above everything else and they took on the decisions of the refs if they felt that they are not being seen in a good light by a particular decision of a referee.
The role of referee has somewhat diminished with the advent of technology
In contact sports like boxing and mixed martial sports, one has to see the charged atmosphere in which a referee has to perform his duties. He not only has to look after the fact that the game is played in the true sportsman spirit but he also has to look after the moves of the players if they are against the rule book or the spirit of the game. Even in team sports like basketball and football, a referee has to be on the alert all the time to let the game be played according to the rule book but he also has to officiate so that there are not too many obstructions in the game causing irritations to sponsors, telecasters, spectators and even the players. This is one balancing act that a referee has to learn quickly if he has a desire to succeed and make a name in this age of live sporting events.
Another factor that has taken the centre stage is the aggression and violence which is a result of so much money and popularity being involved with some sports. It becomes natural for players to get involved in disputes and violent behaviors when a decision of the referee does not go in favor of their team. This has often resulted in unruly behavior of the players with the referee and there have been extreme cases where referees have even been manhandled and received injuries as they were hit by players on the ground.
Be prepared for slightly less respect but more money and fame
There has been a gradual erosion of the importance of referees with increasing use of technologies to challenge the decisions of referees in some sports. With players getting the liberty to challenge the decision of refs in a game, it is natural for their respect for the sports officials to lessen a great deal. No longer are referees seen enjoying the kind of reputation and authority that they had in the time when the world of sports was not dominated by money in the fashion as it does today. There is no doubt that there is more money and glamour in the world of sports for the referees but this is the age of live telecasts and the actions and decisions of a the referees are also on scrutiny all the time as are the actions of players on field.
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