“What are you blind?” The most common of tirades on a football sideline.
In an average NFL game, 145 plays are run . On any Play, every official is making some form of judgement at least once. At 14 games per week over a 16 game season, 227,360 judgements are made. According to the N.F.L.’s grading, for every 100 plays, 97.64 of them were officiated correctly. Because games historically average a little more than 150 plays, officials are averaging about four mistakes a game, and it is extraordinarily rare (like less than 1 time per season) when a crew has a 100% perfectly called game.
So we figured out that no referee is perfect and even with thousands of dollars spent on video equipment there is still 3 percent error amongst those that make a living doing it at the highest level. If players and coaches that are complaining about the stripes could do 97 percent of what their NFL counterparts could do…. well you can draw your own conclusion.
However one thing that can be done in order to make the experience better for everyone is being addressed by the Pioneer League. The league is in the process of looking for a commissioner of officials that will oversee a thorough system of review for ALL officials of PFL games. Included in the proposal for this year.
– Detailed rating system of officials including decorum (respect in communicating for coaches and players on each respective team), mechanics (following proper procedures), and knowledge of the rules. Coaches/Owners will fill out and the league will follow up and review all surveys.
– Video Review – multiple games per week will be videotaped and submitted to the league for review. Included in the video review will be flag frequency, communication of all calls to both sidelines, and mechanics (hustle into position to make calls).
– Training – Additional training for officials directly from the league in proper communication and conflict resolution. Officials will not make the right calls all the time BUT they will be respectful at all times.
What do officials get in return? Yes we all were wondering that because we all are worried about the feelings of our striped friends. Well the respect level toward the officials will be second to none in the PFL. Rules enforcement is a top priority and will be enforced at all times. The PFL reassures the referees that they will not have to deal with unprofessional organizations and coaches because of the standards we are setting for the children that we are teaching and mentoring. Also, since they know that their issues will be heard and resolved it will likely decrease the frustration level even in the heat of football battle.
The best refs are the ones that you don’t notice. This is the concept behind the initiative. With a little more effort the great games that are battled out on the field will be remembered for what the players and coaches did, not the officials.