Whether it is a game, a sport or a simple activity, most events have specific rules attached.
Referees uphold these rules to ensure equality and fairness for those participating in the event.
The referee is the “person who makes sure that players act according to the rules of a game or sport,” according to the Merriam Webster website
However, being in charge of keeping the game fair can have its difficulties.
There have been instances of fans and players losing control and violently assaulting referees after questionable officiating or serious calls.
Referees have difficult jobs; however, some enjoy the challenges it provides.
“It’s a good opportunity for me to grow and be able to handle situations, and deal with players as well as coaches and fans,” said Coty Thomas, lead recreational basketball referee at BYU-Idaho and a senior studying exercise physiology. “I feel like there’s so much room for improvement. You’ll never be perfect, even in the pros.”
Kelsey Morgan, a junior studying psychology, said she mostly enjoys refereeing basketball, but she dislikes when there are 12 people on the floor trying to tell her how to do her job.
“You can’t really know how hard a job is until you’ve done it yourself,” Morgan said. “I have a lot more respect for referees now.”
Morgan has played basketball for 12 years and coached as well, but just picked up refereeing this past year.
Morgan said her favorite aspect of refereeing is ensuring the game goes smoothly.
“I like being able to make sure the game is run smoothly and that people don’t get hurt,” Morgan said.
Thomas said it can be frustrating to never be able to make everyone happy.
“The hardest thing is that there is always going to be someone who disagrees with you,” Thomas said. “Even when you do a good job you will still hear negative words and people will still be frustrated.”
Thomas said athletes should remember that referees are not perfect, just like the players themselves are not perfect.
“Referees aren’t perfect,” Thomas said. “You’ll watch a player turn the ball over five to six times a game, that’s on them, yet a referee makes one or two bad calls and they’re all over their case.”
Thomas said players should have the perspective to try and see how they as players can play better each game, instead of blaming the referees for several missed calls.
“We go into a game, we do the best we can and after the game we evaluate ourselves,” Thomas said. “After a game, should evaluate themselves, too.”