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Officiating Violence and Abuse

The unfortunate part of such tension-ridden moments is the use of abuse! It equally hurts the feelings of the referees and the spectators though are away from the actual scene, are not less vocal about hurling abuses at the referee. Print and electronic media may highlight such incidents through spicy reporting, which may lead to unpredictable consequences, sometimes affect the psyche of the Nations to which the teams belong!Rainey (1999) wrote, With only 2 minutes remaining in the 1996 English Rugby Football Union Cup championship match, referee Steve Lander awarded a penalty try to Bath because Leicester players had been repeatedly offside. Bath scored for a 16-15 victory. When the game ended, Leicester flanker Neil Back, angry about the controversial call, pushed Mr. Lander, who fell over a pile of players. The back was subsequently banned from play for 6 months.Hitting the goal may not get big publicity unless it is the decider and the match-winning goal. But a referee being assaulted gets lots of media coverage. It assumes the shape of a court trial, the actual incident, comments, arguments, and counter-arguments appear in newspapers and TV channels. If the contending teams are from two different nations, statements from politicians and experts of the game either soothe or flare up the tempers of the fans that follow the game. It is not unusual for the politicians from the ruling and opposition parties from the same Nation to give biased statements that suit their objectives.Alcohol consumption has been found to be the root cause of most of these troubles. In a survey conducted by Rainey (1994) the findings are startling. 11% of the 782 respondents had been assaulted in their careers. The assailants are players and coaches. In baseball and softball, 50% of the assaults are serious, like chocking, hitting with a bat or ball, and punching. Most of such culprits escapedThe reference and review of violence in sports have been made in an article, ‘Time and motion analysis of the AFL field umpire’ by Pamm Kellettl and David Shilburyl (2008). This pertains to Football League (AFL.) The authors have highlighted the important roles of referees in this organized sport. In this study, 22 umpires of professional and semi-professional Australian Rules football were interviewed to determine what they think of abusive behavior, and what they find to be rewarding about umpiring. Findings showed that umpires routinely reframe abuse, considering it to be a normal part of their role.

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