How to deal with your Rec League refs | Athletes Collective

How to deal with your Rec League refs

Repeat after me, “I am not Lebron James, I am not Chris Paul, I am not Jose Bautista, I am not Ronaldo. Yelling at the refs during my rec league basketball, softball or soccer game will not make them call the game any better or in my favour”.   Repeat those words to yourself over and over and keep the following in mind the next time you get hacked, get unfairly called for a hack, or have a pitch you thought should have been a ball end up being called a strike. 

  1. The refs are not getting paid that much to call your game and often work this kind of job because they just love doing it, none of them are making a career out of this. It’s almost comically fun for them to see you lose their mind during a rec league game.
  2. Rec league refs will abuse what little power they have if they can, it comes standard with the job. Give them a reason to throw you out and they will do it with a smile on their face. 
  3. Yelling at the refs will not make them like you any better. Unlike superstar pro athletes, your opinion of them will not effect whether or not they get to ref the big game at the end of the season. An eye roll or an audible exhale should suffice in showing your displeasure with their call, and won't get you kicked out. 
  4. A simple “can you watch out for this or watch out for that” goes a long way to curry favour with the refs. They often pay attention to things they might have missed if asked nicely.
  5. If the calls are getting out of hand, only the captain should be dealing with the matter. Let him speak for the team, that’s part of his job.
  6. If you’re the biggest guy on the court (pertaining mostly to basketball or hockey) and some little guy (me) hacks you harder than he should, don’t complain to the refs, they’re not going to call it.  

At the end of the day sometimes the refs you’re given are just bad at their jobs, plain and simple. When you’ve figured this out you have two choices, 1) continue to argue in order to make your point and most likely get kicked out, or 2) accept that the only way to win is to be the better team on the field or on the court.  I highly recommend option #2.  You paid to play so you might as well get the most out of the game, and no commentator on Sports Centre is going tell the sports world you were right.  


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