I am quite alarmed and frustrated by the inconsistency with which refs are applying G25 and the overaggressiveness 10-pt. judgement call FIRST wedged into the rules after they were released. At some events, ramming and tipping were being permitted with no penalty, causing damage and much frustration to offensive teams. At others, such as Midwest, refs are nullifying legal defensive strategies as defined by Rule G25 by their application of the overaggressiveness rule. I’d love to hear why they are choosing to levy these penalties, but oh yes, they don’t bother communicating their reasoning for each penalty to the audience. Pity. More people than I care to remember have expressed similar frustration in these forums and at these events across the continent. The same, tired old excuses of “Oh, they’re just volunteers” and “Oh, we don’t have the resources to oversee the refs as much as we’d like” is starting to wear thin. FIRST, you have a MAJOR problem with the way you “manage” your referee crews, and if you do not do something about it soon, I fear you are going to see some teams walk away from this program in disgust.
(Virtual shouting alert. All of you who get uptight about such things, grab your virtual Tylenol, use it on your virtual headache, and hush).
Yes, I freely admit it. I am biased. Biased toward fairness. Biased toward balance. Biased toward equality of experience at all events for all teams, both offensive and defensive. Why must we always have to deal with these extremes in judgement from the refereeing crew, extremes which cause students who feel they’ve just accomplished something amazing to suddenly have their spirits obliterated by a penalty that didn’t exist at their last event? THAT IS INEXCUSABLE, AND FIRST YOU ARE DROPPING THE BALL BIG TIME. This is the ONE area of the entire competition you SHOULDN’T leave primarily in the hands of the regional volunteer staffs. I know many of these refs are walk-ons at these events and have had little training. BUT THAT IS NOT AN EXCUSE - THAT IS EVIDENCE THAT YOUR REFEREEING SELECTION AND TRAINING PROCESSES ARE NOT GOOD ENOUGH! THAT IS EVIDENCE OF YOUR FAILURE IN THIS AREA! I am tired of everyone asking us to use GP and look past these shortcomings. You exist as a non-profit organization who have dedicated themselves to serving the needs of the people and teams who quite literally buy into your message and choose to participate in this program. Each year, we all look to you to create an exciting game challenge, exercise fairness in judgement, and provide swift guidance and communication when such things are needed. When the central body fails to come through in these areas, the whole community is weakened by it. This is an area where we NEED more leadership from you. It is challenge enough for these mentors to run their own programs and find ways to inspire them in our home towns. We expect the competitions to be a capstone experience for the kids that lets us all celebrate the successes of the build period together, one which takes the kids’ breath away and leaves them wanting more. This refereeing inconsistency is severely hurting that experience for many students and their teams, and that is inexcusable.
FIRST, this is a call for help. Please fix what is broken, so that the great FIRST experience we’ve all come to know and love isn’t further eroded away.
I originally posted this in the Midwest Webcast thread, but moved it here.
Relevant posts can be found in the Midwest Regional Webcast thread, page 4 and beyond:
The video of the match in question can be found here.
I just watched the video of this semifinal match. Thank you to SOAP for providing this great service.
Some excerpts from the announcer…
“Some great defense by the blue alliance.”
“Captain Krunch…playing pure defense.”
Boy, those blue dudes sure had him fooled. Good thing the refs were there to set the record straight and penalize that overaggressive alliance for pouring everything they had into upsetting “the favorites”.
I will tell you that the vid of that match didn’t reveal all 2:00 of the blue alliance’s defensive activity, but from what I saw, they were pushing low. They never rammed. They backed off periodically to avoid the pinning issues. Basically, they played the defensive game the way it was meant to be played. Yet they were denied.
Did anyone actually bother to communicate the SPECIFIC reasoning behind the call to the crowd at the venue? Or was everyone once again left in the dark to fuel the flames of debate here on these forums and beyond?
I’m that much closer to bringing the G25 Freightliner to Atlanta.
Rule generalities such as the “overaggressiveness” penalties permit personal bias and inconsistency to taint both the quality AND equality of the game experience for participants across the board. They pretty much give refs free license to annihilate any explicitly-worded rule in the book at their leisure. IT STINKS. PERIOD.
Congratulations to the winning alliance in that Midwest semifinal, for you played your best and did nothing wrong, but I truly salute you, 107, 79, and 648, for a job well done and, in my opinion, improperly rewarded.