| March 22, 2018

Column: The Role of Referees

September 26, 2016

The Seattle Sounders faced off against the LA Galaxy on Sunday. Seattle came out strong and won 4-2.

Forward Jordan Morris made two goals, putting Seattle up 4-1. Morris also scored in the 77th off a deflection from the referee. In addition, an LA defender made an own-goal.

I don’t know if this win would have been possible without the extremely rare own-goal and the unfortunate referee-assisted goal. Referees have the final say, but even the best refs make the wrong calls sometimes.

One bad call can change the outcome of a game. Players are taught to accept it and to not argue. A referee’s fault should not reach beyond a few bad calls, like touching the ball and assisting a goal.

Being a soccer player, I remember the frustration when a strike hit a wandering referee and altered a gameplay. However, they are almost never at fault.

The purpose of a referee in any sports game is to provide fair play, but sometimes I wonder if referees are preventing fairness. Especially in high school leagues and below, referees are usually very young and inexperienced. Sometimes they create more disputes than they solve.

In the recent Seattle game, I believe the Sounders got lucky. Without those two unanticipated goals, the game would have been tied 2-2 and LA would have likely prevailed. This unlikely win is good news for Seattle fans, who were unsure whether Seattle would even make it to the playoffs this year.

Ella Fredericks can be reached at arg-sports@uidaho.edu or on Twitter @ellabfred

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