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OT- Objective refereeing in the 4 major sports


redman

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This was a good topic in bulldog's Laker post, so I thought it should have its own thread:

Bufford wrote:

So...here is my question for the masses.

Out of the 4 majors in the U.S., which is the most corrupt?

1. through 4.

1. NBA (worst?)

2. MLB

3. NHL

4. NFL

do you agree? why?

bulldog responded:

1. MLB. There is little conistency in the umps calling of balls and strikes and they have steadfastly refused to call the game the way the rule book states they should. These guys are a law unto themselves and can't think of a sport where the officials play a more active role in the outcome of games.

2. NHL. Everyone in the NHL openly admits that they put the whistles away in the playoffs. That is why you see so many more cheap shots than during the regular season. Bettman came in and said he was going to try and clean up the game but has evidently decided that is too difficult. So instead he has decided to rule on specific cases to make examples out of individuals rather than try to enforce any code of conduct across the board. As a result star players get hurt in the NHL far more than they do in any other sport and that has an effect on TV ratings for the playoffs, when so many stars are hurt or at less than 100%.

3. NBA. NBA refs also put the whistle away in the playoffs at times. But the homecourt advantage usually evens itself out over the course of a seven game series. Yes, superstars get more calls, but in what sport do they not? Jordan walked with the ball numerous times on the highlight films. It was never called. But Brett Favre uses the head snap to pull defenders off side and that is rarely called. Pitchers such as Roger Clemens often hitch their motion in what is a balk but that is rarely called either.

4. NFL. The NFL refs in my mind make the most effort to be impartial. Yes, they make mistakes. But at least they have some review capability. In the NBA and MLB the rule of law of the ump or ref is absolute. Horrendous calls stand with no opportunity at review in most cases. The one thing I would do differently if I were the NFL is I would make the officials full-time employees of the league. It is preposterous that refs don't use the offseason like the players and coaches to refine their craft. Surely in a league where the dollars have made it such a rich business, we should have full-timers interpreting the rules on the field during games.

I would rank it as follows:

1- NBA

2- MLB

3- NHL

4- NFL

1. The NBA has far too much subtlety and subjectivity in most of their fouls. That means that there's far more room for star worship, and surprise, that's something that runs rampant in the league. How many stars do you see foul out? How many non-calls did Jordan get the benefit of, for example (right, Utah)? Moreover, the home team always seems to get the edge, especially when it's also the favorite. Whether its intentional as part of a marketing effort or it's an unconscious favoritism, the inability to clearly articulate and fairly call fouls makes this league the hands-down winner in this contest.

2. I have great respect for baseball umpires, and I say that even while acknowledging that bulldog's criticism is dead on regarding failure to call the strike zone as written in the rules. However, you rarely see an umpire's strike zone change during a game, except possibly in a blow out when more borderline pitches are called strikes to end the game faster. Some breaks on close pitches are given at times to star hitters or star pitchers, but they're typically reserved for close pitches. That's the only time I can think of when stars get special treatment, and that's pretty rare. There are "unwritten rules", but those rules are fairly consistently called. Baseball umpires seem to be the most consistent and reliable at calling a game. Also, to their credit they get far more close calls right - for example on the proverbial "bang-bang" plays at first base, than any other officials I can think of .

3. The NHL also has fairly subtle penalties. As a casual hockey fan, I still have trouble discerning clean, physical play from cross-checking, holding, roughing, etc. And there seems to be wide discrepancies between the number of penalties called, game to game, whether in the regular season or the playoffs. But at least penalties are called fairly, without much regard for the player involved. Stars go to the penalty box all the time. And I'm not one to complain about fewer penalties being called in the playoffs, but I do think that the league goes overboard in this regard.

4. Two words - holding penalties. They're about the most subjectively called fouls in all of sports. Pass interference penalties likewise are called inconsistently. And ironically, the league still seems too befuddled to successfully use something that should be an asset to its objectivity: instant replay. However, those are the only criticisms I can come up with. And I must say that there seems to be relatively little favoritism shown to teams or players, especially when compared to the NBA.

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Gee, I guess I'd say that baseball seems like the most consistant/least corrupt officiating of the bunch. As a sports player, I'll adapt to whatever rules are being enforced whether they are in the books or not. The thing I look for the most is consistancy. If your complaint is that the high strike is never called, well atleast it's NEVER called.

The NBA comes in second. Yes, the stars get away with more, but the stars consistantly get away with more.

The NHL I owuld place third. I wish they'd make up there mind whether or not to call guys leaving their feet to make hits. Sometimes it's okay, sometimes it's not. It's not even a question of who the ref is. The same ref will make different calls on the same type of hit in one night. There are times I think the officiating in hockey is based on what the ref ate for dinner that night.

Football appears the worste to me. Is it holding or a pancake block? Is it a great hit, or did he knock the guy out using his helmet. After the Skins didn't make the playoffs because Westbrook took off his helmet, has anybody seen that call made since? And in football, it seems like the refs often end up deciding the game with calls vs. noncalls. It's a shame.

To me, good officiating is consistant officiating.

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I used to watch Jordan do it and now I see Shaq do this. Those two guys...Shaq more than anyone because of his size, should be fouling out in the 1st half. I decided that after the season was over last year and the best picture of Shaq TSN could get was one of him throwing an elbow in Mutumbo's face because the rest looked even worse. I said to myself "I know the NCAA has issues also but got bless them, the NBA wants its biggest money maker of that time to win it all so they can sell more t-shirt and get better ratings" No offense to the Laker fans in the house but I think they were given so many games this year that it's just beyond give the superstars alittle room to showcase.

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1. NBA the replacement refs showed how the game should be called and their was no star treatment.

2. MLB the strike zone changes so much its a joke and those bean balls have to go.

3. NHL cheap shots equal whistle? What whistle?

4. NFL no probs

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