Posted in Life

Ref on the phone

In between whistles, this ref had a lot of texting to do.

My seven-year old grandson is playing his first season of basketball at the YMCA. I’ve enjoyed going to his games and watching him and lots of other six and seven-year olds run up and down the court, occasionally dribbling, sometimes shooting, and once-in-a-while making a basket. At this level there’s no stealing the ball, you’re not out of bounds if you’re not really out of bounds, and the referees don’t call traveling.

At this week’s game, the ref was preoccupied with something or someone on his phone. Even though he had a whistle in his mouth and was standing right in the middle of the court, he didn’t get to see much of the game. He was texting someone on his phone the whole time.

I know, I know, the whole world is on the phone all the time. Even with laws prohibiting it, most of the drivers I see are on their phones. Everyone in the store is talking to someone on the phone. Worshipers in church are texting referring to their bible apps. The guys and gals in the gym, grunting to finish a set of flys, are on their phones in between sets. Who’s not on their phone in a restaurant?

I thought to myself, “I wonder if he’s supposed to do that? Will he be in trouble if someone from the Y sees him?” When I mentioned it to my daughter, she said, “He’s the director of the program.” I guess he won’t get in trouble.

To be fair, he probably had a good reason he needed to be on the phone. Maybe someone in his family was sick. He’d be off to the hospital right after the game. Maybe he needed to line up refs for the next few games. It’s part of his job. Maybe he was on hold waiting to talk to a real person at the bank (like that ever happens). Maybe he was consulting an online rulebook to be sure he called the game correctly. I probably don’t know the whole story.

Hey, he probably isn’t making much money running this program and reffing the game. He might even be a volunteer. So I’m just going to be thankful that the kids can have fun learning to play the sport.

But what about the hat? I don’t know. That’s a story for another day.

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