We can do better

Written by Muleskinner Staff

Dear Editor,
Tonight I worked as a line judge for a Jennies home volleyball match. It was an exciting game, and there were athletic plays by both teams. The Jennies won, and the crowd and the team were happy in the end, but I walked away disappointed. As I walked away, I felt the need to apologize to the referee after the match ended and explain to him that UCM is really a great school and the students and fans are genuinely nice people. I was sad that our fans were so terrible to someone who drove four hours and took time away from their family to do something they otherwise enjoy. Having been an NCAA referee for years myself, I know that at the Division II level, none of us do it for the money. We do it for the love of the game.

From my vantage point as a line judge, I don’t think the referee missed any calls. But even if he did, we are all human. We make mistakes. When that happens, fans need to understand that it’s part of the game. Yelling threatening things at the referee, cussing at them, accusing them of being biased, does nothing to help your team. Instead, let’s remain positive and cheer on the Jennies when they make a great play. Cheer them on when they need crowd support to gain momentum. Cheer them on when they’re about to win and they need to know you’re with them. But let’s show other teams better sportsmanship than what I saw tonight. Show other teams that you’re above yelling at them trying to tear them down. Show the referees that UCM is an awesome place to come. Let’s make UCM a place we can all be proud of.
Dr. Stephen Price
Associate Professor, Digital Media Production
Vice President, UCM Faculty Senate
Department of Communication
University of Central Missouri