Tom Denault: Criticism of high school sports officials

Referee Mark Grumoli tosses the ball up for the start of a Greenfield vs Frontier basketball game at Nichols Gymnasium in Greenfield.

Referee Mark Grumoli tosses the ball up for the start of a Greenfield vs Frontier basketball game at Nichols Gymnasium in Greenfield. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

Published: 01-26-2024 3:42 PM

Modified: 01-26-2024 7:58 PM


On Thursday, I read an amazing article titled “Officials face fan criticism,” [Gazette, Jan. 25]. Very well written and informative.

I recently attended a young women’s hockey game at Deerfield Academy where Deerfield hosted Choate. The game was one of the most enjoyable sporting events that I have ever attended. Not only because my niece coaches Choate, but because of the sportsmanship displayed by both players and fans was amazing to see. The game was exciting, with Deerfield winning 4-2. Both schools played excellent hockey.

However, what increased the enjoyment of this event was the professional conduct of the officials on the ice. Their officiating was a major factor in making this event fun. They were correct in their calls and ran the game smoothly and honestly.

The Gazette article I read reported that in some events, the officials are criticized for their conduct by fans. I can honestly say that at the hockey game I attended that those officials are to be praised for their work ethic and for making the game more enjoyable to both players and spectators. Perhaps we hear more criticism about officiating and not enough praise for those who do the job right. They too, in a way, can be said to be helping in the education of those students.

Here’s to those who make the games enjoyable. Well done!

Tom Denault

Springfield

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