Photo Credit: Dale Garvey

Sometimes people will make negative comments knowing you’re an official. So how should you react? Here’s a vote for speaking up on behalf of your avocation, albeit in a smart way. There’s a right way and a wrong way to do it.

Ask them if they actually saw the play in question. Too many people base their comments on hearsay or what they read in the newspaper. A correct description of the play might help them realize on their own it was handled properly. Because most officials are not allowed to speak to the press, only one side of the story often makes its way into print or onto the airwaves.

Turn them from accuser into questioner. The natural response to a comment such as, “I know why the officials did what they did,” will be, “Why?” If nothing else, it will stop them from ranting for a little while.

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Acknowledge that mistakes may be made. It’s foolish to assert that officials are perfect. State the obvious without hanging your peers out to dry, such as, “If you’re correct and the officials missed it, I’ll bet you they feel miserable about it.”

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