TEXAS VIEW: Foul Fans: Full-grown adults should set a better example from the stands

For anyone wondering why there is a shortage of officials at any sport, they don’t have to look far.

It was just two years ago that the Texas Association of Sports Officials put together a new policy that addressed “the drastically increasing rate of excessive verbal and physical abuse (any level) of our members officiating junior/middle and high school athletic contests.”

The policy stated that steps could be taken if fans couldn’t be kept in check. If three different reports were filed against a school, then a plan of action would have to be put in by school officials to address the situation.

And in worst-case scenarios, the TASO had the ability to simply not send officials to games.

At the time, it seemed like one of those things that only happens somewhere else. Surely, our East Texas hospitality would at least make sure certain fans don’t cross the line.

Unfortunately, we were wrong.

During a recent district basketball game, a fan was ejected by the officials for crossing the line. Fortunately, that fan respectfully left when learning of the ejection.

We would prefer they don’t, but on occasion, things like that will happen. As long as the situation isn’t further escalated, the game can go on.

Unfortunately, that wasn’t the end of fans getting out of hand.

At the end of a heated altercation a few minutes later, fans were given specific instructions on what they needed to do to be able to watch the rest of the game.

The majority of the crowd listened. But a few didn’t.

Therefore it was announced that fans were going to have to leave the gym.

We aren’t here to point fingers on who was at fault. Fans for both teams have done plenty of that already.

We are here to point out that it shouldn’t be like this.

We love our high school sports, but at the same time, they’re still just that. Sports.

There are plenty of life-long memories for the athletes who invest so much into these sports.

They’ll remember that buzzer-beating win or the fun road trip out of town. They’ll remember the heartbreak of when their senior season ends.

What they shouldn’t remember is a game that ended because the adults in the arena forgot how they were supposed to act.

Coaches are trying to teach life-long lessons through a sport. For some kids, it’s the best way for them to learn about life.

Unfortunately, when kids look up and see grown adults acting like 4-year-olds, they aren’t seeing the greatest examples.

We’ve said it before in this space, and we’ll say it again. The refs at the game don’t care who wins.

They’re some of the few who will actually put themselves on the line to be yelled at in front of hundreds of adults on any given night.

And most of the ones who complain the most are ones who would never actually switch positions with them.

So as the basketball season reaches the playoffs and baseball and softball players hit the fields, let’s try to cheer on our athletes instead of degrading the officials.

A little complaining isn’t going to hurt anyone. When an entire gym is being asked to leave, it’s probably a sign that at least one person crossed the line.

Simply put, let’s try to be better.

After what we’ve seen lately, it couldn’t be much worse.

Lufkin Daily News