Officiating was overzealous

Published 6:42 am Wednesday, February 23, 2011

This correspondence comes as a formal complaint concerning the officiating at the Region 1AAAA basketball tournament held in Bainbridge, Ga., at Bainbridge High School on Feb. 15, l6, l8 and 19, 2011.

I played high school basketball, four years of college basketball and I coached girls and boys basketball teams for more than 20 years. Also, I have been an elementary and a high school principal for more than 25 years.

I have never seen in all the years of my experience this type of officiating that many others and I who attended this event witnessed. Although some of the officials assigned to this event attempted to be fair and impartial, one in particularly { official} seemed to have major judgment and officiating technique problems. He started out with an intimidating style. It appeared that he was taking his personal feelings out on the players because of the coaches and spectators behavior.

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I question the one serious call that he made on a Bainbridge girl basketball player No. 12, which I thought was excessive. I understood after communicating with several people including the player herself, who is one of the captains of the team. She only requested an explanation from { the official} about the technical call made against her. With the most overt action, he called a second technical call on her, eliminating her from further competing in two games as the teams are competing for state playoffs.

We try to teach fairness and respect to all of our young people. I could not see any disrespect on her part toward { the official} .

On several occasions he blew his whistle and nobody in the gym, including his fellow officials, knew what the calls were about. It was very confusing to see the officials huddled together to discuss issues. The games were prolonged many times as this happened.

I have been a licensed basketball official in the State of Florida and the rules especially, the nationals are not that different. The call that was made against No. 12 Briana Wade was not necessary and it put one team at a disadvantage in the Region and State competition. I felt this was not the time to eliminate players unless their behavior was more outrageous than asking him a question.

Please investigate this matter as soon as possible in that he may be assigned to officiate future games where Bainbridge teams may be involved.

Thank you for receiving and giving attention to this complaint. I am sure his report will justify his actions, so please investigate.


Richard Bell
Retired educator