As the 2015-16 Basketball season heads into the final 2 weeks of the regular season it is time that we give a huge thank-you and Kudos to the South Sound Officials Association. Last year we wrote an editorial hammering this association for over officiating, calling excessive numbers of fouls with way too many trips to the free-throw line.

We began to notice a change in their officiating style right from the start. We first wondered if this was limited to just a few of the officials but when we saw some of the officials we remembered on the high side of using their whistle laying off a lot of the ticky-tack contact and allowing the play to continue we were hopeful this was a trend and not an accident. We are pleased to say this has been a trend.

One of the main issues that concerned us with calling tons of fouls during regular season games is that it does not help the teams they officiate on a regular basis to be prepared for the post-season. Once post-season hits officials allow more contact, allow plays to follow through before blowing a whistle and the games flow much better, the play is better and it’s a ton more fun to watch. Other associations that called games more like the Play-Offs prepared their leagues much better for the style of play in the play-offs.

Why fans sit in the stands and scream for fouls and violations still makes me wonder if they understand how good of a game they’re missing by watching the officials instead of their own kids or team. And do you really want that many whistles blown in a game? That notion just totally escapes us but we digress.

We have never understood this concept of officiating calling the regular season differently than they call the post season. Look at the NFL, we scream at the TV screen at the officials why can’t you call the regular season like you do the play-offs? Why?

Back to the South Sound Officials, latest case in point was the Bellarmine Prep at Olympia boys game we saw in the 1st half no one got to a 1-1 and in the 2nd half they did not change how they called the game and allowed them to play without allowing them to cross the line. Of course there will be disagreements over whether its a charge or a block but those kind of calls always seem to even out in the end, especially if officials don’t significantly change how they are calling a game and we saw that to be the case this season with the South Sound Officials.

You may have noticed we have not included any of the officials names and that is on purpose nor do we announce the names of the officials during our broadcasts and there is a reason for it. Most officials actually thank us for not announcing their names because they really are not there for self glorification nor do they have a favorite or rooting for one side or the other, they truly just want to call as fair a game as they can and that integrity should never be questioned of any official unless there is ever any evidence to support these conspiracy claims.

So after a very critical review of the South Sound Officials Association last year we are more than happy to praise them this year with what we believe is one of the best season’s from the men and women in stripes that we have seen in quite some time. And remember if you disagree with us then get off your butt and go put on the whistle yourself. There are plenty of sports and levels that need adults to put on the stripes and whistle and all associations can use a consistent stream of new recruits. If you’re truly interested you can contact the Athletic Director at any school in the area you’d like to officiate and they can pass you on to the association and in a short while find yourself out on the field or court calling games.

Thank-you South Sound Officials for a tremendous season so far and thanks to all officials across the state for doing not only an important job for High School sports but obviously a needed one!

By paulb

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