They Didnt Show Up?
Inside and Outside of the Box
This situation is probably not very famous, because of the area that it happened, (It did happen
recently) and the other events that happened in the College football arena over the weekend (Missouri Beating Nebraska and
all the etc. that went with that). This is a situation, being a high school football fan that I cant even imagine. The organization
and administration of a high school football game is significant, and this would make a nightmare to both those aspects of
They didnt show up!
Oh, the other team didnt show up? Yes, both teams were there. The fans didnt
show up? Yes, one of the teams had fans that traveled approximately 100 miles to be there. Did the concession stand people
arrive? Yes they did, and I hear the hot dogs were good.
What happened? Who didnt show up? The referees didnt show up!
Now, envision this, you are waiting for this game to start. You smell the hot dogs, you hear the band playing, you
hear the cheerleaders and you are talking to some friends and wandering whats going on? Then you hear it over the Public Address
speaker We are sorry to announce that this game is called a no contest due to the failure of the referees to arrive. Please
collect your attendance fee at the gate on your way out. We are sorry for the inconvenience, and please drive carefully home.
The last piece of advice would work well for me, because I would have had trouble keeping it between the ditches after that
announcement. I would have been angry all of the way home.
They didnt show up!
As far as pointing fingers,
we are not blaming the schools. This was a scheduling problem that wasnt double-checked or proof read. From what we understand,
the refs officiated at another game. It sounds like they were double-booked. This did put these 2 teams at a very unique situation.
The crew arrangements were made from an association, and it sounds like it was an honest mistake. Oh, what a mistake it was.
The visiting team was given some options: 1. They could have waited until 9 p.m. for a replacement crew to arrive
(From where? And if so, would not have made it home until 2-3 a.m. the next morning) 2. Play Monday (For the visiting team,
it would have meant another 200 mile round trip) 3. No contest (that is what they chose).
Not really a whole lot to
work with here. Lets review these options, shall we. 1. Wait till 9 p.m. for a replacement crew? How does that work is there
a couple of guys sitting around something like the bat phone? Does this happen enough to where there is a replacement crew
waiting around, or would they have to wait for another crew to finish the ball game wherever they may be? Even if there is
such a thing. You are once again looking at an administrative taboo. If the game could be started at 9, you would be looking
at a midnight finish. Now consider they would have a 2-2.5 hour drive home. You are now looking at everyone getting to the
school where the bus would drop them off at 2:30 3:00 a.m. No Way. It would be too late, and too many complications and associated
problems with a late return from a ball game. Option #2, Wait until Monday to play. This comes under ya gotta be kidding me!
Make another 200 mile round trip, and in the back of your mind you would have to be thinking gee-I hope they show up this
time. On top of that, you would have the challenge of getting your team ready again after playing Monday evening. This is
only an acceptable option if district play is involved, and is integral in the Playoff system. Option #3, No contest. In this
situation, really the only option to choose. No whistle was blown, no gun sounded, no contest.
Now, I realize that
it is not a national tragedy. No lives were lost (not directly that we are aware of). No one seriously hurt. I will keep it
in perspective. There are definitely worse things that could happen in this world. This situation did not happen in the MEC,
but it easily could have. My concern is that I go by the experience if it happened once, it can happen again. With funding
being a challenge in todays world of High School athletics, and gate revenues from football as a major way of funding High
School events, the powers-that-be need to make sure this doesnt happen again.
Whoever is in charge of this, lets make
sure to proof-read the schedule for the refs.
The schools have enough to deal with without situations like this.
make sure they show up.