As the winter sports season is upon us, I would just like to remind all our Mariner fans about the importance of sportsmanship at all of our events. Sportsmanship matters, and it has been a point of emphasis this past fall with our coaches, players, students, parents and community, and will continue to be part of the winter and spring seasons also.
As you may know, there is a nationwide shortage of officials for high school and youth sports, which we are also experiencing here in Section XI. Unfortunately, too many referees are leaving the game due to abuse from fans, coaches and players, and it is not worth the money they make.
Referees play an integral part in our interscholastic sports program, because without the officials, there would be no game. The officials are here because of their love for athletics and providing our student-athletes the opportunity to play a game they love.
As a fan, I understand how you can get emotional at times over calls by the referee — but it is important to remember that just because you may disagree with a call, it does not give you the right to berate the officials, use profane language or obscene gestures. Remember, the referees are human — they are not perfect. They are husbands, wives and grandparents just like you, and they deserve respect and gratitude from all of us. We should be thanking the officials when they come to Southampton to officiate, regardless of the outcome.
I am asking you to be supportive in cheering for your team while respecting the calls of the officials. In the spirit of sportsmanship, we ask all fans to act responsibly and courteously to players, coaches, officials and all spectators.
Let’s afford the athletes, coaches, officials and fans the respect and dignity they deserve, and let’s set the standard in Section XI that sportsmanship matters at Southampton.
Director of Athletics
Southampton Union Free School District
One fine body…