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Is Recent Officiating Causing Issues in Sports?

By: Landon Bishop/ Sophomore Writer

The NBA playoffs are just getting underway with the first round starting on April 18.

So far, the series are looking like they will all be very entertaining. The New York Knicks and Philadelphia 76ers have had some of the best games people have seen in recent years, with their last game coming down to the wire.

The game was 101-96 with the 76ers winning with 27 seconds left in the 4 quarter. It looked like the 76ers had the win tucked away, but out of nowhere the Knicks scored 8 points in 27 seconds and won the game. The final score was 101-102.

However, there was one major issue with the ending of the game, and throughout the whole game in general; the reffing was extremely questionable.

An example of this is when Tyrese Maxey had the ball after the Knicks hit a huge shot to bring the score within 2, and he was on the ground with possession of the ball. Despite having possession, and the coach, Nick Nurse, calling time, he was not granted a timeout.

This led to the Sixers turning it over with minimal time left, and the Knicks hit another shot to take the lead. This resulted in the 76ers losing the game.

Since this game, the 76ers have filed an official complaint on the officiating over the span of the past 2 games.


The Los Angeles Lakers have also complained about the poor officiating. So this leads to the questions; How will the NBA handle the officials and their seemingly biased calls? How much does officiating truly affect sports?

How this Problem Affects Us

Many people also question officiating in high school sports, not just pro-leagues. I asked Nick Swaha what he thought the impact of refs were in sports, and the outcomes of the games.

Nick Swaha, athletic director and registered sports official, says “My personal opinion is that when we (refs) are officiating a game, it is not our job to decide when we make a call, we make the calls as we see it, whether it’s the beginning, middle, or end of a game.”

He also says “In my professional opinion, officiating does impact the game, but the refs never go into a game with a favored side. They may lean on certain things and players but they never try to rig the outcome of a game. How they make calls is very important, and in that aspect, can affect the outcomes of games.”

Another factor that refs contribute to is when games take place. Sometimes games are cancelled because they do not have any refs, which can greatly affect a team.

Just recently in our own area, the Susquehanna Sabers baseball team couldn’t have their originally scheduled game because they didn’t have anyone to umpire and officiate the game.

This leaves other questions like, why is there a shortage of refs?

Some may say that everyone constantly complaining about refs makes it seem like a job that wouldn’t be very enjoyable, which is a very plausible reason.

Overall refs are a huge part of sports, and can have a substantial effect on games. So what will the NBA do about their officiating situation, what will high-school sports do about their officiating situation, and is there a more effective way to make officiating better in sports?


Check out Gehrig Dibbles article on spring sports:

Check out more stories about NBA reffing:


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