Tuesday, November 9, 2010

In the haze of the Rockets' glare

Over the last 12 hours a story has broken in the Boston area that a local high school soccer team has suspended (5) players and placed a coach on administrative leave for a hazing incident involving two freshmen girls who were reportedly blindfolded and pulled around on dog leashes while hit in face with pies.

Further, a temporary injunction filed by some parents of the suspended players, to overturn the suspension by Needham High School principal Jonathan Pizzi was denied by Norfolk Superior Court judge Barbara Dortch-Okara of Norfolk Superior Court.

In essence, while the game between Needham and Brockton will go on, it will be without the services of these (5) players, and their head coach, Carl Tarabelli.

Now, while I am going to refrain from chastising the (5) players, eviscerating the coach and players' parents who filed an injunction, and congratulating the principal, I will reflect on who needs to be extra careful tonight.

The referees.


These folks will be under such scrutiny tonight it will be crazy. Even though they have absolutely nothing to do with the controversy, they will become part of it if they are not careful.


Can these players join their team tonight?

Are there specific rules regarding such behavior from the MIAA?

Has the principal given particular instructions about how these players may participate?

Imagine if they are not allowed into the field, but take part in some opening ceremony. Now imagine if a Brockton player takes advantage and has a word or two with a suspended player ... now what?

A fight?
A shouting match?

All caught in HD for the evening news around the country.

National news has already caught this, and without doubt will have affiliates there to interview everyone about this and "how it would have been", regardless of final result, with the suspended players.

My thought for the referees ... reach out early and often to get clarity from the MIAA. Find out exactly what needs to happen even before you set foot in the car to go to this match tonight. There is too much at stake for these referees to not be prepared for anything happening ... and the media asking about it.

We spoke about this the other day in Know before you go ... . Here is a perfect example. These folks need to know, as guessing and screwing it up has BIG consequences in this one.

These parents have already made it clear they are willing to go to court over a suspension. What do you think will happen if the referees here make a mistake in some administrative task in the match?

Am I over-reacting? Maybe.
I would rather do that however, than explain myself to a tribunal.

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