High school refs must get better

Published 4:31 pm Thursday, September 5, 2019

By Brad Greer


Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

I’ve seen a lot of bad officiating in my 15 years of covering sports, but what  occurred recently during a  North Panola- M.S.Palmer football game in Marks was down right embarrassing and a utter joke.

Now before continuing I understand all the “refs are human and will make mistakes”  jargon. I get it and agree for the most part, but this was overboard.

There is one thing to miss a call or two but in this case it was inexcusable.

One of many calls that left me dumbfounded was a play that took all of  three seconds where the Palmer quarterback fumbled the ball on the snap and quickly fell on it.

As the play was whistled dead, the referee some 15-20 yards down the field throws his penalty flag and calls holding on the play.

There were 11 times during the game when the Palmer offense lined up in an illegal formation and yet there was no flag thrown. The most disturbing part came when there were seven late hits on Cougar ball carries that went unnoticed.

I then got to thinking what about the player safety concerns we hear about these days.

Just when I thought there was nothing left to see, four times in the fourth quarter Palmer had 12 men on offense, three of which came on consecutive plays and yet again no yellow flags were thrown.

As the North Panola coaches pleaded its case, one official agreed there were to many men on the field but said “it wasn’t his call to make.”

Now, my question is since there are five referees on the field, who’s call is it and why wasn’t it made by the official who is responsible?

The bottom line is the MSHAA and MAIS has got to do a better job of educating the officials on the rules of the game and not just throwing them out onto the field of play.

There is no way these officials should referee another high school football game.