When I say we have too many referees I don’t just mean the ones in black and white striped shirts but referee parents, educators, and more.
I remember when play review was integrated into college basketball. I thought it would be amazing to have the ability to review every play in addition to the three referees. Certainly, it would make it more fair, right?
That first year we had it, the game got longer and we were robbed of the momentum and excitement in return. We learned that too much “refereeing” was not a good thing after all.
We spend a lot of time shuffling kids to a from organized sports, getting them tutors and organizing their lives. What’s lost is the free-form playground time where kids learn to be creative. That’s where they make their own rules and learn to work with the group to be part of the group.
Child’s play doesn’t need perfect oversight.
It should be messy, and sometimes unfair. Because too many referees and too much refereeing robs our kids of the ability to build problem-solving skills.