Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Ump or Ref? A Fan's Guide to Officiating Titles in Sports

National Championships across all sports tend to bring out greater media coverage, higher energy with charged atmospheres and casual fans, many of whom may not be familiar with the game.

Twitter fans question the existence of a football umpire.
Of course, this has the unintended—yet completely expected—consequence of creating a situation in which fringe fans, for lack of a better term, become confused. I've noticed this trend finds its way into those winner-take-all games at a significantly higher rate than during the less overtly meaningful regular season affairs. (Compare the intensity of fans' reactions to: 2012 NL Wild Card infield fly rule play vs. this 2013 infield fly call that also benefitted the away team.)

At present, we consider the case of NCAA Football's final BCS Championship Game at the Rose Bowl. When ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit benignly commented on the actions of the umpire, some fans took issue with the concept of an umpire ever existing in football.

Close Call of the Week section: Herbstreit mentioned the umpire standing over the ball, effectively preventing a snap by the offense. NCAA rules state that the defense shall have a reasonable opportunity to set itself for the next play. For instance, a Rule 3 approved rule interpretation states the defense is not only allowed to match up, it is "allowed to substitute in response to Team A's" personnel moves if A has committed a late or on-the-fly substitution. A ruling added for the 2013-14 season additionally states that if Team B must hurry to respond to Team A's move, "the umpire moves to the ball to prevent the snap until Team B has had a reasonable opportunity to [respond]...The umpire will step away when he judges that the defense has had enough time."

To help the misguided and put misconceptions to rest, Close Call Sports presents "Ump or Ref? A Fan's Guide to Officiating Titles in Sports"

The following lists the positions/titles of officials present in each of the following sports:

Australian Rules Football - officials are not differentiated from each other by uniform marking
Field umpire, goal umpire (equipment: flags), boundary umpire, emergency umpire, interchange stewards.

Baseball/Softball - officials are not differentiated by uniform marking (see HP Umpire equipment below)
Umpire in Chief (Home Plate Umpire; equipment: protectors, mask, ball bags, etc.), Base (Field) Umpires.

Basketball - officials are not differentiated by uniform marking
Referee and Umpire(s) (FIBA, NCAA, NFHS), Crew Chief and Referees (NBA). [Lead/Center (Slot)/Trail]

Cricket - officials are not differentiated from each other by uniform marking
Match Referee (off-field official), Umpires (Bowler's end and Striker's end [optional Third Umpire]).

Field Hockey - on-field officials are not differentiated from each other by uniform marking
Field Umpire(s), Reserve Umpire, Video Umpire.

Football - officials are differentiated and identified by the jersey placard/marking (NFL/NCAA)
Referee (R, white hat), Umpire (U), Head Linesman (H or HL), Line Judge (L or LJ), Field Judge (F or FJ), Side Judge (S or SJ), Back Judge (B or BJ). NCAA Big 12 also adopted the Alternate (A) official.

Hockey (Ice) - officials are differentiated and identified by jersey marking/accessory
Referee(s) (uniform: orange or red arm bands), Linesmen, Off-Ice officials (e.g., goal judge, scorer).

Lacrosse - on-field officials are not differentiated from each other by uniform marking
Head Referee, Referee, Chief Bench Official, Bench Manager.

Rugby - on-field officials are not differentiated from each other by uniform marking (see flag equipment)
Referee, Touch Judges (equipment: flag), Video Referee or In-Goal Judge, Timekeeper, Interchange.

Soccer (Association Football) - officials are not differentiated by uniform marking (ARs have flags)
Referee, Assistant Referees ("Goal Judge" in UEFA play are two added Assistant Referees), Fourth Official.

Other Sports with One/Two Classes of Official - Impress friends with knowledge of titles in these sports!
Billiards (Cue Sports), Boxing - Referee.
Cycling - Commissaire (occasionally referred to as judge or referee or time-board ardoisier in road cycling).
Figure Skating - Referee (separate and distinct from panel of judges), Assistant Referee - Ice.
Motor Sports - Marshals (corner captain in charge, communicator, flaggers, 1st and 2ndary responders).
Sumo - Gyōji (Referee), Shimpan (Judges, including shimpan located in a video room).
Tennis - Chair Umpire, Line Umpire(s); Off-court officials are Referee and Chief Umpire.
Volleyball - First Referee ("up referee" or "go-up"), Second Referee ("down referee").
Water Racing - Umpire (during), Judge (finish line), Protest Committee (sailing's post-event panel).
Wrestling - Referee, Judge, Mat Chairman [international]; Referee, Assistant [collegiate].


Lindsay said...

You are forgetting the first rule of Twitter: one must comment and complain about things without having a clue of the actual facts.

Lindsay said...

Like when people start ripping the umpires, in baseball, a new one! As is the majority that post on this website.

Lindsay said...

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