Author Topic: What do you do when you know you're wrong?  (Read 6860 times)

Offline bbeagle

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What do you do when you know you're wrong?
« on: August 10, 2015, 08:29:44 AM »
I'm wondering what those on here do when there is a situation where you rule something, then 'immediately' thereafter you KNOW you were wrong. How do you go about 'eating it' or 'correcting the situation'?

Example 1: 4th and 10 at 50. 4th quarter. Very important play. Player runs around end, pushed/ran out of bounds at the 41. As the linesman/judge you follow behind the runner and mark him down at the 41. No other helping officials. As you are signalling time out on the sideline, a fan yells out 'but he held out the ball beyond the 40! It's where the BALL is, not the FEET!'. You realize your mistake immediately as you 'remember' him holding the ball far out ahead (to the 39) as he was pushed out.

Can you 'sell' a change in spot or once you have it, that's it?

Example 2: Fake field goal / extra point. Holder catches ball from center, then (without rising) pitches ball back to kicker who scrambles around then throws/runs for touchdown. Officials on the play call touchdown, you're the only one who seems to notice that the play should have been killed when the holder failed to rise before pitching the ball (but you didn't blow your whistle then like you should have)

Should you notify the referee of this detail after the play is over or 'eat it' and discuss it post-game?

« Last Edit: August 10, 2015, 09:04:16 AM by bbeagle »

Offline bossman72

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Re: What do you do when you know you're wrong?
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2015, 09:35:22 AM »
1)  You're going to have to eat that one.  No easy way to change it.

2)  You ABSOLUTELY have to fix this one!  Step up and save the crew immediately!

Offline wvoref

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Re: What do you do when you know you're wrong?
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2015, 09:55:40 AM »
1)  You're going to have to eat that one.  No easy way to change it.

2)  You ABSOLUTELY have to fix this one!  Step up and save the crew immediately!

Totally agree on #2.  Depending on how #1 went down and how you handled it initially when runner went down. If you know where the correct spot should be possibly you could ask for the ball and place it at correct spot on sideline for Referee to check for possible first down. If you can do this quickly it might be smooth enough to get by. Also remember you might be able to get some cross field help on spot from other wing, umpire, or even back judge on a run of this length. But that's going to be more difficult than them helping you out on simple forward progress when the runner is pushed back. They might be able to bail you out. Now if you spotted ball on sideline, referee signaled first down for defense, you're probably not wise to try to correct it at that point. Also remember we learn far more from our mistakes than we do from what we did right.
Now back to #2. Personal advice would be if you didn't correct it at the time it occurred I would suggest you don't come into locker room and inform crew that we blew that one. Ask about the play and say you weren't sure if holder rose or not. Of course if that were true you should have asked it at the time. But if you come into my locker room and tell me we blew that play I'm going to be angry at two people. Myself for missing it and you for catching it and not doing anything about it.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2015, 09:58:17 AM by wvoref »

Offline bbeagle

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Re: What do you do when you know you're wrong?
« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2015, 11:18:50 AM »
1)  You're going to have to eat that one.  No easy way to change it.

It seems that there HAS to be a way to correct something so egregious that the calling official, every fan, every coach, every player EXCEPT the other 5 or 6 referees knows is incorrect.

After the call, there must be some way for a non-R to create a huddle with a few other officials and when entering the huddle saying, 'I was wrong on the call. Can we change the call to 'X'?' and getting the call right when coming out of the huddle. The crowd and players would think that your call was overridden by another official who saw the correct call.


Offline ECILLJ

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Re: What do you do when you know you're wrong?
« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2015, 11:24:49 AM »
It seems that there HAS to be a way to correct something so egregious that the calling official, every fan, every coach, every player EXCEPT the other 5 or 6 referees knows is incorrect.

Beagle, The example you gave us really doesn't meet your egregious statement. IMO, no other official on the field should be watching the player going out of bounds, they have other coverage to be watching. The linesman needs to make the call. Sell it or change it.

The opposite linesman could be an exception. But the covering official needs to glance for help prior to spotting the ball.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2015, 11:33:37 AM by ECILLJ »

Offline AlUpstateNY

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Re: What do you do when you know you're wrong?
« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2015, 11:42:41 AM »
Do yourself a BIG favor, and don't listen to fans.  YOU place the ball where YOU decided it should be placed.  Once you DECLARE a spot, stick with it, but don't be in such a rush to declare it, until YOU are certain where YOU want it to be.

Today, it's not uncommon that someone (or multiple external people) will see a different "spot" on EVERY play that goes OOB.  Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but yours is the only one that matters.  Best to be careful about deciding on it, and confident in your decision, although as suggest above, it's a smart idea to visually check with either/both the Referee (trailing the play) or a Judge in front of the play on your side/sideline before finalizing YOUR decision and "placing" the ball.

If there should be any indication of a different spot by another OFFICIAL, converge with that official and collectively agree where exactly the ball should go BEFORE placing it.  If leaving YOUR spot, leave a beanbag marking it.

Regarding example 2, Go to the Referee, advise him what happened.  The holder "killed" the ball when he pitched the ball with his knee still on the ground.  Everything that happened after that, happened with a dead ball. 

Not blowing the whistle to stop play was a mistake that can be corrected, allowing it to go uncorrected is a tragedy.  Go immediately to the Referee and advise him what happened, and what you SAW.

After confirming what you SAW, the Referee must then signal; no score, the ball was dead at the spot, the down ended and it's either 1st & 10 the other way, or a kickoff. 

It would be a real good idea for the Referee to go to the offensive Coach, at his sideline, and explain what happened and the relevant rule.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2015, 11:54:34 AM by AlUpstateNY »

Offline Atlanta Blue

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Re: What do you do when you know you're wrong?
« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2015, 12:05:34 PM »
Do yourself a BIG favor, and don't listen to fans.  YOU place the ball where YOU decided it should be placed.  Once you DECLARE a spot, stick with it, but don't be in such a rush to declare it, until YOU are certain where YOU want it to be.

Today, it's not uncommon that someone (or multiple external people) will see a different "spot" on EVERY play that goes OOB.  Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but yours is the only one that matters.  Best to be careful about deciding on it, and confident in your decision, although as suggest above, it's a smart idea to visually check with either/both the Referee (trailing the play) or a Judge in front of the play on your side/sideline before finalizing YOUR decision and "placing" the ball.

If there should be any indication of a different spot by another OFFICIAL, converge with that official and collectively agree where exactly the ball should go BEFORE placing it.  If leaving YOUR spot, leave a beanbag marking it.

Regarding example 2, Go to the Referee, advise him what happened.  The holder "killed" the ball when he pitched the ball with his knee still on the ground.  Everything that happened after that, happened with a dead ball. 

Not blowing the whistle to stop play was a mistake that can be corrected, allowing it to go uncorrected is a tragedy.  Go immediately to the Referee and advise him what happened, and what you SAW.

After confirming what you SAW, the Referee must then signal; no score, the ball was dead at the spot, the down ended and it's either 1st & 10 the other way, or a kickoff. 

It would be a real good idea for the Referee to go to the offensive Coach, at his sideline, and explain what happened and the relevant rule.

On #1, I don't see it as the fan changing the call, but the official hearing the fan and saying to himself, "Darn, he's right, I missed that one."  Unfortunately, there's no good way to fix that one.

On #2, we are in complete agreement!  See, it happens!

Offline bossman72

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Re: What do you do when you know you're wrong?
« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2015, 12:07:35 PM »
I mean, you COULD change #1...

You also COULD drive a car with your feet.  Doesn't make it a good idea!

Offline FLAHL

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Re: What do you do when you know you're wrong?
« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2015, 12:23:44 PM »
I agree that you're stuck with #1.  You made a bad call.  Join the club - we've all made bad calls!

The best thing you can do at this point is to learn from it, and move on.  Don't beat yourself up.  Don't dwell on it.  Officiate the next play.  And don't even think about a "makeup call."

Offline VALJ

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Re: What do you do when you know you're wrong?
« Reply #9 on: August 10, 2015, 12:27:55 PM »
The best thing you can do at this point is to learn from it, and move on.  Don't beat yourself up.  Don't dwell on it.  Officiate the next play.  And don't even think about a "makeup call."

This, times a billion.  Especially that last sentence.

Offline bbeagle

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Re: What do you do when you know you're wrong?
« Reply #10 on: August 10, 2015, 02:04:41 PM »
Beagle, The example you gave us really doesn't meet your egregious statement. IMO, no other official on the field should be watching the player going out of bounds, they have other coverage to be watching. The linesman needs to make the call. Sell it or change it.

The example in #1 stated that it was a 4th down and it was in the 4th quarter. This is a VERY important play. Getting the spot wrong turns the ball over to the other team. And could change the entire outcome of the game.

It just seems like the only way to 'get it right' is to move your spot to the 39, and make you and the whole crew look bad.

With regard to AlUpstateNY, the 'fan' didn't change the call, the 'fan' just alerted me to a fact in the heat of the moment, spotting the ball, that I didn't take into account. Taking an extra second spotting the ball would not have changed my spot... the fan's observation did. And that observation would only come after I spotted the ball.

I take that similarly to an 'odd' rule like in a youth game where a blitzing the gap is illegal. I might see a rush and a QB sack, and think of it as a normal play. Until the fan or coaches yell, 'Hey! Blitzing the gap is illegal!'

I guess my question is - Is there a way to 'change' it without the whole crew looking bad? I guess not.


Offline SCHSref

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Re: What do you do when you know you're wrong?
« Reply #11 on: August 10, 2015, 02:34:10 PM »
To the #2 play in the op...you might not be Working many more Friday nights for that season.   One the coaches might mark you off from games  as well.  Of course, always conference...that is why you have  5
If you didn't see it, you can't call it

Offline yarnnelg

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Re: What do you do when you know you're wrong?
« Reply #12 on: August 10, 2015, 05:53:05 PM »
#2 Why are you looking at the holder and ignoring the line? White Hat's call all the way. You have receiver's trying to get open and linemen possibly in the endzone. if I caught a glimpse, I might ask in the locker room later. My key on that is the receiver busting out right away, I know something is about to happen, I'm headed to the pylon.

#1 My spot is my spot, not the same guy in the stands yelling that the defensive player in the neutral zone can get out before the snap.

Offline theunofficialofficial

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Re: What do you do when you know you're wrong?
« Reply #13 on: August 10, 2015, 08:52:12 PM »
One thing you might be able to do on #1 is if you have a bit of time between plays you can ask the umpire to 'Clean the Ball'. He goes up picks up the ball dusts it off with his towel when he goes to place it back down you give him a firm look and a yard line with your foot. He puts the ball down in the new spot and no one's the wiser as the U just cleaned the ball. Always a nice easy way to adjust the ball a bit without yelling out the wrong yard or something. Of course it is easier if you are the HL and not the LJ as you can adjust the stakes. But if the crew knows the 'ball cleaning' trick the HL will pick up on it.


#2 I agree with some of the comments about watching your keys, but sometimes you may catch something out of corner of your eye. If you saw it, you know it, don't be shy about talking with the WH and asking him what he saw. Better to get it right than have a very LOOONNG car ride home knowing you gave the team the go ahead point for the win.

Offline AlUpstateNY

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Re: What do you do when you know you're wrong?
« Reply #14 on: August 11, 2015, 07:48:49 AM »
The example in #1 stated that it was a 4th down and it was in the 4th quarter. This is a VERY important play. Getting the spot wrong turns the ball over to the other team. And could change the entire outcome of the game.

With regard to AlUpstateNY, the 'fan' didn't change the call, the 'fan' just alerted me to a fact in the heat of the moment, spotting the ball, that I didn't take into account. Taking an extra second spotting the ball would not have changed my spot... the fan's observation did. And that observation would only come after I spotted the ball.

Sorry, I apparently wasn't clear enough. Avoiding the problem begins with, "Best to be careful about deciding on it, and confident in your decision".  Focusing on what YOU determine is the correct spot, and THEN accurately designating it, should make any and all "suggestions" from external sources (fans, coaches, players on the sideline) irrelevant.

Very few, IF ANY, "suggestions" from those external sources are designed, or intended, to assist you in actually getting something "right", as they are to "alerting" you to something "beneficial" to them.  The ONLY advice you can rely on to help, comes from those wearing shirts that look exactly like yours.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2015, 07:50:21 AM by AlUpstateNY »

Offline jg-me

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Re: What do you do when you know you're wrong?
« Reply #15 on: August 11, 2015, 08:08:57 AM »
Just to focus on the title of your post, "What to do when you know you're wrong" - learn from it. You know those great officials you have seen or worked with? They weren't born that way. Lots of mistakes were made by them and what made them successful on the field was simple. They didn't repeat their goofs.

Offline Atlanta Blue

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Re: What do you do when you know you're wrong?
« Reply #16 on: August 11, 2015, 08:25:09 AM »
Very few, IF ANY, "suggestions" from those external sources are designed, or intended, to assist you in actually getting something "right", as they are to "alerting" you to something "beneficial" to them
Those aren't necessarily mutually exclusive.  Last year, holding call against the offense about 3 yards ahead of the LOS.  Run ended about 2 yards behind the LOS.  U starts marking the penalty from the spot of the foul.  Being a coach of the defensive team, I walk up behind our wing and say, "Jim, the run ended behind the basic spot.  That penalty should be from there, not from the spot of the foul."  No big deal, quiet word in his ear.

He says, "Coach, you're right, let me go fix this."  And he ran to the center of the field, told the U and the R, and the mark off got fixed.

So yes, I wanted them to get it right, but it was also beneficial to me.  Had it been the other way, would I have said anything?  No, not then.  Might have put it in a note later if I know the guys when I send them the film they requested. 

If an official ASKS me about an enforcement (and yes, it sometimes happens in sub-varsity games), I will always give him what I believe is the correct answer, even if it doesn't benefit my team.  JV is a learning experience for everyone.  But in Varsity games, my job is to be an advocate for my team.  Being an advocate by definition means I'm biased, but I might also be right.

Offline wvoref

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Re: What do you do when you know you're wrong?
« Reply #17 on: August 11, 2015, 08:35:49 AM »
Those aren't necessarily mutually exclusive.  Last year, holding call against the offense about 3 yards ahead of the LOS.  Run ended about 2 yards behind the LOS.  U starts marking the penalty from the spot of the foul.  Being a coach of the defensive team, I walk up behind our wing and say, "Jim, the run ended behind the basic spot.  That penalty should be from there, not from the spot of the foul."  No big deal, quiet word in his ear.

He says, "Coach, you're right, let me go fix this."  And he ran to the center of the field, told the U and the R, and the mark off got fixed.

So yes, I wanted them to get it right, but it was also beneficial to me.  Had it been the other way, would I have said anything?  No, not then.  Might have put it in a note later if I know the guys when I send them the film they requested. 

If an official ASKS me about an enforcement (and yes, it sometimes happens in sub-varsity games), I will always give him what I believe is the correct answer, even if it doesn't benefit my team.  JV is a learning experience for everyone.  But in Varsity games, my job is to be an advocate for my team.  Being an advocate by definition means I'm biased, but I might also be right.

Probably nit picking but the run didn't end behind the basic spot. The end of the run is the basic spot. The foul occurred ahead of the basic spot therefore we don't have the ONE in all but one.

Offline Atlanta Blue

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Re: What do you do when you know you're wrong?
« Reply #18 on: August 11, 2015, 08:43:16 AM »
Probably nit picking but the run didn't end behind the basic spot. The end of the run is the basic spot. The foul occurred ahead of the basic spot therefore we don't have the ONE in all but one.
You are absolutely correct.  Bad wording on my part.  The foul was in front of the basic spot, so it should have been enforced from the end of the run.

I know that night that I said it in such a way that it reminded him they were using the wrong spot of enforcement.

Offline Magician

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Re: What do you do when you know you're wrong?
« Reply #19 on: August 11, 2015, 08:53:20 AM »
So yes, I wanted them to get it right, but it was also beneficial to me.  Had it been the other way, would I have said anything?  No, not then.  Might have put it in a note later if I know the guys when I send them the film they requested.
I'm OK with that. It's not the coach's responsibility for us to get it right, but they do have some responsibility to question the application of a rule in order for it to be corrected at times.

We had a coach's panel at an officiating event and one of the coaches told us about a crew he had last year that struggled. They wouldn't communicate with him, and they seemed very uncertain throughout the game. He got them two weeks in a row and knew it would be a tough night. At one point they had an inadvertent whistle, and he could tell they didn't know what to do with it. He suggested an option knowing it was wrong but benefited his team because he knew they wouldn't know any better (I think he told them to place the ball where his team recovered it rather than where it was fumbled).

That's not a very ethical thing for him to do, but the bigger issue is the crew should know better, and the coach is just looking for an opportunity to get an edge.

Offline bbeagle

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Re: What do you do when you know you're wrong?
« Reply #20 on: August 13, 2015, 07:24:59 AM »
Very few, IF ANY, "suggestions" from those external sources are designed, or intended, to assist you in actually getting something "right", as they are to "alerting" you to something "beneficial" to them.  The ONLY advice you can rely on to help, comes from those wearing shirts that look exactly like yours.

I completely understand this. 95% of what I hear evokes an internal chuckle from me, and halftime discussion of the insane comments coming from the fans or coaches trying to get an edge. But it's every once in a while there is a good tidbit there. Not everyone is trying to game us with false information, every blue moon there is good information there for whatever reason we didn't notice.

It saddens me that most officials here don't care about getting the call right. They would rather not make the crew look bad, whatever that means. Us making the CORRECT call sometimes makes the game get out of hand and makes us look bad. The missing of the spot in #1, can make the game get out of hand really quickly. But that doesn't seem to phase most officials - they want to look 'good' out there in spite of the game. I don't get this. I really don't.

It seems like 'not fishing in someone else's pond' or 'never changing your mind' trumps 'getting it right'. I understand if it happens too often, there are issues, but occasionally it should be understood.

Here's where a CORRECT call blew up the game:
Kickoff - muffed by the receiver at the 5 yard line. Mad scramble. Ball touches goal line then is recovered just over the goal line by the kicking team. This is a touchdown in the NFL. However, in NFHS it's a touchback - ball at the 20 for the receivers. The referee made the CORRECT call, however, he did not explain it, did not listen to the fans or coaches, ignored them, carried on like nothing happened, and started the ready-for-play after the umpire spotted the ball at the 20. The crowd was harassing the officials the rest of the game. And even in the paper afterwards talked about how the officials bad call ruined the game.

Of course, the call should not have been changed - but the referee should have notified both coaches or announced the ruling to the fans. But refusing to opened up a whole can the rest of the night.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2015, 07:32:05 AM by bbeagle »

Offline Atlanta Blue

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Re: What do you do when you know you're wrong?
« Reply #21 on: August 13, 2015, 08:00:44 AM »
Of course, the call should not have been changed - but the referee should have notified both coaches or announced the ruling to the fans. But refusing to opened up a whole can the rest of the night.
Do the coaches (particularly the kicking teams coach) absolutely deserves a quick explanation.  It doesn't have to be a rules clinic, but telling him, "Coach, the ball is still a kick, and a kick in the end zone is a touchback.  Doesn't matter that it was muffed, it was dead as soon as it hit the goal line."  What does that take, 10 seconds?

If the ref was miked, he could announce, "By rule, any kick entering the end zone is a touchback" and moved on, but how many HS refs are miked?  Without a mike, you still aren't going to be able to explain the rule to the fans.  So fans are on you the rest of the night?  As long as they don't turn violent or disrupt the game, I couldn't care less if the fans are on me.  They paid their money, let them boo, let them think I'm an idiot, it just doesn't matter.  There is a limit on how much crap I have to take from a coach, there is no limit on how much crap I have to take from the fans as long as they leave it in the stands and don't disrupt the game.

As for your problems above, I think there is a consensus that in #2, you probably shouldn't have seen the holder with his knee on the ground, but if you did, you take that info to your WH, it's his call, all you can do is offer information.

On #1, you made a call.  If you are 110% sure you are wrong AND STILL HAVE TIME TO MAKE A CHANGE, OK, make it.  But before moving the spot, I would meet with the other officials and let them know WHY you are moving the spot, let it look like a crew decision.  And you had better let the opposing coach know why you are moving it, and give him a long leash to let you know his feelings on the matter.  I'm not saying he has carte blanche, but you blew it, you changed it, and he has a reason to be perturbed about the way you handled it.  He gets a little latitude on this one.

Online HLinNC

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Re: What do you do when you know you're wrong?
« Reply #22 on: August 13, 2015, 08:21:44 AM »
Quote
On #1, you made a call.  If you are 110% sure you are wrong AND STILL HAVE TIME TO MAKE A CHANGE, OK, make it.  But before moving the spot, I would meet with the other officials and let them know WHY you are moving the spot, let it look like a crew decision.  And you had better let the opposing coach know why you are moving it, and give him a long leash to let you know his feelings on the matter.  I'm not saying he has carte blanche, but you blew it, you changed it, and he has a reason to be perturbed about the way you handled it.  He gets a little latitude on this one.

 :thumbup

Offline bbeagle

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Re: What do you do when you know you're wrong?
« Reply #23 on: August 13, 2015, 08:34:45 AM »
On #1, you made a call.  If you are 110% sure you are wrong AND STILL HAVE TIME TO MAKE A CHANGE, OK, make it.  But before moving the spot, I would meet with the other officials and let them know WHY you are moving the spot, let it look like a crew decision.  And you had better let the opposing coach know why you are moving it, and give him a long leash to let you know his feelings on the matter.  I'm not saying he has carte blanche, but you blew it, you changed it, and he has a reason to be perturbed about the way you handled it.  He gets a little latitude on this one.

Excellent idea. Completely agree.


Offline AlUpstateNY

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Re: What do you do when you know you're wrong?
« Reply #24 on: August 13, 2015, 08:49:10 AM »
I

It saddens me that most officials here don't care about getting the call right. They would rather not make the crew look bad, whatever that means. Us making the CORRECT call sometimes makes the game get out of hand and makes us look bad. The missing of the spot in #1, can make the game get out of hand really quickly. But that doesn't seem to phase most officials - they want to look 'good' out there in spite of the game. I don't get this. I really don't.                                         

It is truly unfortunate that you have been exposed to a situation allowing you to conclude, "It saddens me that most officials here don't care about getting the call right. They would rather not make the crew look bad, whatever that means. Us making the CORRECT call sometimes makes the game get out of hand and makes us look bad."  Thankfully, my experiences points in an entirely opposite direction.

We all chase perfection, despite most realizing we'll never catch it.  Perhaps the only positive aspect of a mistake is what we can be taught from making it, but even then, only when we're willing to learn from it.