Author Topic: PROFANITY AND SPORTSMANSHIP  (Read 1401 times)

Offline Ralph Damren

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PROFANITY AND SPORTSMANSHIP
« on: November 02, 2017, 09:18:31 AM »
From 2001 NFHS Rules Book (P of E):

While there is consistent enforcement on profanity directed at an official or opponent, the trend has been to disregard profanity, if voiced in disgust at one's own play or directed at a teammate. It is recognized that some words, if uttered in the childhood of many current coaches and officials, would have resulted in one's mouth being washed with soap. Unfortunately, this has become common vernacular by today's youth when off campus. The student-athlete should be reminded, however, that this is a school-sponsored event (often on school property) and that foul language is not acceptable in the classroom and will not be tolerated on the playing field.

Coaches should lead by example by refraining from using profanity and discouraging its use by players. Interscholastic athletics form a building block for the student-athlete's future and most future employers view profanity as a deficiency in one's vocabulary. There are some 3,500 words in Webster's Dictionary and only seven that are restricted by the F.C.C. from use over our nation's airwaves. The student-athletes should attempt to limit their vocabulary to the remaining 3,493!

Offline AlUpstateNY

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Re: PROFANITY AND SPORTSMANSHIP
« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2017, 03:31:07 PM »
A timely reminder, thank you.  Unfortunately inappropriate language is considerably more common today, than yesteryear, but today's athletes are no more oblivious to what they say, than before.  A well placed, DIRECT reminder of what is acceptable (and/or what is not acceptable) given as privately as possible can, and should prove to be effective and avoid further UNNECESSARY consequences.

It's YOUR standard of appropriate, that needs to be adhered to, and when most athletes are reminded, and convinced of that, they are capable of adjusting.

Offline VALJ

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Re: PROFANITY AND SPORTSMANSHIP
« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2017, 10:30:57 AM »
Of course, this depends on your state.  We've been directed to hammer unsportsmanlike language whenever and wherever we hear it, whether on the field, in the team box, between opponents, between teammates, wherever.

Now, if I kid comes up after missing a play mumbling to himself, that's something completely different, IMHO.  Heck, I mutter "dang, I fouled up that call" under my breath once in a while, too.  But we've been directed to bring the hammer down, and we have.

Offline ncwingman

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Re: PROFANITY AND SPORTSMANSHIP
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2017, 09:42:26 AM »
How much of a hammer are you bringing down?

I had a play a couple weeks ago where QB throws a beautiful pass to wide open cornerback. A's coach (behind me) reacts loud enough that I can hear it, but quietly and not directed at anybody, a dirty word that will get filtered here -- followed quickly by a slightly louder, "uh, er, I mean shoot!"

If that was your game, you'd have flagged that? I assume that wouldn't qualify as flagrant

Offline AlUpstateNY

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Re: PROFANITY AND SPORTSMANSHIP
« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2017, 10:26:40 AM »
Reality dictates, we each get to choose our own "hammer" to bring to the game, and it should be a hammer designed to build an environment we'd all be comfortable existing within, rather than breaking something.  Football is an emotional experience, especially for those heavily invested in it.

Additional tools available, when emotions may cause inappropriate responses might be;

1. "the look": The one your Mom or Dad gave you, that precisely conveyed the message to stop whatever it was you were doing INSTANTLY, or face unpleasant consequences. (If you haven't perfected your "look", it's worth working on.
2. Unnecessary questions: You absolutely know the answer to, "What was that?", "Are you talking to me?", "Did I hear you correctly?", or your own creative version that lets the speaker know, what they said was inappropriate and provides them with an opportunity to back up, or even apologize.  Of course if they're stupid enough to answer the wrong way......
3. Direct response (as privately as possible) that what was said is UNACCEPTABLE, and MUST NOT be repeated.

When all else fails, Hammers are used to drive nails, and life dictates in which situations we (are all) designated to be a hammer, or a nail. When you're the hammer, it's worthwhile to concentrate your first swing on aim, rather than force, because if necessary you can always swing again, as hard as might then be necessary.

Offline BrendanP

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Re: PROFANITY AND SPORTSMANSHIP
« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2017, 06:19:02 PM »
Before I moved to Umpire, I had a coach say to me once,

"I'm so 'mad' (he used a different term) at you that I've run out of swear words."

Offline NorCalMike

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Re: PROFANITY AND SPORTSMANSHIP
« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2017, 10:12:41 PM »
If I threw a flag for UNS every time I hear someone use profanity on the the field I would wear out my flag. As long the profanity is not directed at another person, my simple rule is you can swear or yell, you just can't do both. If someone misses a tackle and says CRAP or F@ck as long as it is not loud I remind the player to watch their language.

This is my personal rule and I find that it works pretty well.

Offline TampaSteve

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Re: PROFANITY AND SPORTSMANSHIP
« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2017, 07:39:01 AM »
Of course, the State has their written definition; however, around these parts it's the general axiom for dirty words that "unless they can hear it in the stands, maybe let it go." - again a general axiom

Offline AlUpstateNY

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Re: PROFANITY AND SPORTSMANSHIP
« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2017, 11:41:02 AM »
This "situation" seems yet another that falls under the FACT that there will NEVER, EVER," be one size that fits all", and the ultimate judgment, as to whether WHATEVER is said, in the unique circumstance being decided rises to the level of being considered USC, rests exclusively with the "covering official", who actually hears and assesses whatever has been said.     
« Last Edit: November 06, 2017, 11:43:02 AM by AlUpstateNY »

Offline Etref

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Re: PROFANITY AND SPORTSMANSHIP
« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2017, 12:56:36 PM »
If I threw a flag for UNS every time I hear someone use profanity on the the field I would wear out my flag. As long the profanity is not directed at another person, my simple rule is you can swear or yell, you just can't do both. If someone misses a tackle and says CRAP or F@ck as long as it is not loud I remind the player to watch their language.

This is my personal rule and I find that it works pretty well.


And as a rule I have found it worse during games with “Christian “ schools
" I don't make the rules coach!"

Offline TampaSteve

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Re: PROFANITY AND SPORTSMANSHIP
« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2017, 03:52:23 PM »
And as a rule I have found it worse during games with “Christian “ schools
ABSOLUTELY

Offline sir55

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Re: PROFANITY AND SPORTSMANSHIP
« Reply #11 on: November 06, 2017, 05:46:35 PM »
"Christian" schools are nothing compared to women's church league softball.

Offline Etref

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Re: PROFANITY AND SPORTSMANSHIP
« Reply #12 on: November 06, 2017, 06:59:52 PM »
 LOL
" I don't make the rules coach!"

Offline VALJ

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Re: PROFANITY AND SPORTSMANSHIP
« Reply #13 on: November 07, 2017, 01:06:43 PM »
How much of a hammer are you bringing down?

I had a play a couple weeks ago where QB throws a beautiful pass to wide open cornerback. A's coach (behind me) reacts loud enough that I can hear it, but quietly and not directed at anybody, a dirty word that will get filtered here -- followed quickly by a slightly louder, "uh, er, I mean shoot!"

If that was your game, you'd have flagged that? I assume that wouldn't qualify as flagrant

As long as he's quiet about it, honestly, I'd have looked at him and said "thank you for catching that".  If he screams it, another story.

Ended up with a player DQ'ing for picking up his second USC this way a couple of weeks back.  He missed a catch in the end zone, came up stomping and screaming "GOSH DARN GOSH DARN GOSH DARN GOSH DARN" - or words to that effect - at the top of his lungs.  He had already picked up a USC earlier in the game for spiking the football after another play he felt like he could have done better on earlier in the quarter.

Offline yarnnelg

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Re: PROFANITY AND SPORTSMANSHIP
« Reply #14 on: November 23, 2017, 07:02:59 PM »
Of course, the State has their written definition; however, around these parts it's the general axiom for dirty words that "unless they can hear it in the stands, maybe let it go." - again a general axiom

Same in Pinellas County. I'll usually reply "Think they heard that in the stands?" Just to emphasize I heard it.

I found that with the years of officiating, I rarely send any four letter words past my lips. Most of that because of the fear of a natural response back at a participant who is just waiting for you to venture down to their level. Our penalty being to surrender stripes vs. Their one game suspension.

Offline AlUpstateNY

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Re: PROFANITY AND SPORTSMANSHIP
« Reply #15 on: November 24, 2017, 09:02:51 AM »
Same in Pinellas County. I'll usually reply "Think they heard that in the stands?" Just to emphasize I heard it.

More significant than, "Think they heard that in the stands?" is what the covering official hear, and whether he decided if what he heard, to who it was directed, in what tone, for what purpose and intention merited what level of consequence (caution, flag, disqualification).

A whispered suggestion between opposing down linemen can be as dangerous and problematic as something shouted on the field or otherwise exclaimed between opponents. 

Soliciting early assistance from a (smart) Team Captain to confront and control minor infractions, within his team, can be helpful in preventing escalation to consequence producing situations and avoid the necessity of dealing with major infractions.

Offline GoodScout

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Re: PROFANITY AND SPORTSMANSHIP
« Reply #16 on: November 29, 2017, 07:22:22 PM »
I try not to flag bad language unless it's taunting or really out of hand. As a U, talk-to's are my stock and trade.

But I had a member of my crew in the state championship game two weeks ago throw a UNS for a rather loud f-bomb directed at an opposing player right in front of the official after a PAT.

When I made my way back to the sideline to report the foul, I said "Unsportsmanlike conduct on number 52 coach."
"What did he do?"
"He dropped the f-bomb at another player," I had to say.
"He got a USC ... for swearing?" he asked incredulously.
All I could say as I moved into kickoff position was, "Well, technically, telling an opponent to f- off is by definition unsportsmanlike." Then I just smiled, shrugged and moved on.

Offline AlUpstateNY

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Re: PROFANITY AND SPORTSMANSHIP
« Reply #17 on: November 29, 2017, 10:58:26 PM »
"Words to the wise" given tactfully can be very helpful in maintaining CONTROL, which can often be the primary job of an Umpire.  "One size DOESN'T fit all" and there's not a coach alive who won't hold YOU personally responsible if ANY situation "get's out of hand" and explodes. 

Some "bombs" are duds, some go off right away and others take their time building up a head of steam to go off when you least expect them to.  The line between specifically directed personal "bad language" and serious taunting is often only seen by the players involved, who may have a whole lot going on that you can't see so don't be surprised if that same "incredulous" coach is not the one bringing the noose to a lynching, should a return F-bomb (immediate or delayed) blow up and start a riot. 

Offline yarnnelg

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Re: PROFANITY AND SPORTSMANSHIP
« Reply #18 on: January 14, 2018, 10:28:13 PM »
Most of it is simply "F" to yourself. as in being upset about the missed block or tackle. It's when it is directed specifically at someone that it becomes a major issue.

I equate it to this. In the emergency room, I just arrived to find my daughter being examined to determine whether or not her nose is broken. Hit dead in the face in Center field by a line drive. Lost the ball in the lights. I got out of an official's meeting and was late getting to the park before I was redirected to the hospital.

She's sitting there and finally asks
"Dad, what is the last thought that goes through your head when you realize you are going to get hit and there is nothing you can do to stop it?"
"The truth?"
"The truth."
"IT"
"Really?"
"Really"
"I said that out loud"
"Anyone throw you out of the game?"
"I think they were worried more about the blood and the screaming."
"Funny how that works Michelle."

Offline AlUpstateNY

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Re: PROFANITY AND SPORTSMANSHIP
« Reply #19 on: January 15, 2018, 10:20:17 AM »
Sounds like a classic opportunity to explain the overall value, and the elimination of (various types of risk and impressions made) by simply choosing a different exclamation.