Ed Clendaniel penned an op-ed for the Bay Area News Group during the Stanley Cup Playoffs this year about his new goal of not yelling at officials. He cited a few specific incidents and statistics that help support his new goal, noting a call in four different sporting events over four days that went against the home team in each game.
But the best part is where he started asking the questions we at OSIP have been asking for some time: does yelling at officials actually provide you (or your team) with an advantage? And the answer is a resounding no.
An interview with Jim Thompson, founder of the Positive Coaching Alliance, sums it up nicely. The culture starts with the coaches and has to be set that way (specifically at the younger, more impressionable levels). Thompson points out a very important note: he guarantees there is going to be a bad call during the game that affects his team, but if the goal is to honor the game, then the responsibility of all participants (players, coaches, fans, etc.) is to be absolutely quiet and let the head coach handle it in a way that respects the game.
Thompson's Positive Coaching Alliance took it even further in a separate article. An interview with former minor league ballplayer Jake Wald shows Wald, after joining PCA, promoting the notion that the relationship players have with officials as absolutely critical. Respectful questions that take an interest in how officials work and show an understanding for the hard work they do is not just acceptable, but welcome!
Speaking as an official and ballplayer myself, I couldn't agree more. Talk to me. Work with me.