I am so thankful to be the Athletic Director and also to have the privilege of coaching at Faith Christian School. I would like to share another part of my life that some know about, but many do not. For 25 years I was an IHSAA basketball official and traveled much of Indiana officiating high school basketball games. I had the privilege of doing some exciting and very competitive games both during the season and in the IHSAA tournament. One of the rewarding parts of traveling and meeting people at games was the opportunity that I had to share God’s love and to be a testimony to the other officials, school administrators, teams and fans.
Now let me flip the coin for a moment. Do you realize what an opportunity that our school community has to be a witness and testimony to the officials who officiate our games? Some of them know Jesus as Savior and many of them do not. After 25 years of officiating, I am sure that most of them expect to be treated much better at Faith Christian School than other places that they officiate. I want each of us to buy in to showing the love of God to each of our officials this year. Yes, they are human, and yes, they make bad calls, but in my 25 years on the court, I can honestly say that an outcome of a game was never decided by an official’s call. I would love for nothing more than for officials to talk to one another and state that they cannot believe how well the fans and supporters of Faith Christian School treat them.
Here are some ways we can partner together to accomplish this:
- Be supportive of the officials. When you see them before or after the game, thank them for sacrificing their time away from families, etc.
- During the games, support them by not yelling or saying derogatory things toward them even under your breath.
- Try not to talk to your neighbor about them during the games. Officials usually hear more than we think.
- Focus on cheering for our teams. They appreciate it very much, and it will keep the focus off the officials.
I believe we have a good testimony with our officials, other schools and our community. I would like to see us have a great one in that when all these differing folks think about Faith Christian, they will think, “WOW that school honors God and displays great sportsmanship through its players, coaches and fans.”