Referee apologizes for actions taken during football game

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To the Editor,

I am writing this today to express my apology to the family and to the young man that was affected by my actions this Saturday during a 6th grade football game played at the high school. I am the official who ended the game early due to what was happening on the field. I have been working these games since the program started over 10 years ago. The youth football program was started to give these young kids an opportunity to play the game and also learn different aspects of the game including sportsmanship.

The situation that occurred was with around 3-4 minutes to go in the game and the team with the ball up 22-6 was moving down the field. When the team that was up and with the ball started to call timeouts to stop the clock, the opposing team was starting to take exception over what was going on. When the team with the ball, then on the 3-yard line, had their quarterback run to the middle of the field and fall on the ground, that team then took their last time out to stop the clock at three seconds. The team then announced they were going to kick a field goal. The opposing team’s coach (at this level the coaches are on the field to assist) started to become angry and stated to his team to rush the kicker; rules prohibit players from rushing any attempted kick.

Hearing the coach’s comment and realizing this was not going to make a difference in the game and thinking if the one team is not ready for the other team rushing the kicker fearing someone could get hurt I ordered the clock to run out so the play would not go off. I was later informed after the game there was special circumstances behind the field goal attempt. The coaches as well as me realized this information; if shared all parties involved wouldn’t have had an issue. I hope that day we all walked away with lessons learned.

Gary Urban

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