Foul play

Sports referees and umpires have a difficult job. They have to make split second decisions with someone waiting to second guess and/or criticize them. The harassment from the fans tend to be more partisanship than anything else. From my vantage point during the games, right on the sidelines, the refs usually get their calls right. But they’re not perfect and they do get it wrong, from time to time.

(Camera: Nikon D300. Lens: Nikkor 70-200mm @ 116mm. Exposure: 1/400th sec. @ f/2.8. ISO: 2000)

The women’s basketball game between the University of the Pacific Tigers and the Long Beach State 49ers was close and hard fought. The Tigers finally won in double overtime, 98-92. In the first half, I got a shot of Pacific’s Amber Simmons driving to the hoop, closely guarded by the 49ers’ LaTorya Barbee and Brett Timmons. Near the apex of Simmons leap, the ball sailed out of her hands, seemingly blocked by the defenders. I “chimped”(reviewed the camera’s monitor) my shot soon after taking it, and saw that rather than a block, it was a foul. Barbee’s hand is clearly grabbing Simmons’ forearm just above the elbow. Not a graze, but a full-blown foul. I don’t know where the refs were positioned, but they certainly missed the call. It’s one time when fans would have been justified in questioning the refs abilities.

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