Sunday, March 04, 2018

"Home Cooking"--Do You Code It Or Tolerate It?

Have you ever had someone look you in the eye and call you a cheater?  There probably aren't many more insults that can garner such explosive emotions in human beings.  But what do you do when a coach or player looks you in the eye and accuses you of "home cooking"?

In essence, the term "home cooking" means that you are cheating for the home team--and that also means they are accusing you of cheating and calling you a cheat...

On page 36 of the ITA rulebook it states:

1.  Unsportsmanlike conduct is punished under ITA point penalty system.  Inappropriate conduct includes but is not limited to:
   a.  Visible or audible obscenity or profanity;
   b.  Racket abuse;
   c.  Ball abuse;
   d.  Verbal or physical abuse of an  Official or player;

Since the rules clearly state that it is a code violation for verbal abuse of an official the question now becomes, "is accusing an official of home cooking (or cheating) rightfully considered verbal abuse?"

Many officials are extremely cautious when it comes to issuing a coach's warning or giving a coach a code violation--and so it should be.  However, where do we draw the line on that behavior?

One of the things an official learns about himself and his/her referee learns about the official is how much do you tolerate and where do you draw the line on how much you are going to put up with.  Knowing this is a wise decision but perhaps we need to rethink how much we tolerate if an official is being verbally berated by a player or coach.

Personally, I would code a player for that accusation and give a coach's warning if the coach is serious with this accusation.  Noone appreciates or should tolerate being called a cheater and that is exactly what this is.

One thing to remember--coaches learn the tolerance level of officials just like we learn the behavior of coaches.  I think most wise officials give a coach as much leeway as possible because we fully understand the stress they are under--but there is a line that should not be crossed--and that line is to call someone a cheater in plain English or using a slang term.

What do you think???

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