DAVE ROSS

KIRO Radio hosts wonder if it’s time for automated referees and umpires

Nov 16, 2021, 12:20 PM
referees...
Head coach Pete Carroll of the Seattle Seahawks discusses a call with officials during a game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on Nov. 14, 2021 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Packers defeated the Seahawks 17-0. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

After some complaints about calls by the referees in the Seattle Seahawks game Sunday, KIRO Radio’s Gee Scott asked Dave Ross and Colleen O’Brien if they think it’s time to have technology detect where the ball should be placed on a first down?

Or, do we still want to have human officials out on the football field to spot the ball?

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll explains ‘gripes’ about calls vs Packers

What about the umpire behind the plate in baseball? Are you ready for a computer to call balls and strikes, or do you want the human there?

“I think it would first be a really interesting behind-the-scenes exercise to find out just how accurate refs are because maybe that could lead to corrective behavior,” O’Brien said. “… Run some drills in a computerized field, … and then they get to see like, ‘Oh wow, yeah, I saw that differently, but the ball is telling me this is accurate. So now I’m going to pay closer attention to this.'”

“It doesn’t have to be change the game, it could just be change the training of refs,” she added.

Gee says he’s learned that all refs are subjective in their calls — no matter what level, from junior leagues up to professional sports.

“They all make decisions and mistakes the same way,” Gee said.

He also notes that maybe there are some refs or umpires who have been around a while and just, honestly, can’t see as well as they used to. He used himself as an example when he auctioneers. Eight years ago, he could see the bid cards in the back of the room, but today he needs a spotter to help out.

“Let’s be real — a lot of things happen. … I’m not making this an ageist conversation, but I’m talking about being real. I’m talking about myself. I don’t see as well as I used to,” Gee said. “So when we start talking about umpires and referees, and you see on TV, ‘This is his 36th year of being a ref.’ OK …”

Dave Ross suggests leaving the refs in charge, but using automation to evaluate whether it’s time to retire the referees or umpires.

“The idea is that you need to have human refs and umpires so there’s someone to complain about and yell at — except when they get to be so bad that they really can’t call the balls and strikes anymore or the first downs anymore and they have to retire,” he said. “But I agree — I think you have to leave that human element there because half of the fun of a post-game evaluation is complaining about the refs.”

Listen to Seattle’s Morning News weekday mornings from 5 – 9 a.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

Dave Ross on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM
  • listen to dave rossTune in to KIRO Radio weekdays at 5am for Dave Ross on Seattle's Morning News.

Dave's Commentary

Dave Ross

Tacoma police, South King County...
MyNorthwest Staff

South King County mayors demand action from state to end rash of violence

Multiple mayors in South King County are banding together to combat a violent trend after seven people were shot in four days. 
1 day ago
Giving...
KIRO Radio staff

Mayfield: Focusing less on money and more on giving

What if we focused on giving more every day? And what if -- beyond money -- we gave more love, wisdom, and leadership?
1 day ago
Omicron...
KIRO Radio staff

Mayfield: How scared of the omicron variant should we actually be?

The omicron variant is stranding travelers and rattling markets. It just sounds scary, but what if we're getting ahead of ourselves?
2 days ago
Wuhan, COVID, market...
MyNorthwest Staff

UW Medicine’s head of Virology: Live market ‘more likely the start’ of COVID

Scientists have been trying to trace the actual origins of the virus that causes COVID, to find if it came from a market, a lab, or somewhere else.
3 days ago
sleep...
MyNorthwest Staff

Study determines the ideal time to sleep based on biological clock

Is there a specific time when you should be going to sleep? Mercer Island MD Dr. Gordon Gohen explains the results of a study from the United Kingdom.
4 days ago
downtown seattle...
Dave Ross

Ross: Seattle’s next mayor promises a drier downtown experience

Yes, people want to be safe downtown, but they would also like to be able to go from store to store in November and December without getting soaked.
7 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Experience Anacortes

Coastal Christmas Celebration Week in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.
...

Delayed-Onset PTSD: Signs and Symptoms

Lakeside-Milam Recovery Centers SPONSORED — You’re probably familiar with post-traumatic stress disorder. Often abbreviated as PTSD, this condition is diagnosed when a person experiences a set of symptoms for at least a month after a traumatic event. However, for some people, these issues take longer to develop. This results in a diagnosis of delayed-onset PTSD […]
...

Medicare open enrollment ends Dec. 7. Free unbiased help is here!

Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner SPONSORED — Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, also called the Annual Election Period, is Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. During this time, people enrolled in Medicare can: Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan and vice versa. Join, drop or switch a Part D prescription drug plan, […]
...

How to Have a Stress-Free Real Estate Experience

The real estate industry has adapted and sellers are taking full advantage of new real estate models. One of which is Every Door Real Estate.
...
IQ Air

How Poor Air Quality Is Affecting Our Future Athletes

You cannot control your child’s breathing environment 100% of the time, but you can make a huge impact.
...
Swedish Health Services

Special Coverage: National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

There are a wide variety of treatment options available for men with prostate cancer. The most technologically advanced treatment option in the Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform.
KIRO Radio hosts wonder if it’s time for automated referees and umpires