Is it appropriate to send a get well card to a player?

Discussion in 'Referee' started by mudhen, Dec 10, 2012.

  1. mudhen

    mudhen Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2012
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Star striker and good kid takes out ALL THREE of his ligaments in a high school game I reffed. Muddy field-- planted leg --other one twists etc... I hate it when this stuff happens, but there was nothing I could do about it. It was an accident. A terrible one to boot.
    Do you guys (and women) think it's o.k. to send him a get well card?

    Rich


  2. Rufusabc

    Rufusabc Member+

    Joined:
    May 27, 2004
    If I was to do this, I would contact the COACH of the player who has been injured in one of my games to inquire as to the condition of the player and to have them pass along best wishes for recovery. I dont know if it is proper protocol (in this day and age) for a referee to be contacting high school aged players directly. I don't think I would like it so much as a parent. However, if you see the team again, I would inquire as to the well being of the player with either the coach or some of the other players. Also, you might not actually know if they BLAME you for the injury. Even, as you say, you had nothing to do with it at all. They might conjure up a what-if scenario where if you had whistled the foul two seonds before hand he wouldn't have taken the shot. You are not a friend to the players. You are just the referee.
    OMGFigo repped this.
  3. refontherun

    refontherun Member

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2005
    Location:
    Georgia
    Country:
    United States
    I don't know how much different this would be, but if you really feel strongly about expressing sympathy for the player, pehaps something, as in a greeting card, from your referee association (I wouldn't have anyone sign it) if they feel it is apporpriate. It would add the human factor without making it personal.
    OMGFigo repped this.
  4. IllinoisRef

    IllinoisRef Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2011
    Club:
    Flamengo Rio Janeiro
    Country:
    Brazil
    Contact the coach or the AD and have them pass along your get well wishes.
    OMGFigo repped this.


  5. SA14mars

    SA14mars Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2005
    Location:
    Dallas
    Club:
    FC Dallas
    Country:
    United States
    This is most appropriate. Like others have said you have no way to know how the player, family, etc. may view the circumstances surrounding the injury. Some might even see a direct expression of concern as an admission of guilt even if there is no reasonable justification for it.
    OMGFigo repped this.
  6. Law5

    Law5 Member+

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2005
    Location:
    Beaverton OR
    That's what I did when I had a VERY serious injury in a college men's game. I see a guy down, during a stoppage, and his teammate says "We've got blood, ref." So the player leaves and is replaced. Just before we start overtime, the coach tells me that it wasn't blood, it was spinal cord fluid :eek: and he's been taken to the hospital. I e-mailed the coach a few days later to ask how he was doing (and whether the coach had seen a foul on the film!) The coach was very appreciative of my inquiry, told me the kid was out of the hospital but his playing career was over and he (the coach) did not see a foul on the film. Definitely made me feel better, too!
  7. GoDawgsGo

    GoDawgsGo Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2010
    Country:
    United States
    I wouldn't do anything for that reason alone. Even if you are not at fault you can still be sued and have to deal with filing insurance claims, hiring attorneys, multiple court appearances, etc.
    OMGFigo repped this.
  8. techguy9707

    techguy9707 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    Location:
    Antelope, CA
    I don't really disagree with the comments here, it's just sad that we can't express compassion for a player without fearing legal repercussions.
    nsa, OMGFigo, dadman and 2 others repped this.
  9. mudhen

    mudhen Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2012
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    I agree techguy, it IS sad that we have to remain on the outside. But you guys are all pretty much right in your assessments. I guess that this is one of the prices we have to pay for the privilege of being a referee.
    dadman repped this.
  10. GoDawgsGo

    GoDawgsGo Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2010
    Country:
    United States
    Actually it has nothing to do with being a referee and everything to do with the highly litigious society the U.S. has become and the lawmakers that have allowed it to happen.
    camconcay repped this.
  11. camconcay

    camconcay Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2011
    Location:
    Georgia
    Country:
    United States
    IMO it is VERY appropriate to do so, sadly, it is just as much VERY unwise to do so. GoDawgsGo hit is right on the head, we think first of getting sued, not what the right thing to do is.
  12. Law5

    Law5 Member+

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2005
    Location:
    Beaverton OR
    I disagree. A recent study of hospital liability suits showed that simply telling the patient/family that the hospital was sorry for the mistake very significantly reduced malpractice suits filed. In other words, while there are no guarantees, saying you are sorry reduces the chances you will be sued. It also has to be said that the referee (I hope!) didn't whack the player. It was an opponent. Whether the referee blew the whistle or not for a foul doesn't change whether the player was injured.

    Having said that, I have heard of precisely one referee being sued over a decision he made, in over 20 years as a referee. He was dismissed from the suit (i.e. let off the hook) when he was able to show that he had asked before the game that the portable goal that was too close to the field be moved, but the school refused to do so. (A player ran into it, chasing a ball, during the game.) I don't worry about getting sued.
  13. techguy9707

    techguy9707 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    Location:
    Antelope, CA
    Law,

    I have read similar studies and I recently took a series of medically related classes for a certificate I finished. This is was discussed and in some cases, the suing patient or family is satiated by an honest apology by the provider in question and the case is never brought or it is dropped. The family is hurting and simply wants to see some humility and contrition.

    What I meant was that some may fear the potential of a lawsuit, I personally would not have a problem sending a card.
  14. lemma

    lemma Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2011
    There is no rule that prevents men from approaching women and telling them how beautiful they are when the woman is not well known to them.

    There is no rule that prevents doctors from going to their patients' funerals when the patient is not otherwise close to them.

    There is no rule that prevents referees from sending greeting cards to players they have refereed when the player is not otherwise a personal friend of the referee.
  15. IllinoisRef

    IllinoisRef Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2011
    Club:
    Flamengo Rio Janeiro
    Country:
    Brazil
    But there is the old rule that says "perception is reality".
    Do you really want to put yourself in a position to be perceived as something that you are not?
  16. lemma

    lemma Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2011
    That is exactly my point.

    I suppose I could have made it more directly.
  17. socal lurker

    socal lurker Member+

    Joined:
    May 30, 2009
    Heaven forbid that a referee be perceived as someone who cares about players . . . .

    (IMHO, in this life, too many things are done and not done because of perceived risks of litigation that are extremely far fetched and even illusory.)
    Bubba Atlanta repped this.
  18. IllinoisRef

    IllinoisRef Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2011
    Club:
    Flamengo Rio Janeiro
    Country:
    Brazil
    I second the sentiment. It sucks. Off the fields I'm known to be a loving father, husband, friend and overall a very nice person. But I became very cautious of how I interact with youth players once I heard of a good friend getting in trouble for "touching" a female player when all he did was separate two girls from fighting (he finally got cleared but it took a lot of explaining),
  19. COME ON REF!

    COME ON REF! Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2012
    Send the kid a card if that is what you want to do. I would.
    It is still ok to be compassionate.
    Let 'em sue me, they can have the second mortgage and the crappy 13 year old truck with the broken door.
    Bubba Atlanta repped this.
  20. techguy9707

    techguy9707 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    Location:
    Antelope, CA
    If you really are worried about it... don't sign your name. Send the card and sign it "A Concerned Adult" or don't sign it all, just put your kind words and leave it at that.

    Man... all this worrying is not good for anyone. Make a decision, act upon it, and move on... just like in the game.
  21. MetroFever

    MetroFever Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2001
    Club:
    New York Red Bulls
    Country:
    Croatia
    Once I saw the words "muddy field", I knew the answer to your question. Unfortunately, those telling you not make any contact with anyone associated with the team because it could be perceived as you feeling "guilty", are right.

    People out there are nuts when it involves their kids and will sue for anything. An attorney will go after anyone associated with that game (athletic director, coach...and you) and make the claim that while a player assumes the risk, the game should not have been played in the first place. You want to minimize the possibility of putting yourself in that situation.

Share This Page