Hey Ref: December 2016

by Barry Faguy

HEY REF Don’t you guys have a sense of humor?

Oh yeah. A few years ago, Anthony Hill is stopped in mid-play by a ref’s call of “not up.” He argues that the ball was indeed good—but the ref nonetheless says: “Play squash, Mr. Hill.” Hill answers back: “That’s what I was doing until you stopped me.”

Jonathon Power, expressing his displeasure to the ref about one decision among many others, near the end of the match: “What are you trying to do—screw up one more time before you go home for the night?”

A ref denies a let to a player—so the player then quips: “You don’t know how fast I think I am.”

During another match, explaining to Jonathon Power why a stroke was awarded against him, the ref said: “He was right there.” Power then retorts: “Yeah, well I wasn’t.”

A foot-fault is called, and the player queries: “Aren’t you going to warn me first about that?” The ref answers: “And are there any other rules you’d like me to warn you about?”

Graham Ryding, behind 14-3 in the first game of his first match of a tournament, loses the final point on the game’s only officiating decision. On the way out of the court, he turns to the ref and wisecracks: “You cost me the game.”

At a local event, the ref denies a let to a player appealing on an attempt to get to the ball. The player then starts to complain vociferously. His wife interrupts with: “No dear—you couldn’t have got to it.”

In an early round, Power is warming up against some sacrificial lamb—a player who happens to be using the Dunlop “Power” signature racquet. Jonathon’s dad is watching, and leans over to whisper to a nearby ref: “You know you’re in trouble when the racquet you’re using has your opponent’s name on it.”

A player, walking on to the court for what he knows will be a very tough match, asks the ref: “Do you take Visa, Mastercard or American Express?”

Years ago, Stewart Boswell is taken by surprise by a shot right at him down the middle of the court. Reflexively, he takes his racquet around his back and then forward between his legs to hit the ball. But he forgets to shorten the follow-through. As he crumples to the floor in pain, his opponent, Lee Beachill opens the door and says to the ref: “I think the ball is broken.”

A ref awards a stroke against a player who had gotten royally smacked in the face by a reasonable backswing. The player, after stumbling away, retorts with: “Wadda ya mean, stroke!? I was clear.”

After a very trying match, a ref explained his match-control philosophy to an assessor: “I gave lots of lets because the no lets and strokes seemed to upset them.”

One ref comments to another about a situation not clearly addressed in the rules: “Look—sometimes you just have to forget about the rules.”

Two refs were watching a 70+ match. One turns to the other and says: “Now I know why these older guys make it look so effortless: they’re making no effort.”

“Take your seats please, ladies and gentlemen,” announces the ref, just before a men’s final at the Tournament of Champions. At that moment, a loud breaking noise is heard. The marker then adds: “Well, we didn’t mean it literally.”

One ref’s advice to another, about the issue of explaining your calls: “A closed mouth gathers no foot.”