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OpinionLetters

Letter: The complicated world of sports refs

Softball Umpire Tom Cully calls a game at

Softball Umpire Tom Cully calls a game at St. Anthony's High School in Huntington on May 10, 2019. Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy

The article about sports officials addressed only some of the problems that umpires and referees face [“Driven out by verbal abuse,” News, May 28].

As a local high school baseball umpire, I went through rigorous training, including annual testing. Rules are much more complicated than the average observer realizes, and everyone thinks he or she is an expert. While coaches are advised of rule changes, what makes this a slippery slope is that officials themselves are evaluated by these same coaches who often don’t stay up to date.

Officials usually are not given the opportunity to challenge a poor evaluation, and these reviews control advancement and/or demotion to higher or lower levels.

Middle school and junior varsity levels of some sports often provide only one coach at a contest. Coaches who misbehave are liable to be ejected, but that ejection results in the termination of the game. Who loses out? The kids. So officials are taught to be patient with unruly coaches for the sake of the athletes. After all, it is about them, isn’t it?

Joseph Beilouny,

  Medford

Editor’s note: The writer was an umpire with Section 11 of the New York State Public High School Athletic Association from 2002-17.

Jones Beach air show stirs national pride

During Memorial Day weekend, I stood on the Jones Beach boardwalk in awe as the Thunderbirds completed their maneuvers and thought how lucky I am to live in America [“Sky scrapers,” News, May 26], a great democratic republic created and kept by brave men and women who gave their lives so that I may have freedom.

The importance of Memorial Day never escapes me. The jets at the air show, whether the Thunderbirds or the Blue Angels, only help to remind me how great a nation we are. God bless those who have made the ultimate sacrifice and their families who have persevered, and God bless America!

Debra M. Eannel,

  Seaford

Whitman saw U.S. as a ‘Nation of nations’

Kudos to teacher Richard J. Conway for his celebration of Walt Whitman [“Walt inspire’s my life’s song,” Opinion, May 26].

Conway highlights Whitman’s passion for diversity and inclusion.

May I add these additional Whitman affirmations cited by President John F. Kennedy in his 1958 book, “A Nation of Immigrants”:

These States are the amplest poem,

Here is not merely a nation

But a teeming Nation of nations.”

Michael D’Innocenzo,

  Mineola

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