My children are doomed.

I took my sons, 5 and 3, to the park today. They started playing basketball, which entailed them chucking pine cones at the hoop. One of them didn’t quite make it in, and my 5-year-old son told me why.

SON: I think it’s because I shot it from the quicksand.
ME:  What?
SON:  I shot it from the quicksand. The area under the basket where a referee isn’t supposed to stand.
ME: Where did you learn that?
SON:  From the 2013-14 Officials Manual. I’ve been reading it during my naptime.
ME: What’s the quicksand?
SON: It’s the place you’re not supposed to stand because you can’t see.
ME: Do you know anything else about officiating?
SON:  Yeah. You’re not ever supposed to have two trails.
ME:  What?
SON:  Two trails is prohibited.
ME: Do you know why?
SON: Because they won’t know which is which.

Yes, this really happened. And my three-year-old son, who plays our family hallway soccer games with playing cards in his pocket so he can yellow- or red-card his brother and me, kept insisting on me running from referee position to referee position on the basketball court today, and kept asking me to call fouls on him.

It’s early, but the current trajectory says my kids are on a pace to at least consider becoming sports officials, and I’m not sure how I feel about that. Wait. I do know one way I feel about that. Guilty. This video shows why.

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About Paul Hamann
I am a basketball referee in Washington State, working mostly high school games.

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