The Dark Side of Social Sport

Our work signed up for social basketball at the start of the year and have played two games so far at the YMCA.
The first we lost 22-99, the second 21-107.
Yeah, we’re not great, but that’s ok. We wanted to get involved in something social and fun, but… it is starting to lack in the latter.

The first week there were six of us, including two girls. You need two girls on the court at all times so it was tiring for Nicole and I, but it was still mostly fun.
What wasn’t so fun were the overly competitive remarks by the other team when they were already over 50 points ahead of us. Or one of the referees openly laughing and then looking at us like we were complete morons when we were fouled.

Still, we rallied a few more troops and turned up to the second week with eleven of us, including five girls (hurray, rest for the wicked!).
We faced a new team, but the same old unnecessary over-competitiveness.
And the same mean old referee. And this time she was meaner.

Our points weren’t always counted (I know of one early on in the game which for some reason was missed – what’s the point of denying us points when we’re as bad as we are?)
We got fouled countless times while the opposition’s actions were ignored. One of our team was pushed to the ground and went home with a badly sprained arm. The mean ref wasn’t even going to call a foul without our protesting.
At one stage or another each of us threw our arms up in frustration, and for some reason it was us girls that bore the brunt of her attitude.
“Do you want the whistle, hun?” she’d mock.
She asked the same question of me and then proceeded to tell me that you have to study the game for years and that I clearly didn’t have a clue. Charming from a woman that is supposed to be unbiased.

Again, this is social basketball.

Maybe I am naive.
I thought social meant casual. It’s clearly not that.
It makes me feel really disheartened. I don’t want to go back if that same woman is refereeing. Why would I? Would you keep going back to a bully if you didn’t have to?

I’m not so bothered about the other teams. So what if they take it a little too seriously? We take it seriously in our way, by supporting and cheering on each member of the team.
But this woman. She’s a referee at the YMCA. In the words of Magic “Why you gotta be so rude?”

So we’ve had two games of basketball, but at this stage I don’t know if there’ll be a third for me.
I’ll turn up, after all I am part of a team.
But if that same woman is there, I’ll be supporting my team from the benches.

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