Fall sports are here, and we at ArbiterSports have been looking at the stories and conversations our fans want to be a part of. Click on any headline to learn more.

One of the biggest youth sports injuries can be prevented

Millions of children are treated in emergency rooms for injuries they get playing sports. Whether the injuries are traumatic or results of overuse over time, the impact on middle- and high-school kids’ bodies is huge over time, and could be permanent. There’s been a rise in preventable sports injuries in kids who are playing too hard and not giving themselves appropriate lengths of time to heal. Thankfully, there also have been rises in detection and treatment as a result of increased awareness.

Turns Out Madden’s Referees Make Human Errors Too

Graphics aren’t the only things becoming more realistic in sports games. It turns out the digital referees are, too. The AI referees in Madden have been programmed with “referee strictness” and knowledge of NFL rules; but they’re also programmed with a bit of human error. The games have a “challenge” system that mirrors the NFL system: If a ref makes a wrong call in the game, you may challenge and potentially reverse it.

Buccaneers player tries out several celebration dances in front of refs to test what he can get away with in great ‘Hard Knocks’ clip

The NFL has loosened some of the restrictions on what counts as excessive celebrating on the field. Players used to be limited in what they could do, and breaking these rules meant a 15-yard penalty. While offensive dances and celebrations still are penalized, and there could be inconsistencies or confusion as the new rules roll out, there’s no reason a player or team can’t celebrate a job well done. Click on the link to watch Buccaneers’ Gerald McCoy test the limits of the new rules.

Onfield Meetings – Short, Simple & Complete

It’s not enough in officiating to know what you’re doing; you and your crew also need to look like you know exactly what’s going on to put fans, coaches and everyone else at ease. Crew conferences on the field are one of the most visual things an officiating team can do, so it’s important to appear at ease. While officials should strive to be accurate in all cases, avoiding lengthy conferences is ideal. Follow the link for tips on how to achieve short meetings.

ArbiterSports Steps Up with Donation

The Texas Association of Sports Officials (TASO) started a Hurricane Harvey assistance effort. TASO’s efforts are a way for officiating community members to support fellow officials whose lives were impacted by Hurricane Harvey. We at ArbiterSports are committed to matching monetary donations to the TASO Hurricane Harvey assistance effort, and we would love you to help as well.

For information about TASO or its hurricane assistance efforts, call its office at 214.390.2895 or email Executive Director Michael Fitch at mfitch@taso.org. For more information on ArbiterSports, contact sales@arbitersports.com or call 800.576.2799.