There are times in a contest where officials have to decide how to handle escalating tensions. Preventive officiating and not letting tensions get to the boiling point is the key. How do we recognize brewing problems and how do we nip them in the bud? For starters, click here for tips that can really help newer officials and are also a good simple reminder for experienced officials.
In addition, be aware of certain cues:
1. Players that are talking to opposing players, even if not animated.
2. Coaches that were sitting are now standing, with body language that suggests frustration, such as arms crossed, arms extended in the air, etc.
3. Players whining about non-calls, verbally or other nonverbal cues (shaking their head, etc.)
4. Increasingly rough play, especially between two specific players.
All of these signs may indicate a need to the officials to get together at a dead ball and assess if any corrections need to be made.
Photo attributes: Pierre-Yves Beaudouin / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0