Why Hamilton 'seems' to get bad calls disproportionately

This isn't an original theory by any means but I figured we might want to start a thread on its own to discuss it:

Does consistent success give way to more breaks in terms of how your team is judged by the officials?

There are plenty of reactionary judgment calls to be made by officials in football games. The most game-altering and subjective include unnecessary roughness and pass interference penalties.

In the last game, we saw Jojan Armour called for incidentally grabbing the back of the helmet on a 2nd down stop to force what would have been a drive ending field goal. Instead, it was first down and Edmonton went on to secure the points by which they won the game. This kind of contact we see go uncalled on countless plays at every level of football even though you could call it every time it happened. It depends on the intent, context and severity of the incident. The same goes for holding, pass interference and roughing the passer.

When a team like Hamilton struggles and has a recent history of penalty problems, is it human nature, despite training meant to instill objectivity and fairness, for officials to be more trigger happy on their flags for these judgment calls without even knowing it?

I severely doubt there is a conspiracy or intent to keep Hamilton in the basement on the part of the officiating crew. I'd 'wager' there isn't enough money in CFL gambling to warrant deliberately changing the result. I do think that there might be a human bias; an unintentional but real tendency to be less lenient with a team expected to commit penalties. Until this team can consistently play through this, stringing consecutive wins (like that which they had against Winnipeg) which ensure success despite these calls will the Cats be subject to fairer and lenient calls themselves.

Do you think this is the case or is it more a case of fans seeing what they want to see? I personally believe both are true.

I think you are on the money there Joe. It's easier to penalize 'losers' and feel you can get away with it than it is to do the same to 'winners.' It's similiar to promoting good looking people over less desirable looking people. It's not really a conscious thing but it happens all the time. You're right, until the Cats can get through this it will continue to happen. And I also think that fans focus on the bad calls more than others so this actually multiplies the perceived unfairness even more....
The key is to not try to use it as an excuse, even though, at times, it certainly appears to be a valid excuse for losing games...

Good thread :thup: - IMo the problem the ticats have with being on the wrong side of the tracks, in the refs eyes, goes back to the Lancaster years in the pre Marshall era, then Marshall, added to the bad carma with the refs ,Both would get very vocal with the refs, ( DESERVEDLY) - But now it will take a season or two of Taffe or whoever ends up as H.C to Bite their tung and Kiss the refs @$$ - wisper sweet nothings in their ears, send them flowers, give them family passes to wonderland, take them on fishing trip,s --etc etc-- then and only then will they get better calls., OR the LEAGUE FIRES a couple of the $%&^#@^&*(&^

What the hell does Lancaster have to do with this??? If anything his reputation and greatness in the league would technically HELP his chances if this theory was true.

Lancaster and Marshall (who should still be H.C imo)- Both reacted to bad calls by yelling at the refs, --We are seeing the continuing results of what that gets a team, More bad calls,. -If you like Lancaster good for you, but imo-Russ Jackson was better

Rediculous, Lancaster only said a word when it was a brutal call, something every coach in the CFL does.

Marshall jumped up and down, screaming and yelling even if the ref was RIGHT.

Marshall inherited the problem!!! and he exasperated it. thats my take on it -

This started as a very good thread - joedavtav had a great point - the Lancaster/Marshall debate is foolish.

The Cats will not great officating breaks until the consistently stop making mistakes on the field

Bingo. We have a winner.... STOP BLAMING OFFICIALS and start making plays.

The offsides and the procedure calls are often the result of trying too hard and hoping to get the jump on the ball. The cats have to get this losng streak off their backs before they can relax and enjoy the game.

Check out the main forum.
Every fan of every team thinks their team never gets any breaks.

we're you're 1-6 all calls become more noticed but i do think we'll get a few breaks somewhere cause yes there's been at least 8 calls/non calls that we're horrible by the refs.

As we have noticed so far this year there have been game altering calls that were questionable at best in more games than just ours. The much publicised increase in quality in reffing has not been that evident to me. Our team has to win in spite of the refs. The black and gold steeltown tough team we have just might be perceived as worthy of penalties and/or noncalls because of our reputation

I agree that we need to overcome the referees and just win...but there is some truth to this original thread...

Think of the Wayne Gretzky / Doug Gilmour high stick. Michael Jordan sould take 10 steps with the ball without being called for traveling. Greg Maddox gets strike calls when his pitches are 3 inches off the plate. Why? They are "winners" and get the benefits of the doubt. Until we start making plays and winning, we are gonna be at the bottom of the totem pole with the officiating as well...

or the refs are betting against us

and laughing

How hard would it be to "manage" the game if you had the power to put the ball where you wanted, demoralize a team with penalties called inconsistently, and negate big plays at will? That being said, we did win one game this year. I wonder what is scripted for the rest of the season?

This really is a decent thread and there is some merit to this theory that winning breeds confidence not only in the winning team but also in the game officials and conversely when a team is penalty prone I also think that the officials get down on them just as much as the heavily penalized team gets down on themselves.
I also think that there is some truth to another theory that game officials who are officiating at a game with the team from their home town are harder on that team so that it does not look like they are playing favorites. Jake Ireland and Al McColman are both Hamilton boys and they are two of the hardest officials on the Ticats, almost like they are picking on them and looking for the 'Cats to do something wrong as if they are guilty of something on every play and they just have to catch them at it.
The CFL should not allow a game official from the city of either of the teams on the field. I do not know if this is possible but it would eliminate any of these problems.
Anyway, the CFL should really dig into the psychology of refereeing when they have training sessions for their officials. I'm sure the Ticats have a sports psychologist on staff or retainer, perhaps they could lend him to the CFL.

Nobody can say for sure (except the ref involved) as to what is going through their heads (except air) when the decide to make or not make a call. The game on Saturday was determined by the refs, not the players. That is inexcusable. The league has got to make a stand on these blatant wrong calls. It is making the CFL look bad and is starting to loose some of the casual fans. We can all complain and cry about Saturday all we want, but until the league takes notice, it all goes for naught.

I do think there is a relevance to a team that is 1-6 getting more bad calls or calls overlooked. Unfortunately,it happens. Or when our gm calls out the refs, it doesnt help matters. But Im glad he did. Because the refereeing in the CFL is blatantly aweful. But Hamilton has been getting more bad calls than any other team this year. Also, it`s obvious that in the Winnipeg game, (the pushoff that should have been called intereference and in the Edmonton game, with the intereference on Bauman. Those were bad hometown noncalls, that possibly cost us the games.
Until the league cracks down on the refereeing, we will continue to feel the fustration of the refereeing in the cfl.