To Err is Human, To Forgive Is Divine . . .

note: the picture was not from last night’s game


We had a nightmare scenario last night, at least as far as a lacrosse game ending is concerned.

A District semifinal game ended with an incorrect call in overtime and one team’s season ended because of that call.

Everyone who knows me knows how distasteful I find the amount of times that spectators in the stands bash referee decisions.

I’m sure the video will continue to be passed around so there’s no point in posting it here.

Suffice to say, the summary is simple.  Last night’s District 26 semifinal between Boca Raton and Saint John Paul II ended in OT on a goal that did not enter the net.  The goalie made the save but the official who called the call thought he saw the net move and assumed the shot had gone in and I guess that he had the only unobstructed view so the crew couldn’t overrule the call.  I don’t know who made the incorrect call and I don’t care . . . nor should you, the reader.

Now that the dust has settled that referee knows he erred and is mortified about it.  But it can’t be undone or re-wound.  The OT is not going to be replayed nor will be the OT.

And for the kids playing for SJP and their coaching staff, this is a tough pill to swallow.  The coaching staffs of both schools know each other well and they are among the coaches I’ve known the longest and admire the most since I also live here and have covered so many games of both schools.


This area has seen enough heartache.  It’s only been 14 months since MSD was attacked.

When everyone calms down with time we’ll all know in our hearts that last night is not a tragedy but a human error in a high school lacrosse game.

I’ve only criticized a referee decision TWICE in the years I’ve written here and the reason was both times I thought that if the referee admitted they missed I probably wouldn’t have said anything, but both believed they had made the right call.

This time the referee admitted it according to my sources, and that’s a heck of a burden he will carry with him.  Even more than the burden the players and coaches will carry.

Life isn’t defined by a high school lacrosse result.  Particularly at a school like Saint John Paul, which plays in front of a different referee.


For all those affected . . . you are certainly entitled to your disappointment and feelings today.

But if this is the worst thing you go through in life you are blessed beyond belief.

We all feel for you today.

And we should also feel for that referee, who needs just as much of a pat on the back today as those who lost.


“To Err is Human, to Forgive is Divine” is not directly from religious doctrine, it’s from an essay by Alexander Pope and it was written back in 1711

But the sentiment certainly is.

Let’s show to this man the Better Angels of Our Nature.