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Doing the right thing in a gentleman's sport.

In a tournament final, do you call avoidable hinders and wrist balls on yourself? Do you insist that the referee reverse his call when doing so would go against you? We would all like to think we would uphold the ethics and integrity of what we call a gentleman's sport, but when the championship is at stake, do we really?

Well, Ryan Inman does. Ryan was playing Joe Franken field in the final of the A division at the 2019 three-wall nationals. Ryan plays with a great deal of intensity, and he desperately wanted the title. Joe puts everything he has into every shot, so Ryan knew every point mattered. Like most champions, he would do anything to win. Anything, that is, except give up his integrity.

Early in the first game, Ryan and Joe were close to the left front corner. Ryan hit a shot into the corner, and Joe was moving into position to get it. Between the travel of the ball, Ryan's position and Joe's movement, Ryan got confused for a moment and inadvertently got in Joe's way. The referee called a hinder. Joe, a good-natured guy, accepted the call and didn't argue. Ryan, however, realized he had caused that hinder and that the proper call should be an avoidable. He told the referee, and the referee said he didn't think that was necessary. Ryan insisted, and the referee asked him if he was sure he wanted the avoidable called. Again Ryan insisted, and Joe was awarded a point.

A few minutes later, the referee made a call in Ryan's favor. Joe didn't see what happened and again accepted the call. Ryan saw it differently. He insisted the referee change his call and award Joe the point. This would have been Ryan's first national title, and as much as he wanted that title, it wasn't worth losing his integrity to get it.

How many of us would do the same?

Keith Thode, Livonia, Mich.

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Author:Thode, Keith
Date:Nov 1, 2019
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