Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa Bay Storm sees same officials for every home game

Kevin Stine has been (and will be) the referee for every Storm home game during the regular season. To save money, the Arena League decided against sending officials to different cities.


Kevin Stine has been (and will be) the referee for every Storm home game during the regular season. To save money, the Arena League decided against sending officials to different cities.

Imagine that for each Rays home game, the same umpire called balls and strikes. Chances are it would prompt all kinds of conspiracy theories.

But that's how the Arena Football League works.

"I definitely didn't think it was an ideal situation coming into the season," Storm quarterback Brett Dietz said.

As part of the league's new, cost-efficient business model, officials no longer travel for games. Instead, each team has a set for home games. (The league hasn't decided if it will continue the practice in the playoffs.)

"I thought it was a bad idea," coach Tim Marcum said. "What little expense it amounted to have them travel was worth it to have things done right."

The fear was officials would become partial to their teams.

"The perception of the idea was bad," Marcum said. "It's impossible for (the referees) not to get to know the guys."

Through the season's first four weeks, the road teams were penalized 49 more times, or 12.3 per week. For the season, road teams have been penalized 810 times compared with 737 for home teams. In only three of the 14 weeks have the home teams been penalized more.

But that hasn't been true for the Storm. It has been penalized 12 more times in six home games and, overall, is the league's second-most penalized team (141) .

"We sure don't seem to get many calls no matter where we are," receiver Tyrone Timmons said.

On May 7 at Tampa Bay, Jacksonville benefited from one of the strangest calls of the season. Dietz overthrew his receiver, and replays showed the ball ricochetted off of a fan and into the hands of a Sharks defensive back. The referees conferred, but the play was ruled an interception. The Sharks scored on the ensuing possession and went on to win 46-43.

"There were some weird calls in the beginning of the season," Dietz said. "But just like teams, I think the referees have gotten much better throughout the season."

A week earlier at home, the Storm benefited from a controversial call. Down 62-61 late, Arizona went for a 2-point conversion. Despite its receiver being tackled by three defenders, no penalty was called.

"That was interesting," Dietz said.

Defensive back Erick McIntosh said he hasn't noticed much of a difference in calls at home.

"There has been some calls go for and against us at home," he said.

"But no matter what, we have to go out and play our game."


Storm at Dallas

When/where: 8:45, American Airlines Center, Dallas

Radio: 1250-AM

Tampa Bay Storm sees same officials for every home game 07/08/10 [Last modified: Thursday, July 8, 2010 8:50pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Muslim faith greater than fear for Wharton's Rania Samhouri (w/video)


    TAMPA — Rania Samhouri graduated Monday night from Wharton High School, and many times throughout the ceremony she flashed back to a moment that changed her life.

     Rania Samhouri stretches after track practice on Monday April 24, 2017 at Wharton High School in Tampa, Florida. Rania, who is Muslim, recently started wearing her hijab during track competitions. She graduates from Wharton this year and will attend University of South Florida on scholarship next year.
  2. Bucs' Doug Martin relying on strength from drug rehab to power his return


    TAMPA — He would not talk about the drug he abused. He would not identify the rehab facility he entered in January or how long he was there.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin participates in an "open OTA practice" at One Buc Place, the team's training facility, in Tampa, Fla., on Tuesday, May 23, 2017.
  3. NCAA: Former USF basketball assistant gave improper benefits


    TAMPA — Former USF men's basketball assistant coach Oliver Antigua provided impermissible benefits, including lodging at his home, for two prospective student-athletes while they received on-campus tutoring, according to findings reported to the school by the NCAA.

  4. Back to .500, Rays feel ready to roll (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Who wants to be mediocre? Middling? Average? Run-of-the-mill?

    Rays catcher Jesus Sucre tags out the Angels’ Mike Trout trying to score from second base after a perfect peg from rightfielder Steven Souza Jr. in the first inning.
  5. Rays journal: Steven Souza Jr. preserves shutout with perfect throw

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The closest the Angels came to scoring off RHP Matt Andriese in Thursday's 4-0 Rays victory occurred in the first inning, when DH Mike Trout tried to score from second on a single to right. But the throw from RF Steven Souza Jr. was on the money, and Trout was out.

    "That …

    Colby Rasmus collects high fives and shoulder rubs after driving in all four of the Rays’ runs in their victory Thursday. Rasmus had two run-scoring hits a day after hitting a home run.