In his latest C’mon Ref column, former NHL referee Kerry Fraser tackles the effect heckling has on a referee and if (how?) it influences his decisions and calls.  He begins:

In theory the objective of every sports official is to remain focused and in the moment, regardless of mistakes that have been made. Dwelling on a missed/wrong call or to be intimidated by the fallout from players, coaches and of course, the fans is a recipe for a ref to compromise his integrity and/or commit further errors. It is best to keep all mental thoughts in perpetual motion to allow your brain to function in the moment. A missed opportunity is one you’ll never get back. A makeup call diminishes any credibility and respect that every official works so hard to achieve.


In practice however, we must recognize that refs aren’t mechanical robots but human beings with feelings, emotions and individualized character traits…

Read Kerry’s full column over at