On March 5, Frank C. Rodriguez and Paul Florio were competing for the state title in the 135-pound division. At the end of the match, Rodriguez, then in 12th grade, was ahead by a score of 7-6. In celebration, he threw his headgear into the air before the official handshake signaled the end of the match.In this instance, the court declined to get involved; its decision, of course, is not binding on other courts.
After declaring Rodriguez the champion and having the combatants shake hands, the referee learned from an assistant referee that the headgear had been thrown and that the athlete had to be punished for unsportsmanlike conduct. The referee assessed Rodriguez a two-point penalty and declared Florio the victor.
Rodriguez appealed to the protest committee to no avail, so he took his gripe to court in the form of an Article 78 petition.
Frankly, I think this is an area ripe for litigation, especially in the lucrative worlds of professional and intercollegiate sports. By allowing the use of replay footage to overturn referees' and umpires' decisions, several leagues have all but invited such litigation -- never show weakness by admitting that you're sometimes wrong! The HowStuffWorks website notes in its article on the use of the instant replay in the National Football League that "Officials are not always 100 percent correct, but their well-trained eyes allow them to be correct the majority of the time." Not good enough! It'll be zebra season for the plaintiff's bar!
In a few weeks, dozens of websites will chime in with their Super Bowl predictions, but I can't wait that long. Infamy or Praise's Super Bowl XL prediction: Seattle Seahawks 10, Indianapolis Colts 7 when the game is halted by litigation in the second quarter.