[Editorís note: The following letter is part of† a series of letters submitted to The Herald by instructor Missy Normileís sixth-grade language arts students at Ottawa Middle School.]

I have a problem with our Ottawa Recreation Commission referees not calling good games. And here is why I think that.

First, refs that will call games sometimes are bribed to call a game lopsided, which in turn makes the other team feel like it was their fault that the game was lost. Therefore, we need older refs because the high school refs donít pay attention to whatís happening and stand around and follow the play.

My strongest reason the refs only want the money. They arenít there for us to have fun. But they need to be, so we can have a fun and fair game ó so a team can walk away with a real win and one with a real loss. The refs are only there for the money, not to call a game. They just want some extra cash.

Here are some arguments people might have though. First, maybe the ref did call a fair game. The team just wasnít that good. You can tell if itís fair by what the coach and crowd does and says. Second, the reason they donít follow the play is school made them tired. If thatís the case, they shouldnít be there anyways. They should stay home. And last, but still an argument, not all refs are there for the money. OK, so I over-exaggerated. Not all of them are ... just a few of them want the money.

I understand the refs are human, and we all make mistakes, but when it happens all the time, itís a big problem. So, please, can we please fix it?

We want better games. So, refs, be there if you want to. If you donít want to be there, stay at home for us.

ó Colson Bien