What are the meanings of the word calls and the phrase make calls in the following sentence?

Even some of the most sacred sporting events are not immune to venality, as many of the officials have received substantial bribes to make biased calls.

(I don't think it means telephone calls...)

2 Answers 2


A referee's decision is often referred to as a call. Such as, he was called out at second base. Or the ref called him for interference. Or in your case, someone might complain, "The ref made a terrible call!"

This can happen outside of sports, also. "Where should we eat?" "I don't know, you make the call." (Decision)


You are right; it doesn't mean telephone calls in the sentence.

When a referee or umpire makes biased calls in a sport, it means that he makes unfair or prejudiced signals or decisions favoring one player or side over the other.

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