Sunday, November 13, 2005

Game Log: 11/12/2005

Two rec games yesterday. Eighth graders in a tournament.

Both games were smooth, neither remarkable in either way. Partner and I had control. It was a pair of blowouts...the first game was 41-10 at halftime, but both coaches were calm and nobody was physcially showing their frustration. Easy game.

The second was 29-15 at halftime and stayed over 10 in the second half. There was a lot of chirping from the losing coach and there was a culture of bitching among the kids' parents. Kids were winding up on the floor, but usually in scrums for loose balls--classic no calls. Sometimes their kids were on the floor over their own feet, or in the face of good, stand-up defense. In all cases, partner and I were on the same page. I finally warned the coach, and much to my surprise, not only did the coach quiet down, the parents did as well. Because I warned him quietly, it didn't give the parents cause to lash out further, and since the parents tend to follow the coach's lead, everything settled. The warning! If deserved, it has many impacts.

Funny thing about negative crowd noise. I've come up with a new mantra. Parental bitching used to make me question what I'd done to cause it. But now I realize that, while I occasionally may have kicked a call to provoke a reaction, more often it's just the sound officials have--the soundtrack of the game. Maybe I'm better and not making as many mistakes, or maybe I'm just more confident, but I'm able to ref through it better now.

So last night, when I heard the moaning starting, rather than knocking me out of the game, I started saying to myself: "Soundtrack. Soundtrack." That was effective--it actually helped bring me INTO the game in a relaxed way rather than out of it.

Caught myself looking out of my area once as lead in the first game. The tallest kid on red, standing between the three-point line and midcourt, threw the ball over an opponent's outstretched arm, and her teammate didn't see the pass, so the ball bounced a couple of times towards the sideline. The tall kid ran over and scooped up the ball. My partner missed the call (illegal dribble), so I tooted my whistle and made the right call. But as soon as I tooted the whistle, I realized...what the hell was I doing looking at the ball? Shame on me. That was poor work by me that fortuitously led to a good result.

I don't think I shouted too much in these games. I think my vocal tiredness is related to a sinus infection I'm slogging along with.

DID WELL: Game management, coach management, confidence.
WORK ON: Ball-watching, dammit.

Next: I'm available on Friday night. Don't know if there are games Friday night, but I'm available. I feel ready for when the season begins in earnest after Thanksgiving.


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