Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Rules clinic

Every year, every official and coach in the state is required to get together to go over the year's new rules and points of emphasis. That meeting was tonight, and it's forced me to zero in on some areas I need to focus on more than usual this year.

The rules change that will have the biggest impact on most games--the new NFHS "team control foul"--isn't going to bother me too much. It's more or less intuitive. Most parents and a few coaches will still be hollering for bonus free throws, and we'll have to be careful to know where the ball is when a foul is committed by an offensive player. But I can take it.

More difficult will be the new jersey rule. Players can't even partially remove their jersey in a situation where it might be considered unsporting. Covering the head or mouth with the jersey, showing the team name on the jersey, angrily yanking the jersey out from the pants, etc. are all technical fouls now...no warning. It sounds like intent is everything. It'll take a united front by all officials and a lot of brass ones to make sure this is called properly. Additionally, no players can take off their jerseys even to change them (for the blood rule, for instance). T! Wow. Well, I'll enforce it.

But there is a tougher task. The NFHS has called all officials to task for not keeping coaches in the coach's boxes if the coaches are not yelling at us. Guilty as charged! If the coach is coaching, I've let it go. I've only suddenly "noticed" a coach is out of the box if he/she started chirping at me. NO MORE! I will give the optional warning to a nice coach out of the box..."Coach, please stay in the box...I'd hate to have to call it." But then I will ding it because having a coach with the ability to roam the sidelines is breaking the rules and putting him/herself at a huge advantage over a rule-abiding coach who stays in the box. No more!

The clinician gave me a good quote to go with: "Technical fouls are to change behavior for the positive." That's a good way to look at it, and I've found that almost all of them have had that impact. I only gave one in a varsity game last season, and it certainly made life easier.

I have two rec games on Saturday, and I need to take my rules test...but I'm less than three weeks away from my high school season opener. I'm raring to go. Actually a little nervous, which is probably good. There's a blog post right there...my nerves before games even in this, my seventh year on the job. But it's a blog post for later.

2 Comments:

At 5:45 AM, Blogger John B. said...

I don't ref basketball, but our Catholic League rules dictate that jersey shirts must be tucked in at all times. Obviously if a shirt comes untucked due to playing conditions then the ref will ask the player to 'tuck it in', but if a player untucks his jersey for any other reason it is a foul.

Again, judgment call by a ref...but it sets a good precedent for kids. Most of the high schols around here (public and private) mandate tucked jerseys on their own, too.

 
At 6:29 AM, Blogger Blogging Ref said...

We've been asked to play fashion police more vigilantly this year, too...if the shirt comes out in the course of play, we need to ask the player to tuck it back in. Once. After that, we send her to the bench...with the reasonable exception of a less-funded school with jerseys that simply aren't big enough (players get a little bigger every year).

My problem in the past has been that I simply haven't noticed this. This I've been asked to be more vigilant, so I will.

 

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