Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Game Log: 12/13/2005 or The 3-Man Struggle Continues

One impact that so many of our conferences going from 2-man to 3-man is having is that I'm getting better games. Simple mathematics: wherever you are on the varsity list, your chances of getting a better varsity game are increased by having 3 officials on a game instead of 2. Tonight's was a closely matched game that Blue came back and won late, mostly because they hit their free throws.

I'm glad I wasn't observed tonight, because I never really felt right. Some of it was that I had a contact lens that kept bugging me. Not painful, but just a little irritating, like I had an eyelash in there or something. I plugged along anyway.

But where my last 3-man game had a good, long, solid pregame with one of my partners, tonight's didn't have such a good pregame since both of my partners were working the JV game. During live ball situations, things felt just fine...I picked up on rotations and made it to the right place time and time again. But I repeatedly ran to the wrong spot on free throws. I also wasn't in the right position as trail...I continued to want to step out onto the floor like I would in two-man.

Worst of all, I find myself feeling timid to make calls that might be out of my area. In a way, this is good--I should be timid to make a call that's outside of my area. But there was a key travel late in the game that I saw, should have called, and didn't. Here's what happened:

I was the center official running into the frontcourt. There was a long pass from about the free throw line and across halfcourt to the other free throw line...all the way opposite the court from me, on the other sideline. The player caught the ball and stumbled back with both feet. Travel. Not an obvious one--the home crowd didn't go nuts--but still, I knew it. Worse, I also knew it was my call...even though it was totally on the other side of the court from me, the trail couldn't pick that one up, and I was actually thinking "if anything happens on this catch, I've got to call it." It did, and I didn't. I think I've simply been so conditioned not to call anything far away (one of my mentors ridiculed my "AT&T Long-Distance Calling" in one JV game years ago) that, as of now, I can't even do it when I know I'm supposed to. And I'm disappointed in myself for that. I can't let that happen again. Toot the whistle, close on the call, and sell it. Even on the opposite sideline, that sucker is my call.

Am I being too hard on myself? Probably. This was something like my eighth 3-man game ever, after perhaps a thousand 2-man games. It will be a while before this becomes second nature, I guess. I'd like to get to the point where I can go back and forth between 2-man and 3-man as easily as I can go back and forth between driving a manual and an automatic, but that's probably not a fair metaphor. It's more like going from driving on the right side of the road to driving on the left...it feels that strange to me. Rather than simply driving the car (or reffing the game), I'm thinking about what I need to be doing to drive the car. That's bothersome.

It'll come. And tonight's game wasn't that bad. The players made it easy--they were well-coached and there was minimal contact. My only conversation with a coach was totally civil. He said "We're getting pushed on rebounds and now we just got a touch foul." He was calm and civil, and I responded in kind: "I think their players are taller than yours, coach, and they're just reaching over yours. But I'll watch for it." Coach management is easier than I thought it would be this year, at least so far. But in my next game, I have the only HS coach I had to T last year, so maybe it'll change. Or maybe not--I won't be holding a grudge. But I will be ready.

THINGS I DID WELL: Coach management, preventative post play officiating, rotating/picking up rotations
THINGS TO WORK ON: Three-man comfort, calling the plays that are in my area in unusual situations, going to the right place on 3-man free throws
NEXT UP: A JV game and a Varsity game on Friday. I have the winning team from tonight again.


Post a Comment

<< Home

Add Me! - Search Engine Optimization