Friday, December 30, 2005

Game Log 12/30/2005: Tripleheader!


--BloggingRef fights through bad salmon dip
--BloggingRef gives his first Technical Foul of the season
--BloggingRef has a fine 3-man game
--BloggingRef makes an embarrassing, although ultimately harmless, mistake

Today was a first for me--I officiated three games at three schools in the same day...and two of them were varsity games. I wouldn't want to do it every day, but it was fun to do today.

The opener was the Egg McMuffin game (8:00 AM) at an 8th grade tournament. Two well-coached teams and a solid partner. It was very uneventful...I don't think we made the bonus in either half. I wasn't feeling 100% (I ate something bad last night), and running was a little difficult, but my partner was understanding. I struggled physically through the first half, and then, like a car I was trying to work up after a summer in the garage, took myself up to third or fourth gear a couple of times in the second half. I managed to keep it together.

Then, down the road for a varsity tournament. I had a local city team against a Canadian team. In this game, I felt like I was calling fewer fouls than my partner...but I'll chalk it up to a coincidence, since I called more in the other varsity game today. Blue, strangely, seemed disinterested--bored, even. They didn't score a point in the third quarter! They were becoming frustrated, however, and I had to tell a couple of kids to stop jawing at each other.

What I'll remember from today's game, however, was the first T of the year. It was on Blue's assistant coach, and I have mixed feelings about it. Assistant coaches have no rights. That sounds harsh, but that's basically what the rulebook says. I'll chat with someone who is polite, but the instant an assistant coach becomes even remotely impolite, I will talk to the head coach--preferably so the assistant coach can hear me--and say "Coach, I'll listen to you as much as you want, but not to the assistant. Please control your bench." I did this today. I consider that a warning.

Then, an unfortunate turn of events in the fourth quarter as Blue was trying to struggle back into the game. I'm lead under the basket. Blue puts up a shot with three on the shot clock. It hits the rim. Blue rebounds and puts up another shot. The shot clock expires. My partner toots his whistle while the ball is in the air. Yuck. We come together, agree the ball hit the rim, but because the ball was loose when we blew the play dead, we have to go to the arrow. White ball.

Blue's assistant coach started hollering like hell at my partner, shouting that this is "a correctable error" (it ain't). It went on for a few exchanges between him and my partner, and since I'd warned the assistant, well, I decided it was over. Technical foul.

Should I have let my partner deal with it? Maybe, especially since I was all the way at the other endline. But I can live with this call because, no matter how far away I was, I had warned the assistant and he had ignored my warning.

The third game was two area teams from far enough away that I never see them, playing for third place in a tournament. One of them is from a conference notorious for its physical play, notorious enough that it's come up at association meetings that we need to use our whistle in their games. I was a little concerned. The first half was tolerable, but once Green took a 12-ish point lead in the third quarter, everything went to hell. It wasn't a fun game to officiate. Still, I am thrilled with my performance...I was calm, I did a 3-man game with minimal screw-ups, I can't remember ever calling out of my area, and my partners seemed happy to work with me.

One player for White was getting especially chippy in the third quarter. I saw her coming in with a forearm to the back of an opponent that was going to be ugly (and intentional) partner blew a whistle for something else before she delivered the blow. I ran across to her and said "14, you need to settle down." She responded with something about calling it both other words, I could tell she wasn't ready to settle down. So I did something I've never done before...I went to her coach and said "Coach, 14 is losing her control out there." The coach pulled her, and the game was slightly better from there...for a few minutes, anyway.

One MAJOR brain fart--I let the wrong team inbound the ball after a time-out, and had to blow it dead quickly (which might have been illegal). Crap, I haven't done that in 10 years! I won't EVER let that happen again, either, because I will be more careful to communicate in-bound location and direction on every time out (we were so busy coming together to talk about other stuff that we never did that), and I will verbalize color in addition to pointing (for whatever reason, I didn't this time). Stupid, stupid! But I won't let it cancel out the good work I did today.

I wish I had been observed in either of the two varsity games I had. I only have one under my belt at this point...which means I'll need four by the end of the season. My chances of being observed in future games is very much increasing.

THINGS I DID WELL: Worked through physical difficulty, poised, backed up warning to coach, handled a 3-man game well, game management with angry players.
THINGS TO WORK ON: Give partner a little more latitude, better game awareness (no more terrible brain freezes).
UP NEXT: Nothing until Wednesday night, when I'll have a lopsided big-school Varsity game.


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