Saturday, December 03, 2005

Game Log--12/3/2005

Two rec games today--6th grade, then 8th grade. I had a partner I trust, and the games went quite smoothly.

The first game was so routine that I already have very little memory of it. The main issue for me was I was using my voice too much. Because of past vocal cord issues, I need to ease up...learn to use the whistle instead of shouting. "NO SHOT! NO SHOT!" needs to be replaced by repeated toots of the whistle. Funny...people do know what that means.

If anyone reading this has other advice for how a basketball ref can save his voice without sacrificing communication, go ahead and leave me a comment.

The second A challenge. Green was beating White 20-0 after the first quarter. I called my partner over and told him that Blowout Priorities were in effect:

Priority 1: Safety. Don't let the losing team start pushing, shoving, and letting out frustrations. Call anything that looks remotely chippy...don't let things get out of control.
Priority 2: Run the clock. If a foul isn't on a shooter, isn't obvious, and doesn't meet the above "frustration" criterion, don't call it. Let's get out of here.
Priority 3: Protect White when we could. No need to add insult to injury if we could help it.

These priorities are in order of importance.

Fortunately for us, the Green team coach was a good guy. He eased up significantly--there wasn't a fast break after the first quarter. This ran the clock (a very nice idea) and prevented any severe bad blood from fermenting. Still, Green was a lot better.

Halftime score was 35-1, and Green led 43-1 in the third quarter. Somehow, 43-1 feels like more of a blowout than 43-0 to me. White got in a couple of hoops in the third quarter, and actually drilled a buzzer-beating three pointer at the end of the game to make the final tally 59-8. Cutely, the player who hit the three jumped into a teammate's arms.

Our game was fine--no chippy play started up at any time. I stayed focused usually, save for one egregious mistake when I blew the whistle when the ball went over the backboard...I was LEAD. Inexcusable. Even in a blowout game, I need to not watch ball then! Stupid! Oh well...a brain freeze. Just like the one where I ran downcourt after an offensive rebound. Embarrassing.

During a time out, my partner also said something that I've heard before...that I look too serious on the floor. It's funny...I'm having a good time, but my face indicates that I'm dour and sour. I asked him what I could do. He wanted me to keep my whistle out of my mouth on the first of two free throws. I don't like that idea...I need to have it there in case something weird happens. His second bit of advice was better. "Smile. At least once." I asked when. He said "When your partner makes a good call."

Pause. I then asked my partner:

"But what if that never happens?"

See, I can be loose out there. But I'll still work on it.

THINGS THAT WENT WELL: Managed blowout game nicely.

THINGS TO WORK ON: Look relaxed and calm, not dour and sour. Eyes on area as lead. Use less voice.

NEXT: My first varsity game of the year will be Monday night.


At 11:28 AM, Blogger tommyspoon said...

Here's a tip from an actor regarding facial muscle relaxation:

Pick a routine task or physical movement that you perform in the course of a game and smile while you do it. For example: during a particularly angry role I relaxed my facial muscles by smiling every time I looked at my watch. I even developed a whole backstory behind why this guy liked his watch so much.

I don't know what activity you could use, but you can figure something out.

Keep up the good work! Sounds like you're having fun!

At 4:10 PM, Anonymous Zack said...

I am really enjoying reading these blogs from the games I worked with you on, i now do keep my whistle in the mouth too during free throws, not sure what i was thinking when I said that.


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