Saturday, April 01, 2006

Game Log: 4/1/2006

Three games tonight...grades 9, 7, and 6. On the whole, all three games went well. I had a first-year partner who seemed to genuinely enjoy working with me. We handled some butthead coaches pretty smoothly (had some warnings, but no Ts).

The first game was yucky. Loads of fouls. In the first half, all the fouls were on Red. They kept pressing, and they kept fouling. Coaches were angry. I warned them. A little bit later, my partner ran over, blew his whistle, and totally went after them. "Are you picking on me? You need to knock it off." Bad move, partner! You can't make it look like you're the one seeking out conflict. I hadn't yet had a chance to tell him I'd warned the coach. If I had, he simply would have T'd her up, and it would have been deserved. In fact, I think it was the assistant who was giving him trouble...and it would be MUCH easier to T her up, as she has no rights! After the game, I taught him Rule #1: You Will Take Shit. When he explained himself, I felt a lot better...he said that he mostly does men's rec ball. There, you have to be a bit more of an alpha male. But in school ball, it's better to talk, then give the stop sign, then T.

Then, in the second half of that game, Red came back. They started driving to the hoop. They were down 14 at half, and won by 9. They were fouled on virtually every drive. The foul count was way uneven, but what the hell are we gonna do about it? MVP of this game is the losing coach, who said this after the game: "Red had 33 free throws in the game, and every one of them was deserved." Very few guys would be classy enough to realize that. Nice job, coach.

Second game: just fine. Don't remember much of it other than a travel call that I'd like back...I didn't see it well enough to call it, and it's likely I missed it. The two coaches were different kinds of annoying: the first only hollered at us three or four times, but went for quality (e.g., volume) rather than quantity. Only one of them was warranted, as I see it. Two of them I were simply rules he didn't know. Once he shouted "How about a five-second count!" while an opponent was dribbling. (There's no 5-second count for a dribbler in girls' ball). Then, I had a three-second call when his team has lost the ball and it was loose for a while. He told me that the 3-second count ends when the ball is loose. A few years ago, he was right, but that rule changed recently, and I told him so. He seemed doubtful, but when he barked for the five-second call, he'd lost any credibility as far as rules knowledge anyway. He needs to hit the books...the game is different than it was when he played in high school. The other coach was more of the constant-carping school. My favorite comment: "Hey, everything you're calling on for it with them." (Foul count at this time: his team 3, their team 2.) It wasn't long after that that I warned him, which, thankfully, shut him up.

Third game...started with a big "oh, shit." Here's what went down:

Green wins the tip. They take the ball the correct direction. It's tipped out of bounds by White. Green ball. Green inbounds the ball and it's stolen by white. Rather than hauling downcourt in the correct direction, White sets up to shoot at the wrong basket, and Green dutifully defends. Something is cattywampus.

I blow my whistle.

That was my first mistake. I should have simply let the play develop. If White scores at the wrong basket, I'll blow the whistle and credit two points for White, since all 10 players were confused and not just one. Then, I'll give Green the ball, get everyone going the correct direction, and play ball.

But I blew my whistle. I went down to my partner, my brain in a jumble. I said "Who inbounded the ball?" Green had. In my head, I'd thought that he had mistakenly given the ball to White, in which case I STILL should have let it go (too late to correct that error). So I gave it back to Green. Bad call no matter how we look at it. White had legitimately stolen the ball...the best thing to do was to get White going the right direction and in-bound it to them.

Coaches go justifiably nuts.

And then, while Green is inbounding the ball, partner blows his whistle. He's about to go bark at the coach to shut up.

The game is ten seconds old, and it's already in danger of going permanently in the crapper.

I run across the court to intercept my partner. I say "Hey, let's go to the table." I get both coaches there. I say something somewhat lame, but it worked: "When the players got confused, we got confused and gave the ball to Green. But White had stolen the ball. It should be White's ball, and we're going to give it to them."

Both coaches nodded.

I had managed to get it right (albeit too late) and prevent my partner from going toe-to-toe with an angry coach.

I'll give myself credit for that, but I made two stupid mistakes to get into that situation: blew my whistle to begin with and given the ball to green. One right doesn't counterbalance two wrongs. But still, I got out of a pickle--it was just a self-created pickle.

The rest of the game was perfectly smooth. No chriping at all on either side, thank goodness. It could have been awful, but it was just fine.

THINGS I DID WELL: Coach management, handled partner's emotions, basically called three good games.


Let me write this 100 times on the board:

I will take a breath and think through bizarre situations.
I will take a breath and think through bizarre situations.
I will take a breath and think through bizarre situations.
I will take a breath and think through bizarre situations.
I will take a breath and think through bizarre situations.
I will take a breath and think through bizarre situations.
I will take a breath and think through bizarre situations...


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