Monday, July 10, 2006

Game Log 7/10/2006: A pair of good ones

This is the third time I've officiated a really good summer tournament. The first time, at ref camp years ago...although it felt good on the whole, there were definitely moments when I was in over my head. My last go 'round was five years last games before injury sidelined me for three seasons. I recall several not-so-hot games that time.

I must be getting better, because today's games went fine.

The first game was terribly easy...a blowout, and not a lot of calls to be made. Green had one of the best players in the state...I could see several college coaches salivating in the stands...and they led by dozens very quickly. We got to run the clock due to a mercy rule in the second half. Yay. That got my sea legs under me.

The second game could have gone wrong at some point. First of all, one of the coaches has a rep as a whiner. Before the game, one partner simply said: "Oh. That's Jacob." Sure enough, he chirped on every call. So, about four minutes into the game, I gave him my standard line: "You've got to pick your spots, coach. You can't ask for everything." His response: "But I'm not getting any response from you." I replied: "This is your response. Pick your spots."

He was still whiny...that's just his nature...but it went down from there. I don't want to be guilty of post hoc reasoning, but I'd like to think that my actions helped. Both of my partners went with the ignore method, which is a legitimate choice...but I think talking to him helped.

I had one call I'm not sure about. On the rebound, Blue's tall post girl went to the ground. I saw her trip over White's leg. I felt that White's legs were spread rather far apart, so I called her for a block. The proper terminology (which I wish I'd used with Jacob when he complained) was "unnatural guarding position." I just said "Her legs were way far apart." He said it was a box-out. When I got home, I stood in front of a mirror and put my legs as far apart as I thought hers were...and in the mirror, I saw me executing a perfectly reasonable box-out, the very way my coaches taught me to do it in sixth grade. Should have had a no-call, but when a player hits the ground, I guess it's okay to err on the side of tooting the whistle. Not a terrible mistake, but yes, it was a mistake.

I also was running upcourt as either new trail or C (I think as C), hugging the sideline behind the dribbler who was also hugging the sideline. In jumps a Blue player. Contact is imminent, and as the contact happens...damn it...a third player jumps into my line of sight. I called a block. The ball went out of bounds...I should have just given the ball back to White. This was an error of positioning...even if I hadn't been screened, I would have been straightlined. An experienced official who was watching me said that, when coming up the floor (and especially when the ball is on the sideline), I need to be a couple of steps onto the floor. This play demonstrates's all about the angles.

But on the whole, I kept my composure and felt in control. The second game in particular got very agressive but never ugly...we were on it, letting the players show off their abilities for the scouts and college coaches without letting them get any unfair advantage. I'm very happy with the progress this showed over the last time I had summer ball of this quality.

THINGS I DID WELL: Coach management, call selection
THINGS TO WORK ON: Voice (I still can't back off!), avoid sideline-hugging when running up floor, stay attentive when trying to chat with coach (I let my gaze wander from the floor).


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