Friday, November 24, 2006

Game Log 11-24-06: Two blowouts and an overtime

The season kicked off for me in earnest today with three games at a huge rec league tournament. I had an eighth-grade game followed by two sixth-grade games. Two-person mechanics with an athletic college kid who's been doing this for a few years.

The first two games were fairly uneventful. Each was a 30-point blowout. I worked hard on watching off-ball defense as lead, saying the numbers of defensive post players to myself. Heard nothing from coaches or fans the first game, and very little in the second game. The losing coach in the second game didn't like my first call...a push in the back on an inbounds by the receiving player for the offense before she caught the ball. The call was damn good. There were so many turnovers, however, that I was totally winded in the middle of the second game. One of the summers, I swear I'm going to stay in shape...

The third game was extremely close. I don't remember any team being up by more than three. I heard nothing from either coach. But in the second half, as things became more intense, I had to deal with an enraged parent.

At least three times down the floor, she was audibly barking at me or at my partner. This was a three-gyms-in-one-room situation where the spectators have their toes in-bounds, so her persistent barking was a problem. The third time I got trouble from her, I decided to stop it. I seldom talk to fans, but with game management God-knows-where, I dealt with it.

Ma'am, you need to behave yourself.
[I don't remember what she said here. It was some complaint. I don't even remember if it was specific to a recent call or general bitching.]
Ma'am, I'm going to send you home if you continue the yelling.
"I'm a ref!"

Whoa. She acted like the fact that she's a ref gave her carte blanche to bitch at my partner and me. In reality, of course, it makes her behavior even worse because she should know better.

I kept my cool.

You are not acting in a manner you can be proud of, ma'am. Behave.
"You shouldn't even hear me!"

We agree on that much. I shouldn't hear her...because she shouldn't be yelling. Especially as a ref. Especially at a sixth-grade rec game.

There were about 5 minutes left in the game when we had that exchange. The game stayed mega-close. With a minute and a half left, my partner said "The fans in that corner (far away from the bitching I stopped) are getting mean." I said that, with a minute and a half left, we should ride it out. That's not the point when we should toss someone.

Then, 10 seconds left...tie score. I'm trail, and there's a steal and a breakaway. I'm lead. A defender drops back. I'm thinking to myself...with a tie score and less than ten seconds left in regulation, I won't call a cheap one. There was a little contact, but nothing that, in my view, impacted the shot at all. I took a pass. The kid missed. We went to overtime. I heard absolutely nothing from either coach, but the fans were pissed. Fortunately, I was far away enough that my ignoring them was legit.

The butthead parents' team won in overtime.

As I picked up my payment, I encountered an old-timer in our association. I pointed out the parent who self-identified her as a ref. I asked who that was. He said her name. I asked if she was a problem. He said: "Her? She used to be president of our association."


She might well be a ref, but tonight, she was just another butthead enraged parent. And tonight, I stand by every decision I made. Kept cool and handled the tough overtime game well.

THINGS I DID WELL: Stress handled well. Decisions in close game. Handled blowouts well.
THINGS TO WORK ON: Called one or two out of my area as trail. Need to focus on my area better all the time.
NEXT UP: Two ninth-grade games at the same tournament tomorrow. I make my HS debut on Tuesday night.


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