Monday, January 22, 2007

Game Log 1/22/2007: The Big One Finally Arrives

This is the big one that was postponed about a week and a half ago. While things certainly could have gone better tonight, it's a fine place for me to start high-pressure games. The #1 official in our association was one of my partners tonight, and she said I had a good game. I, of course, am a perfectionist, so I'm spending my time mulling over the three minor errors and one fairly big one I had tonight, but if #1 Official says I had a good game, I had a good game.

(Of course, I was evaluated we'll see if he agrees when I get the score this spring.)

On the whole, I felt all right through the night. There was a lot of thinking about "am I doing all right?"...but I imagine that will go away with time. I missed an early reach...probably nerves...and wound up close to the sideline on a play where the player might have been pushed out. I'd like another look at that one. And in the final minute, I had a rebound foul that, in retrospect, was a little soft for that situation. But the big mistake was a timing snafu...and my role in it was that I was too timid. My partners, while fine officials, needed me to come up strong, and instead, I went along with what they said.

There's a minute left. I'm C. The ball is inbounded very, very far away from me. My partner (not the #1 official) is on the ball. There's a dribble--maybe two--and the ball goes out of bounds. I look up that the clock. There is STILL a minute left.

I should have tooted the whistle right there and gone to partner on the ball. I didn't have any definite knowledge of the time that went off the clock, so I figured I'd let my partner handle it. But when the coach came out of her box and said "THE CLOCK DIDN'T START!", that sort of decided it for me. I can't let things be decided for me, dammit.

So I ran over to her and asked her what the situation was. She asked me to put 52 seconds on the clock.

I went along with her. I suspected 8 seconds was too much for the play we just witnessed, but I decided to trust my partner. Bad move. All I had to do was say "Are you sure?" All I had to do was say "You have definite knowledge, right?" But I didn't. I was deferential, and that meant that both of us went down in flames.

Thing is, I have no need to be deferential anymore. I belong on the floor. In a similar situation last week, I took charge. It was a close game...but it didn't have the same importance or intensity. I can handle this. But tonight, my rules knowledge would have been helpful if only I'd SLOWED DOWN just a touch. Long enough to take one breath and say: "Are you sure? Did you have a count?"

The wronged coach, however, was yelling the wrong thing. He said the clock was at 1:06 before the play began. That's just flat-out not true, and I told him so, but I cut off the conversation as soon as I could.

Evaluator suggested that the #1 official (a Hall of Famer everybody recognizes) should have run interference. With me the new, unfamiliar face, evaluator felt that the loud, rude coach (the one who was saying the clock didn't start) would eat me alive. I'll have to look at the tape to see how I held up. I think it was okay.

I will learn. I will not dwell. I will focus on the positive. Even with the errors, this ain't a bad place to start big-time high-pressure ball.

THINGS I DID WELL: Stayed calm. Felt good. Called a tough game reasonably well...mostly let it breathe.
THINGS TO WORK ON: Less timidity/deferentialism and more slowing down in bizarre situations. Be ready to call fouls early; avoid soft ones late.
NEXT UP: Two junior high games tomorrow. This week is on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday.


At 7:54 AM, Anonymous massref said...

THINGS TO WORK ON: Less timidity/deferentialism and more slowing down in bizarre situations.

Hey, I work college ball and have been very fortunate to reach a fairly high level there. . . and I still work on those two things.

I am the "new guy" at my level and so tend to back off in strange situations. I'm much better at slowing down now, though, compared with a year or two ago.

I really think it will come as you experience more of those strange situations. Like a lot of things, you just have to get the experience before it starts to come naturally.

Sounds like you "done good"!!! Congrats on this one and the "big game". Good entries!

At 6:33 PM, Blogger BloggingRef said...

Thanks, Mass. It's good to know I'm not the only one with these issues. I'm feeling like I'm making good progress this year...more than I ever have.


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