Thursday, January 10, 2008

Game Log 1/10/2008: A new record, and not a good one.

The timid boys' freshman team I had a few games ago that got blown out made another appearance tonight. They couldn't handle the press, and were down 16-0 before just about anything happened. The press relented, and they stuck around, pulling to within 10 at half. They were clearly outclassed, but hanging in there, and once they could get to halfcourt, the basketball was all right.

Then came the third quarter--probably the worst quarter of basketball I remember officiating. I wasn't bad...but they were horrible.

18 fouls. EIGHTEEN. FOULS. In one quarter.

I think that the coach of the timid team, Red, has told them they need to be aggressive. They're not good enough to be aggressive, however. They had 10 fouls. White had 8. It was really disgusting basketball. None of the fouls were at all borderline (I heard very, very little from either coach or even the fans). And Red actually got aggressive.

I emptied the toolbox.

Red's point guard opens the quarter with a forearm to the face of a shooter. He was going for the ball, but missed. It wasn't intentional, but it was ugly.

Red's forward gives a push to a shooter. It was light, but it was on the shooter. I thought it was fairly ugly. I talked to the coach. "34 is getting upset, coach. That was a bad one." Coach thanked me and pulled him.

Red's captain is angry. He's angry because he thinks he's getting fouled on his drives. There are some small reaches, but all--and I mean all--of captain's drives are out of control, with no hope of any kind of good shot. He might have shot ten percent...probably less. I will NOT bail him out with a ticky-tack reach. So he starts throwing his body around. He picked up his fourth foul (the aforementioned forearm) on the opening possession of the third. He picked up his fifth, throwing a shoulder out to get a driving opponent, early in the fourth. Good riddance. He yanked his jersey up on the last call, but did it just as my back was turned. I didn't call the T. Maybe I should have...I'll get the next one.

I talked to the players on free throws. "Clean it up, guys."

I tried humor. "Guys, you all have school tomorrow. We can't stay here all night. Clean it up!"

I chatted with the White captain at the start of the fourth. "Will this quarter be cleaner, captain?" He actually asked "What do you mean?" I clarified: "Fewer than 18 fouls." He said he'd talk to everyone.

But you know what? The game was really awful--one of the lowest-quality games I can remember--but I was good. The game was, seriously, lucky to have my partner and me. I like that.

Had one good exchange with the winning coach. He said to me (politely, actually): "I could hear that slap from here. What happened?"
Me: "My partner had a better look at that than I did."
Him: "You don't have to see it. You could hear it."
Me: "But I do have to see it to call it."

I'm rarely that witty on the spot.

GOOD: Game control. Used the toolbox. Called it tight (as it desperately needed).
WORK ON: I didn't feel like the game needed the T, but maybe it did. I also gave Red a time out when they didn't quite have the ball. Can't do that.
NEXT: More freshmen tomorrow.


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