Monday, January 19, 2009

Game Log 1/19/2009: Growing a bit

Girls/boys varsity doubleheader today...tiny rural school visits tiny religious school.

I was a little trepidatious about the girls game, because when I checked out the teams, one of them was losing by 60, 70, or even 80 points. Sure enough, the press was on in the first quarter, and the score was 27-4 after 8 minutes. Ouch. Thankfully, Blue took the press off from there and coasted to a 50-point victory. The losing coach wanted some calls that I think weren't there. I put up with what he had to say...didn't seem fair to get after him when his team was getting his butt kicked, and besides, he wasn't rude or crossing any lines. If anything, we let White get away with too much in the second half. If I had it to do over again, there were a couple of ones I let go that I could have called, even in such a massive blowout...but the game went off cleanly and safely, so it's all good.

The boys' game was far faster and more challenging than my first boys' varsity game a couple of weeks back. I had to adjust my game and my brain to the higher speed, and on the whole, with only one exception, I think I did.

Blue lost by 18, and the coach was a little annoyed. He wanted a call early--he felt a White rebounder jumped through the back. I was lead and saw the rebounder reach over the Blue kid's head. No contact, no foul. He said the rebounder also put a hand on the opponent's back. If he did, I was unable to see it from my perspective, but there sure wasn't much movement as a result.

Similarly, I had a no-call late in the first half on a play that resulted in a bit of a pileup under the hoop. I was lead, and I had the defender standing and waiting. Blue went up and sort of grazed White as he went down...hip glanced off of hip. No-call. Then, each of them got tangled and went down in a heap, along with a third player (where'd he come from?). I explained to coach what I saw...couldn't call a PC foul on your kid, coach, not enough contact. "What about the other defender who pushed him from behind?" he asked. "I couldn't see him through your kid," I said. This is, by the way, a perfect advertisement for a 3-man game.

So he was annoyed, but I felt fine about where I was.

The only mistake I wish I could rectify was a missed travel. I honestly think this came from me not quite being up to speed with this, the fastest game I've ever officiated in the season (had some quicker camp games this past summer). There was a fast break, and I got down the court. I focused on the defender and picked him up. OK--he's there. But while my attention was focused on the defender, the pass came in to a player who took 3 steps. I caught it peripherally, but because I didn't see it well, and because it happened pretty quickly, I didn't call it. I do think this sort of thing will come with time.

There was one other he didn't like. Twenty seconds left, and his team is fouling (why??? they're down by over a dozen!). The player wrapped his arms around...we called it a simple hold, as it didn't merit an intentional. both partner and I had the hold. Coach said that there was an elbow, "and that's why my player held." (The latter phrase doesn't make logical sense to me.) I didn't have anything to say back to him beyond thanking him for the information and telling him we'd look for it over the last few seconds. Under his breath, he said "God." I don't think he was worshipping me. But he was asking for so much all night that I don't trust his word much.

So, Blue is a little annoyed with me. He'll be thrilled to see me a week from tonight when I return to his gym.

All in all, it wasn't perfect, but it wasn't bad for a new level of challenge for me.

THINGS I DID WELL: Stayed under control. Kept boys' game from getting ugly in the fourth quarter.
THINGS TO WORK ON: Don't take so many passes in girls' game. Don't miss the offense's feet on fast breaks.
NEXT UP: Girls JV/Varsity on Wednesday.


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