Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Season possibly over...

Well, at least it's not athletically-related, like last year...

but an annoying, non-basketball-related minor ailment and its consequent annoying, non-basketball-related minor surgery has compelled me to cancel my JV/Varsity games scheduled for tomorrow and my junior high games slated for Friday. I should be better by the time the weekend finishes, but it looks like they aren't using me on my available days next week (likely due to lack of games), and after that...well, my wife is due to give birth on 2/24.

So the season may be over.

I'm very, very happy with this season, unlike last year. Once I know for sure that I'm done for the year, I'll put up my customary year-in-review.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Game Log 2/5/09: Not quite there.

I'm not sure why I never quite got my brain around tonight's games. Some of it was the weirdness of the first game: no fouls in the first six minutes, dull throwing-the-ball-around offenses, and not much going on...until suddenly they started beating the snot out of each other. Some of it was the way that the Varsity game went...two chirpy coaches. Some of it was that, when I said "Guys, I've about had enough out of the Red coach," they said "Nah, she's just coaching hard," and I decided to honor crew integrity by letting her continue to shout and gesticulate. Some of it is that I then had to warn White's coach, who hopped up and down when he felt his girl was jumped on in a loose-ball-on-the-floor situation (I obviously didn't have that or I would have called it...but I may have been too close to the play).

I don't know. I'm not blaming my partners--it's my job to work with them--but I didn't feel like my personality meshed with one of them, who liked extended conversations with coaches and joking with a lot of people (fans, coaches, players). It's not that he didn't take the game seriously--he did--but it didn't feel -businesslike- to me, especially when we went to the coaches for our pre-game quick chats. I guess I didn't feel 100% comfortable telling him I wanted things my way, but dammit, I was the R...I needed to be a little more take-charge. But he sort of dominated.

I don't think I want any calls back (save the aforementioned loose-ball jump if I missed it). But I wasn't mentally there tonight for this big 3rd-place vs. 2nd-place game. I won't dwell on it...I'll just look forward to the next one, which will go better.

THINGS I DID WELL: Call selection, off-ball calls
THINGS TO WORK ON: Comfort, leadership
NEXT UP: I have a week away now due to work commitments. Thursday night I have 2nd place against 1st place! But it's not as big a game as this one, actually, since 1st place is light-years ahead of 2nd and will probably have clinched by then, and will likely cruise to its usual 30-point victory. Tonight's game was better.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Game Log 2/2/09: Good partners, smooth sailing

The #2 team in the state faced a 1-15 squad tonight. First time they'd faced each other, it was a final score of high double-digits against single-digit. Tonight, the #2 team in the state used this as an opportunity to play their JV. (1-15 had no JV, so we did a freshman/varsity doubleheader. The varsity game was the only way JV would get any work in tonight.) Net result: no real issues.

Freshman game was fairly easy. There was one interesting call where I was T running behind the press when players tried to pin the dribbler against the sideline after a long pass. There was a bit of traffic between me and her, and I saw her step out of bounds. Coach wanted a push. I told her I'd watch for it, but I saw pretty good straight-up defense.

The losing team only had 7 players. When one fouled out with about 5 minutes to go, I remembered that another had four fouls. I ran to my partners. "23 White has four fouls," I told both.

Sure enough, about 30 seconds later, 23 White absolutely creamed a girl on the shot. Couldn't ignore it. Dammit, 23, we tried to cut you some slack, but you wouldn't let us! But I still give myself credit for game awareness and communication.

Other than that--no issues at all.

The Varsity game meant dealing with the coach of the #2 team, who is known to go after people a little bit. I received my baptism on a shooting foul. I'm L, and right in front of me was a colossal hack...whole hand and forearm on whole hand and forearm. The sound, the sight...pretty major-league foul against #2 team. The ball made its way up to the rim, bounced there three times, and fell in. Pretty clear and-one.

I was quite surprised that the coach selected that call to get after me on. We could have called that one from the top row blindfolded. His complaint:

"That must have been quite a hack if the ball was able to get up there and bounce on the rim a bunch of times."

All I could say back was "Coach, it was all arm." I think I even smiled a bit. It was clear I was being tested, but really, on such an obvious call? Probably just a pre-test. I'll get a bigger one when I see him next week, I imagine.

If I'd had time to give a full essay response, I'd have cited this excellent article in which a physics professor says that, if the ball goes up to the rim, there's a greater chance that the player was fouled, not less. The laws of physics say so! But I didn't. Thankfully for both of us.

What I liked most about this game is how we stuck with it to the end. I even had an off-ball call with 30 seconds left when 1-15's center put a forearm to the back and knocked a player to the floor. Can't do that...don't care. I'll admit I took a pass when the losing team fouled the winning team on a 30-foot three-point heave at the buzzer. No need to stick around to shoot three. Coach wanted them, but by the time he registered his protest, I was halfway to the locker room.

One of the top officials in our association--one of my favorites--was working with me and a frequent 2-person partner of mine tonight. He was working heavily with my partner all night (partner was doing far too much ball-watching). He had very little to recommend for me tonight. At the end, all he said was that my mechanics need to tighten up...I'm too loosey-goosey. Yup...I know that. I just have to figure out how to tighten it up. Perhaps I'll join the Marines.

THINGS I DID WELL: Stayed focused in blowout, coach management, called it to the end
THINGS TO WORK ON: Loosey-goosey mechanics, not rotating correclty on free throws sometimes (I want to run down from away-from-table-side to administer when L calls the foul).
NEXT UP: Next up is a fairly decent test, actually. It won't make the front page of the sports section, but it's a big matchup against .500 girls' teams. There's significant playoff positioning at stake. And I'm the R. Again...they've quickly started trusting me more and more...I've got to make it a good one.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

A product testimonial

I'm not being paid to say this. But my last two games, I've worn one of these. And it's worth every cent--and more--not to have to hitch my damn pants up 623 times a game. So rarely does something do exactly what it's advertised to do. So, yay stretchy interior belt.

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