Friday, December 04, 2009

Game Log 12/4/2009: I'm becoming the old guy

Clearly, I'm trusted. All past games where I've been the R have featured a very experienced dude as one of the U's--I believe to support me. But tonight, I worked a girls varsity/JV doubleheader. Medium-sized to small schools who need a little work. And the games went reasonably well--there was a lot of slop and a LOT of fouls--each game pushed two hours in length. But I can't think of a ticky-tack call the whole night, and there were very few complaints.

The JV game was close and (in some ways) better-played than the varsity game. It came down to the final few minutes. I had some calls I couldn't overlook late, mostly on rebounds. Even late in a close game, anyone who puts a forearm on the back and pushes a player out in order to grab a rebound will get a whistle from me. I think I may have tooted the whistle on rebounds as L a little too much, but it went all right.

The weird play in the JV game was as follows. It starts with a mistake. I'm C heading upcourt with the dribbler behind me. I went and looked to her--probably shouldn't have...should have let T hold onto her. But let's set aside that mistake I'll be sure not to make again (I've been SLEEPY lately, and it's affecting my brain by making me watch the ball too often) and get to the question.

I see the player for Red come up under the ball and bring it back down again on a dribble, and I toot the whistle. Palming.

Partner runs up to me and says that he saw the defender tip the ball, so the palm was not a palm but rather starting a new dribble. Red coach agrees.

Do I overturn my call?

I decided not to. While doing that on an out-of-bounds play is natural, since play was stopped anyway, the ONLY thing I could change to at that point was a "Whoops! Inadvertent whistle! Red ball!" Didn't feel right.

When Red coach extended his arms (in the "What's up?" motion), I ran over and told him this: "This isn't a play we can correct. I made a mistake, but we're playing on."

His snide response: "Oh! So you're wrong, but it's okay."

Me: "Nope. I'm wrong, and I apologize. Now, we're moving on."

Ignoring that this whole thing started because I was ball-watching, did I do the right thing?

Second game was a blowout. Red torched them. We missed some rotations--had two C's and no L's at least twice--but I heard very little from coaches. I did hear quite a bit late from the bench of the losing team. I told the coach that the bench was too chirpy. Assistant went and talked to them. It didn't stop. I then told the coach that she was "very close to a bench technical." (With two minutes left in a 30-point game, I didn't want to call it, but these kids need to learn somehow.) Coach handled it about right. She turned to her girls and shouted "Shut up!" Cool.

Oh--I also had an administrative technical for failure to put a number in the book. And a whole host of corrections of the fashion-police variety in the pregame. They must have thought I was a total control freak, but whatever. It also had a few moments where we looked bad because we tried to give unmerited one-and-ones (once because I had a brain fart and didn't have the right team in the bonus in my head, once because of a scoreboard error) Both times the table straightened it out, thankfully, but it can't have made us look too good.

It wasn't perfect, but it would have been hard to make this game good, especially late, as the girls got tired. I can live with the way it all went.

And after the game, I learned that it was one of my partners' first varsity game. I wish I'd known before. But it made me even happier with the game. We didn't crash and burn (far from it), and with all its flaws, I did manage to lead a relatively green crew through a somewhat challenging ballgame. I'll take that.

GOOD: Leadership, handled the weird with confidence
WORK ON: My concentration waned a little. Refocus needed on my area and on off-ball.
NEXT UP: A fairly strong girls' varsity/JV doubleheader on Monday. Big schools. I'm not the R this time...this time I'M the newbie. But I don't feel that way anymore. This leadership has boosted my confidence.


At 1:47 PM, Anonymous Massref said...

I waited a couple days to respond to your post, because I wanted to get some input to see if I was on the same page with some other folks whom I respect a lot. I worked with a very good D1 official who is also a high school interpreter and I posed your palming situation to him.

Leaving aside the question of coverage (you already know that was a reach in that situation), he agreed with my initial gut feeling to your situation. If my partner is going to give me information that I clearly got it wrong, I'm going to accept the information and tell both coaches that I had an inadvertent whistle.

It's a little embarrassing, but it's still Red's ball (team control didn't end with the White deflection), so it's actually a pretty easy "fix".

Lousy situation, but we've all been there. I recently had a whistle that I would have given anything to take back (a fifth foul), but sometimes you just can't. In your situation, though, I think you probably could've.

At 7:37 PM, Blogger TeacherRefPoet said...


Thanks for the input. Our head HS honcho said he wouldn't overturn his call, but I think your side has more weight (as it has the benefit of being the right call).

Sorry about the whistle you wanted back. It's funny how nobody gets that we are, in some ways, more upset about those than the player is.

It's like my friend who told me that atheist guilt is worse that Jewish or Catholic guilt. "There's no forgiveness for us [atheists]," he told me. Same for refs.


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