Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Game Log12/22/2009: I really need to learn to run

I went back tonight to officiate the team with a coach I'd had to T up a couple of weeks ago. I was on the alert for any kind of grudges, and things wound up being pretty uneventful--save one little comment.

First, the JV game. It was smooth and quiet--not a lot of fouls, and a fairly light, clean game. The only thing that went wrong was that I plum fell down at one point. I was running into L position, looking over my shoulder, when I tripped on...nothing. Maybe the paint for the baseline was an especially thick coat? Anyway, my wipeout put me on my hands and knees--and scraped and bloodied my knees on the polyester of my ref pants. Blood soaked through enough that it was visible...even on the black knees.

No real pain or problems moving, but it did sort of knock me loopy-ish mentally. I told my partners between games that I shouldn't have problems moving or calling fouls, but that they should look for any bizarreness as a result of my mentally-off state.

(I've been mentally off a lot lately. Need to figure out how to bear down a bit.)

The Varsity game was close for three quarters before Red ran away with it in the fourth. Both coaches wanted travels; I felt like kids were keeping their pivot feet down. The Red coach wanted "over the back" (not a foul call, of course) on the White kid who was a head taller than anyone else on the floor. As is so often the case, the tall kid was doing nothing wrong; merely reaching up and grabbing the ball from over the head of a taller opponent. No contact=no foul=no merit to the complaint.

The main issue was that the loudest complains from Red came not from their head coach, but from an assistant. So I had a chat with the head coach about how I would talk to him as much as he wanted, but I couldn't hear from his assistants. It went on a hair too long, but since it was effective, I won't complain (didn't hear from the assistant again pretty much all night). Then, as I ran into position for the next play, I heard from the White coach (the guy I had to T a couple weeks back), and I learned he did, in fact, harbor a little grudge. "I got a T for saying 'over the back!'" he said...I think humorously.

But let's get real. Yes, I did T him for that...as the last in a series of about five hundred unsportsmanlike utterances that night. To blame his ejection on exactly one action was crazy.

I did respond a little--saying "I'd warned you, coach"--and immediately regretted it (although nothing went further). I didn't give a crap about the game 13 nights ago and may have made it look like I did by getting sucked into that conversation.

Anyhow, the game moved on pretty uneventfully from there. There were huge swaths of game (like most of the third quarter) where I didn't have a single foul call--simply the luck of the draw, I think. And there was one more situation with the White coach late--he wanted a call for something I honestly had no idea about (it was out of my area.) Somehow, it turned into a laugh for both of us (he said "call it on us; we're trying to foul...but I'd rather you call it on them!" Well, that's not very funny, but a lightened atmosphere sure did help out there.

A quick note about locker room talk: I feel like a lot of halftime discussion becomes too similar and not too helpful. It's usually coach-centric: "The [insert color] coach is on me. He wants [insert call]. But I can't give it to him because it's not happening: instead, [insert what is really happening]." Or, alternatively, "The [insert color] coach really didn't like the [insert call] that I had against his team. But it was really a good call. The player [insert brief description]."

I'm guilty of this too, but I think it's about 85% of halftime conversation (at least tonight). Coach complaints probably merit a lot lower percentage of our time. As R in the future (although I'm done as crew chief for a while), I'll try to steer conversation more to how we feel and less to how coaches feel.

THINGS I DID WELL: Coach management, crew integrity
THINGS TO WORK ON: Mental alertness, staying upright
NEXT: Eight days to another girls JV/Varsity nonconference matchup.


At 9:22 AM, Anonymous Massref said...

Re: Falling down. I attended a D1 game recently and as one official was in transition from C to C, he tripped over part of the media table and went down. It happens. It's funny; but it happens. :-)

Re: Over the back. I worked a D3 game a couple weeks ago in which the inside player had great position, boxed out perfectly. He bent at the waist, had his butt out to make sure the guy behind him couldn't get around. But then he never jumped for the rebound. He stayed crouched in his box-out position. The guy behind him simply caught the rebound at head height. What did I hear? "He was over the back!!!!" Hysterical.

Re: Locker room talk. Something that I've tried to do this season at halftime is talk about what we HAVEN'T called in the first half. Have we had any screens? Handchecking? 3-seconds? If we haven't called them, then let's "have our antennas up" in the 3rd quarter. Because if we've been letting borderline screens go for 30 minutes, we darn well better not call one in the last 2 minutes.


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