Friday, February 12, 2010

Season Finale (possibly)

Out here where I officiate, there's a Catholic high school league that is considered the most competitive in the area for both the boys and girls. Teams from several cities in the area play in the league. Unfortunately, there are only three boys schools and two girls schools which play in the city I officiate. That means the games are scarce and assignors are pretty picky about who gets to officiate a game in the league.

Fortunately for me, I was assigned my first ever game (girls) in the league back in September of 2009. The game was tonight and it was a great experience.

I can't say I was super nervous in the days leading up to the game. In fact, I was busy officiating youth, high school and adult league games throughout the week. I also studied my officiating manual to remind myself of the three-person mechanics. While I am not a great official and don't work three person games often, I am familiar enough with the mechanics. I just don't practice them that often.

As my work day ended today and game time approached, I made my way to the gym. I arrived about 45 minutes before game time with the JV girls game going on. The other two officials had already arrived and were observing the officials working the JV game.

As the JV game entered the fourth quarter, all three of us went to the change area to prep for our varsity game. I had worked with both of the other officials before and felt comfortable. We pre-gamed a little bit and went out to the court. My personal goal for the varsity game was to stay focused and keep to my primary areas of coverage.

After the pregame festivities (Senior Night, National Anthem, introductions), the game started and I was now in the line of fire. In the first couple of minutes, I held my whistle a lot. I passed on what might have been a foul and also a potential traveling call. In fact, I don't think I called a foul during the entire first quarter.

I finally did get involved in the game in the second quarter. The action seemed to go a lot toward my partners so I didn't have a lot of fouls or other things to call.

The third quarter started and I briefly lost focus. The visiting team had the ball and the home team defender was riding the offensive player. I passed on the initial foul as the offensive player made the way to the basket. The defensive player kept riding the offensive player before I finally whistled the defender for the foul. I should have called the foul earlier but waited a few seconds too late. My partners later said that it was good I did get the foul, but should have gotten it earlier.

I think this situation throw me off a bit. I got a little nervous a couple of plays later. The home team's center rebounded the ball and a player from visiting team smacked into the center. However, the center was unfazed and actually retained control of the ball. However, I was a little too quick on the whistle and called the foul. After the game, my partners understood why I called the foul because they saw the situation develop. However, they reminded me to hold my whistle longer.

Despite a tough way to start the third quarter, I managed to regain my focus. I held my whistle a bit and tried to let the game come to me. For the rest of the game, I felt like I was in control and did my part to keep the game in control.

The final score of the game was 45-44.

Overall, I felt like I did ok. I wasn't perfect and have things to work on. However, it is good to know what I can work some games at this level. I don't know what's going to happen in the future, but I definitely enjoyed tonight's experience.

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