Monday, November 29, 2010

Boys and Girls Varsity Basketball

I had a chance to work a boys & girls varsity basketball double header this weekend.  It was great to get back onto the court for an official game.  I had worked an alumni girls game on Wednesday so I had already started getting back into the flow.  It helped that the alumni game was competitive so I had to stay focused.  With the double header, it was a sign that the high school season was in full swing.

Overall, the double header went well.  Both games were competitive with solid players and coaching on both sides.   However, the one thing that both my partner and I had to adjust to was the difference between the girls and boys game.

It may not be always true.  However, for this past weekend, my partner and I felt the intensity of the game and the overall speed of the girls were a tad lower than the boys.   It felt a little easier to keep up and get into the proper position to officiate the game.

The boys game was intense affair with a lot of man to man defense and uptempo play on both sides.    My partner and I were in pretty good shape so keeping up with the teams wasn't a big problem.  However,  there were a lot of turnovers which sometimes made my partner and I scramble to get into better positions on the court.

Indeed, that is something I want to work on.  I pride myself on keeping up with the teams while they run up and down the court.  However,  I sometimes focus on running too much instead of focusing on the game situations.  I think if I see the play, I can better anticipate whether I should sprint down the court or pace myself in case the play suddenly heads back the other way.

I feel my judgement on the court is pretty good if I get a good look at the play.  Indeed, positioning on the basketball court is one thing that separates the average official from the above average officials.   This is something I'll have to continue to work on this season and beyond.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Back to Work

It's been a while since I officiated in a "real" basketball game.   I officiate in an adult basketball league I play in but the intensity level is pretty low.  Tonight I officiated a girls varsity alumni game for my former high school.   I got a chance to work with a relatively new official and I worked with her a little bit.

The intensity level of the game wasn't at playoff level but both the varsity team and the alumni team played hard.   While the alumni led most of the way, the varsity girls battled back and ultimately lost by 2 points.

Despite being a little tired the past few days due to some personal things, it was great to get on the court.  I admit to be a little tired of officiating in recent months.  It's a natural thing as I've officiated basketball since 1993 (high school since 2002).   However, I am trying to take a more fresh and confident perspective onto the court this year.  The reason for this is I think it's time to step up my officiating level and not be content to be an average official.

At the same time, I'm not pressuring myself to perform well on the court.  I feel that if I just have confidence in myself and stay focused, I know I can handle any situations that will occur.  I'll be back to work for a double header in a few days and will keep everyone update on my feelings throughout the upcoming high school basketball season.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Difference between low level volleyball and high level volleyball

Last year, I decided to give youth volleyball officiating a shot.  I was unemployed at the time and thought doing something new would be fun.   In fact, it was pretty fun.  There were some bad games but there were also some competitive games that were fun to officiate.

This season, due to various things, I just haven't been able to officiate as much.  However, this past Friday, I officiated the best game I've ever seen in my short career.   It was an 8th Grade Division 1 game between two playoff bound teams.  One team was definitely the better but the other team was very solid.

The difference between the game this Friday and the others I had previous done?  The two teams friday were were very skilled.  They kept rallies alive and were doing the bump, set and spike all night long.  Plus  some of the young ladies were spiking the ball HARD.   Most of the youth volleyball I see is the serve and bump the ball around type which makes for a slow moving game.

The slow moving game was what I was used to and officiating those kind of games is not too difficult because you can anticipate where the ball is going and officiate appropriately.  With the level of play on Friday, I had to make some adjustments.

I had to watch net play more as girls were trying to save balls, spikes and block spikes.  The other change was that I HAD TO RELY on my line judges more.  The balls were flying around fast and there was no way I could see everything.  Fortunately, I had two great line judges to work with.

One disadvantage I had was there was no stand to work from at the gym.  I was ground level and that proved to be difficult see some of the net play.  However, I did the best that I could.   Overall, the game was quite enjoyable and I'm glad for the opportunity.  I've going to brush up more on my volleyball rules as I know I have some knowledge gaps.  Perhaps I'll take up the challenge of officiating high school volleyball (time permitting) in the future.