Friday, January 21, 2011

Never Judge A Game By It's Cover

A couple of weeks ago or so, I was assigned to the a varsity girls basketball game which I worked tonight. The game was scheduled at 6:15 PM which indicated it was a rivalry game.  The freshman and sophomore boys and girls teams would play earlier in the afternoon while the boys varsity teams would play after the girls.   The game was held at a school which I was super familiar with.  One of my adult basketball leagues plays at the school every summer so it was almost like coming home.

While I was familiar with both schools that were playing, I was not familiar with either team.  I personally like to get an idea of the teams that are playing so I did a little research.  The home team was 2-10 overall for the season while the visiting team was 11-5 overall for the season.   Judging from the team's records alone, I thought the game could be a major mismatch.  The good news was that I was working with a good partner so I was eager to work no matter how the game turned out.

However, never underestimate the effect the home court has on teams.  In front of a packed house, the home team played inspired basketball and led throughout the game.  At one point they had an 11 point lead.  As the game entered the fourth quarter, the home team was still leading.  I remember thinking "The visiting team hasn't made their run yet".  Lo and behold, the visiting team went on a tear, eventually took the lead and pulled away for a 6 point victory.

My partner and I were on the same page throughout and the game flowed fine.  However, there were a couple of fouls that I probably wished I did something different.  One foul on the home team I could have passed on. The other foul on the home team could have been passed on or called on another player.  The second foul call was a tough one as I fouled out the home team's best player.  There was also another minor hiccup when my partner didn't realize I had called a shooting foul and initiated a switch with me that wasn't required.

Besides that, it was a fun game to officiate.  These kind of games are a little far and few between for me.   But when they come along, I enjoy them completely.  I hope to get more before my high school season is over.

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