Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Test Of My Mettle

Since I officiated my last high school basketball game about a month ago, I've only officiated a few times.  Two of those times were yesterday and tonight.  Yesterday, I was working a high school spring basketball league that featured some varsity players from some local schools.  That went by relatively well though my partner was sick and a step slow through most of the day.  I was officiating fine and even had to manage a coach who was riding us a bit.

Tonight, I was officiating in the adult league that I play in.  I wasn't expecting too much action and probably the usual complaining.  Alas, the first game between Gold and White didn't quite go that well.  The game started off with a Gold player complaining about he was undercut while attempting a layup.  The reality was the Gold player tried to draw contact on the defender (not enough for offensive foul) and the White defender fell.  The Gold player went up for the layup, landed and tried to turn but the White defender didn't have time to get up so the offensive player tripped and fell.

In the second half, things got a little testy.  While a shot was in the air, a White player went in for the offensive rebound.  A Gold player hooked the White player's arm so that he couldn't get in for the rebound.  I had the foul the whole way.  I turned my head for just a split second and next thing you know, the White player was shoving the Gold player who had hooked him.  I immediately blew the whistle and issued a double technical foul.   This was a case of a reputation preceding you.  This particular Gold player had developed a reputation of some dirty tactics of grabbing and pushing.  The players in this league are generally easy going but anytime they went up against this particular Gold player, there had been some heated situations in the past few weeks.   The double technical was issued to defuse the situation and note that both players were equally at fault.

Lastly, yet another Gold player pushed the envelope a little far after I had called a up & down / traveling call.  The Gold player had already complained to my partner about a non-call and just lost it when I called traveling late in the game on him.  I simply gave him the technical and moved on.

If there was anything I learned tonight, it was that I can handle conflict.  In fact, where I once might have shied from a little conflict, I didn't mind it tonight.  A veteran referee gave me some great advice.  When officiating, if you need to talk to someone, do it but also expect disagreements.  That is why I don't expect people to like anything I did tonight.  At the end of the day, it didn't matter if the players didn't like what I did.  There is still a game to be played and they can choose to not play.

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