Friday, February 3, 2012

Back in the Breach again / Why some parents should stick to just being spectators

In October, I decided to take a leave of absence from officiating high school basketball and other leagues there were assigned by my high school association.  It was a good choice as I got time to do some things myself and try a few other things along the way.   However, I had intended to keep officiating youth basketball a little bit.  However, due to various things, I ended up officiating any basketball until about 3 weeks ago.  I ended up with a 4 to 5 month break.

The break was good for me and I feel I am quite sharp as I work my youth games.  The confidence is there and my demeanor / attitude is very much business like.  I don't take a lot of stuff from coaches or players and have issued a technical every week that I have been back.

Speaking of technicals, I had to issue a technical to a player (slamming the ball on the ground after a fould was called on him) and a double technical / ejection to the player's coach (let's call them the Blue team).   Thanks to all of this, the Blue team ended up losing the game.

Some time in the 3rd quarter, I had called a foul on a Blue player.  The Blue player proceeded to slam the basketball on the floor.  I issued the technical foul and those two fouls were the Blue player's 3rd and 4th personal fouls.  The Blue coach was disagreeable to the technical saying I should have given the player a warning since his team only had 5 players.  I told him a warning was only courtesy and not necessary.

The game went on and like any other game between two equal teams, neither could pull away.  Both teams exchanged baskets into the 4th quarter.   The Blue team looked to have control but White tied the game at 18-18 with about 25 seconds left in the fourth quarter.

The Blue team had a final chance.  The kid I had given the technical earlier tried to drive and elbowed the defensive player out of the way.  That was an easy player control foul call for me to make.  The White team called timeout to setup a final play with about 18 seconds left.

The Blue team coach was not happy and probably stared me down the entire timeout.  To be honest,  I didn't care and did not pay attention to him at all throughout the timeout.  It was business as usual for me.

As the White team proceeded to get on the court, the Blue team coach refused to put his team on the floor.  I asked him several times but he refused saying I owed him 30 seconds (it's 20 seconds now coach....hahaha) as his player fouled out.  I told him the delay didn't apply as he had no subs.

The Blue coach finally put his team on the floor.   As I prepared to get the game going again, I sensed the Blue team coach would have more to say so I decided to hold the ball and wait for him.  As I expected, the coach became unhinged.

He yelled at me that this was the first the whole season he had seen a player control foul.  He didn't believe I would call it on the kid with 4 fouls.  I gave him the first technical and warned him that I didn't need to hear anymore.  He continued on and I handed out the second technical and ejected him.   The game should have been over as the league has a three technical foul rule but I forgot about the initial technical to the player.

In any case, a couple of the Blue team parents took over coaching duties.  Given the tense situation, I warned them that any further misconduct would result in a forfeit.   They weren't really in the mood to listen and were pretty rude.  I understand their attitude and wanting to defend their team and coach but in this case, they were completely wrong.

Regardless, the White team made one free throw and they won the game 19-18.  One of the parents who took over as coach made a snipe remark as he left.  I just ignored them as my partner and I took refuge away from the court.

This coach and parents were about the worst I have seen in recent years.  I submitted a report to our league and there will probably be some action taken.  Parents and coaches are sometime so focused on their own team that they don't realize how their actions go.  These same people also don't know that I'm a veteran official and been around longer that they realize.  I also know their athletic director as well.

These folks really should just stick to being spectators.  That will make things a lot  more peaceful.

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