Wednesday, April 17, 2013

It's A Matter Of Perspective

I play in quite a few adult basketball leagues throughout the year.  In most of the leagues, there are NO paid officials.  Most of the games are officiated by teams on their bye weeks.   If you're a basketball official reading this, you can imagine how inconsistent the officiating can get.   Fortunately, while the leagues are competitive, the games never get out of hand.

As I am generally the most experienced official in these leagues, I volunteer a lot of time officiating when there aren't enough people from the teams to work certain games.   I don't mind helping out but occasionally my bad side comes out.

Something I wondered for a long time is why players complain even when I am officiating.  I always hear people say they are "glad" I am officiating.  I can understand because the players in the league don't officiate regularly.  So there will be inconsistency and that leads to frustration.   I generally feel I am consistent in what I call. Yet, some level of complaining still persists.

After officiating Monday evening and being slightly annoyed, I had some ideas:

Players are competitive and if they feel there should have been a whistle, they will complain no matter who it is that is officiating.  This part I actually have no problems with.  It's just a fact of life that all basketball officials face.

Inexperienced officials could swing toward blowing the whistle TOO MANY times or NOT ENOUGH times.  More experienced officials will tend to fall somewhere in between.  The reason is the experienced officials are constantly analyzing plays and see if a whistle is needed.

Unfortunately players don't understand that officials are there to make a judgement call.  So if they are used to an official calling a lot of fouls, then the more experienced officials is seemingly calling LESS.  If players are used to NOT ENOUGH fouls, the experienced official is seemingly calling MORE.

I realized I need to not hold players to my own standards.    I always remind myself that I will do my best to minimize my complaining when I am coaching or playing in leagues.  In general, I am pretty good though I will express my frustration at times.  In essence, I am not perfect just like everyone else.

At the end of the day, it's a matter of perspective.    Even though I have a ton of basketball experience, I'm still learning every day I am on the court.