Saturday, July 27, 2013

Why I Love Officiating

After not officiating for a while, I snuck in a couple of nights of officiating this week including tonight (Friday).  The first game was a consolation game followed by two playoff semi-finals games in an adult league that I play in.  The league is divided by divisions and I was working the "Bronze" (aka "4th Division") tonight with my friend.  

My friend is a former high school official.  In fact, it was him and other friend that encouraged me to join the high school officiating group back in 2002.  Alas, while I stuck around for the past decade, both my friends dropped out after a couple of years. 

The first game tonight was a consolation game followed by two playoff semi-final games.  The consolation game was relatively laid back.  In fact, it was two teams from the same organization that were playing each other.  The teams did not play each other in the regular season (there are two divisions) but were obviously familiar with each other.  

The second game was a battle of the top seed in the division versus what looked like the lowest seed.   The top seed was HUGE (three kids topping 6'2") with some quick guards.  The lower seed wasn't anywhere close in terms of height and athletic ability.  But they knew how to play and they gave the top seed all the could handle for 40 minutes.  In the end, the top seed had just a little bit more and pulled away for the victory.  

An interesting situation happened during this game which I will need to look into more.  A player from the top seed took a shot and MISSED horribly.  In fact, the player shot from the baseline and the ball cleared but landed on the floor without touching anything.  My friend called a violation but I wasn't 100% sure so I chose not to overrule him.  We talked about this afterward.  I told my friend that since the ball went right over the backboard and didn't touch anything before hitting the floor, it was likely ok.  I personally would have let it go.   Overall, it didn't impact the game though it was an interesting lesson to take in. 

The third and final game of the night was the best game I've seen in this summer league this year.  It seemed like a battle of the 2nd / 3rd seeds (though I don't think the setup was this way).  Both teams had some good guard play though one team had a little more size.  The game was even throughout and went into TWO OVERTIMES before the bigger team prevailed 52-48.  Lots of intensity and I had to calm the players and coaches a bit during the game.  

While this was the "Bronze" division, it didn't mean the games were not good.  It was fun to work and a reminder of why I stay involved in officiating.  It's not about the money but a chance to see and work some good basketball games. 

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