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Old Sun Apr 11, 2010, 06:55am
BillyMac BillyMac is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 21,931
"Just the facts, ma'am"

I normally don't officiate AAU games unless they're associated with a camp, however, our local IAABO board, as well as all the other local IAABO boards in the state of Connecticut, have recently started assigning AAU games (a major story in itself which will probably show up on a "fictional" Law and Order episode ripped from the headlines), so I thought I'd give it a shot; get a little running in, have some fun with some of my buddies, stay on top of my game in the off season, pick up some extra cash, etc.

I show up in the gym a few minutes before my partner. I'm observing the layup lines. One team has more than half its girls wearing orange undershirts under a white jersey. Both teams have girls wearing headbands of multiple colors, with only a few being white, black, beige, or the predominate color of the jersey. These are not typical recreation team "T-shirt" uniforms, but real uniforms that would make many high school varsity teams in these parts envious. I speak to assistant coaches from both teams pointing out the equipment problems. They both get together and decide to switch their reversible jerseys so that the team with the orange undershirts are now wearing orange jerseys. Our local board has instructed us to ignore the changing of uniforms near the bench area unless it's done in an unsporting manner, even for our high school varsity games, so that's not an issue for me.

At this point the head coach of the orange team walks up to me and says, "Why are you making eleven year olds obey equipment rules? Back home, I'm a high school varsity coach and I can see the purpose of the rules on that level, but these are eleven year olds. You're not being evaluated, or anything, so why bother?". I reply that this is my first game of the weekend, that I was was aware of a few timing, timeouts, and bonus free throw rule changes, but was not aware of any other changes from NFHS rules. I continued that if anyone from the AAU organization sponsoring the tournament advised me to ignore some uniform, or equipment, rules, I would be pleased to oblige.

Not a good way to start the game. I'm pissed at him. He's pissed at me. And we haven't even tossed the ball yet.

I would have loved to have taken a sarcastic tone with him but I took the high road and just walked away from the situation. I could have asked him for a list of all the NFHS rules that he would like me to ignore during his game? I could have asked him why, since he was a high school varsity coach and knew the rules, didn't he tell his players to pack a white undershirt and and orange undershirt for all games, and explain how to wear them? Why didn't he tell all his players to decide on a "legal" color headband, and all wear the same color headband for the entire AAU "season"? I could have told him that I always put in my best effort, even when I'm not being evaluated (which is true).

I hate being the "Fashion Police". Damned if you do. Damned if you don't.
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Last edited by BillyMac; Sun Apr 11, 2010 at 11:34am.
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