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Old Tue Dec 08, 2015, 11:55am
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First Time on the Floor

Passed the written exam easily, but I knew actually being on the floor would be much harder. . .and it was even harder than I imagined!

Girls JV scrimmage, 2 cadets on the floor, with 2 experienced officials shadowing us. We had 4-minute shifts.

It was all such a blur! Way faster than I thought, and I was so concerned with where I was supposed to be, and what my PCA was, that I missed a lot of calls. I lost track of which team was going in which direction. Girls did not have uniform numbers, so reporting fouls was different than what I had practiced. Coach yelled for a time-out, I knew who had player control, but not who yelled. One time I hit a girl in the head with my signal - it was ugly!! I could go on but you get the idea. I was very discouraged last night.

I have several more of these practice scrimmages coming up - any tips? I know with more floor time and experience it will get better, but right now I am very overwhelmed!
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Old Tue Dec 08, 2015, 11:58am
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Some people just aren't cut out for this stuff. It may be time to hang up the whistle, and find a new hobby.
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Old Tue Dec 08, 2015, 12:04pm
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Smile

World record - shortest career ever!
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Old Tue Dec 08, 2015, 12:07pm
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OK, I'm just kidding.

Seriously, starting out, one of the best things to do is find ONE thing to work on each game. For example, on every whistle, GET YOUR ARM UP. Starting out, don't even worry if it's a FIST(foul), or OPEN HAND(violation).

Also, be open to constructive criticism that will come your way. Tell those who are training you to shoot straight and not sugar coat things. AND MEAN IT!! Don't get your feelings hurt when someone is telling you where you messed up, or how you could do something better. You're a rookie. They know more than you do. If they're willing to help you, be gracious in accepting their help and critiques.
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Old Tue Dec 08, 2015, 12:09pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChuckS View Post
Passed the written exam easily, but I knew actually being on the floor would be much harder. . .and it was even harder than I imagined!

Girls JV scrimmage, 2 cadets on the floor, with 2 experienced officials shadowing us. We had 4-minute shifts.

It was all such a blur! Way faster than I thought, and I was so concerned with where I was supposed to be, and what my PCA was, that I missed a lot of calls. I lost track of which team was going in which direction. Girls did not have uniform numbers, so reporting fouls was different than what I had practiced. Coach yelled for a time-out, I knew who had player control, but not who yelled. One time I hit a girl in the head with my signal - it was ugly!! I could go on but you get the idea. I was very discouraged last night.

I have several more of these practice scrimmages coming up - any tips? I know with more floor time and experience it will get better, but right now I am very overwhelmed!
If it was easy anyone could do it.

A few years from now you will still be missing calls...hopefully not that many.

Last game I called the ball bounced off a shoulder and was coming right at me. I sidestep and (for some reason) started to raise both arms in an effort to get out of the way. Girl going OOB trying to save it hit my elbow and went down like a rock. Luckily she was able to shake it off and keep going. It happens.
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Old Tue Dec 08, 2015, 12:46pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChuckS View Post
Girls JV

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChuckS View Post
Way faster than I thought

Trust me, it gets faster every level you move up. Now when I ref MS boys it feels like I'm in the Matrix.
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Old Tue Dec 08, 2015, 01:03pm
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Started out 5th and 6th grade boys summer leagues - felt totally lost the first few games.

Echoing some things already said:
  1. Always get your hand up -
  2. Strong whistle - gives you and everyone else confidence
  3. Call the obvious
  4. Try whatever technique helps you to relax - (my first trainer said "keep telling yourself it's just basketball, and you KNOW basketball.") For me getting there on time or a little early allows me to get ready without rushing.
  5. Slow down, slow down, then go really slow, then still slower in your responses to violations and fouls.
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Old Tue Dec 08, 2015, 02:15pm
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I could've written your original post almost word-for-word after my first scrimmage. Don't worry, it gets better.

Just wait till your actually working a game, see a foul, and your reaction is "THAT'S A FOUL! Why doesn't someone call it?" before you remember that calling the foul is your job.

All the advice above is good, but I'd especially like to echo the "pick ONE thing to primarily work on each game" advice. Once you've gotten the hang of one thing (raising your hand when you blow the whistle, for example), then start concentrating on the next thing (Open hand for violation, fist for a foul).

And always remember to SLOW DOWN. As my association's clinician says: once you blow the whistle, the game isn't going to start again until you're ready. There's no reason to hurry to get the ball in play again.

You're lucky in that you've got several scrimmages before you first actual game... use them to your advantage.
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Old Tue Dec 08, 2015, 02:19pm
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And remember...if you think you stink, at least you stink on both ends of the floor so thing even out

The "pick one thing" advice is excellent.
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Old Tue Dec 08, 2015, 02:40pm
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I can't thank you all enough for all this great advice. For tomorrow, the one thing I will concentrate on is not being afraid to make a call. Definitely had several "Deer in the headlights" moments!
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Old Tue Dec 08, 2015, 02:56pm
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To piggy-back on the other excellent advice here a few things:

1) Show up in plenty of time so you can

2) Look good (the way you're dressed -- these are "free" points you should never give away) and

3) Feel good (stretch or do whatever you need so your body isn't an issue getting to your spots).

4) Focus on one (or two, if you're an overachiever) thing to really emphasize for yourself each game, or even quarter, if you're subbing in and out.

5) If you played or know basketball, like someone earlier said, just go with it and

6) Make your calls distinct and forceful. You blew the whistle, so now you have to tell EVERYONE what's going on. There's no taking it back. (That includes speaking so your partner knows where to go next -- Remember: He/she was watching his/her PCA, and not yours.) Think of yourself as a traffic cop, not just a "judge" out there, and that will eventually frame your movements better.

7) A corollary to No. 5: Just get the call right. If your mechanic is clumsy or late or downright wrong, that's secondary Besides, if you do it confidently -- which you should -- you might look more like a veteran out there. You know, the kind who aspires to do more college (or NBA) ball, or who has watched too much TV, or just figures after XX years, the people will know what they're gesturing about.
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Old Tue Dec 08, 2015, 03:10pm
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first time

Stepping out for my first game (after one scrimmage) about all I remember is that it seemed like 1000 people in the stands, the game was very fast, and I did a great job . None of those were true. It was a girls Jr High game, with maybe 100 people attending, and though nothing terrible happened, at best I called an OK game.

Enjoy the experience.
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Old Tue Dec 08, 2015, 03:15pm
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I don't think a time will ever come when you don't make any more bad calls. But if you look good when doing it (in the right position, and use good mechanics), then you can get away with it.

It'll take time to naturally to develop those two things, but once you do things will get easier. You'll see things better, and your strong signals will back up your calls.
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Old Tue Dec 08, 2015, 03:22pm
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Chuckster: I applaud you for applying your time, effort, and energy towards helping to promote fair play and competitiveness in interscholastic athletics. I recall when I first started reffing--I was doing it like a hoops player because that is what I had been. Now, you are a bona fide Referee. It is normal to veel overwhelmed in your initial foray into live games. The forum posters here have offered you fine advice and encouragement--and indeed all of their suggestions ought be duly considered for implementation by you. I for one would advise that after your next game, simply go ask the coach or athletic director for a video of your game. Or maybe have an associate vid your game. Scrutinize yourself, laugh at yourself, and see where you can make improvements.
Videotape tells a whole different story than you might think and what other folks are saying about you. First time I saw myself on vid tape calling a game, I was like "[email protected]%& was I doing out there? why was I looking so goofy reporting a foul/violation? why was I walking away from the area where I called the foul on--and then kept on looking backwards as I was walking to make out the jersey number of said fouler? I was bumping into other players doing this action and looking all goofy; then another time I saw myself all goofy.
So, buddy, welcome to the Officiating Industry--and I wish you much success.
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Old Tue Dec 08, 2015, 03:42pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kansas Ref View Post
Chuckster: I applaud you for applying your time, effort, and energy towards helping to promote fair play and competitiveness in interscholastic athletics. I recall when I first started reffing--I was doing it like a hoops player because that is what I had been. Now, you are a bona fide Referee. It is normal to veel overwhelmed in your initial foray into live games. The forum posters here have offered you fine advice and encouragement--and indeed all of their suggestions ought be duly considered for implementation by you. I for one would advise that after your next game, simply go ask the coach or athletic director for a video of your game. Or maybe have an associate vid your game. Scrutinize yourself, laugh at yourself, and see where you can make improvements.
Videotape tells a whole different story than you might think and what other folks are saying about you. First time I saw myself on vid tape calling a game, I was like "[email protected]%& was I doing out there? why was I looking so goofy reporting a foul/violation? why was I walking away from the area where I called the foul on--and then kept on looking backwards as I was walking to make out the jersey number of said fouler? I was bumping into other players doing this action and looking all goofy; then another time I saw myself all goofy.
So, buddy, welcome to the Officiating Industry--and I wish you much success.
Oh yea...if he was discouraged just thinking about his first time on the floor a video of his effort should pick him right up.

Watching yourself is an excellent tool...real hard to argue you aren't doing something as you watch yourself doing it.
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