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Old Tue Dec 06, 2016, 11:45am
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Removal of Spectator

While working a freshman girls basketball game, a parent confronted my partner and I on the way back to our locker room at halftime. The parent yelled in my face "why don't you come back with some glasses?", so I told the man that he needed to leave. I notified the athletic director (younger guy in his first year as an AD) and made him aware of the situation, and I was under the impression that the athletic director was clear as to who was being removed. After halftime, I came out to find that the man was still in the bleachers. After conferring with the AD about what was going on, he told me that the man simply refused to leave. I told the AD that we were not going to play until the man left, and the AD didn't really know how to handle it. At that point, I sent both teams back to their benches and notified the visiting coach that if the parent did not leave, they would be forfeiting the game and we would be done. The coach talked to the parent and it was taken care of.

Now for my question. I know that this was not the 100% correct way to handle this, and ultimately the police should probably handle somebody who refuses to leave like that. Can a more experienced official walk me through how to handle a situation like this, and if there is a forfeit procedure involved at all? Thank you.
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Old Tue Dec 06, 2016, 11:52am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spyro View Post
While working a freshman girls basketball game, a parent confronted my partner and I on the way back to our locker room at halftime. The parent yelled in my face "why don't you come back with some glasses?", so I told the man that he needed to leave. I notified the athletic director (younger guy in his first year as an AD) and made him aware of the situation, and I was under the impression that the athletic director was clear as to who was being removed. After halftime, I came out to find that the man was still in the bleachers. After conferring with the AD about what was going on, he told me that the man simply refused to leave. I told the AD that we were not going to play until the man left, and the AD didn't really know how to handle it. At that point, I sent both teams back to their benches and notified the visiting coach that if the parent did not leave, they would be forfeiting the game and we would be done. The coach talked to the parent and it was taken care of.

Now for my question. I know that this was not the 100% correct way to handle this, and ultimately the police should probably handle somebody who refuses to leave like that. Can a more experienced official walk me through how to handle a situation like this, and if there is a forfeit procedure involved at all? Thank you.
The AD needs to handle it entirely.

If you need to leave because the fan doesn't, then do so, but don't forfeit the game. Leave that decision to the powers-that-be.
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Old Tue Dec 06, 2016, 11:58am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spyro View Post
While working a freshman girls basketball game, a parent confronted my partner and I on the way back to our locker room at halftime. The parent yelled in my face "why don't you come back with some glasses?", so I told the man that he needed to leave. I notified the athletic director (younger guy in his first year as an AD) and made him aware of the situation, and I was under the impression that the athletic director was clear as to who was being removed. After halftime, I came out to find that the man was still in the bleachers. After conferring with the AD about what was going on, he told me that the man simply refused to leave. I told the AD that we were not going to play until the man left, and the AD didn't really know how to handle it. At that point, I sent both teams back to their benches and notified the visiting coach that if the parent did not leave, they would be forfeiting the game and we would be done. The coach talked to the parent and it was taken care of.

Now for my question. I know that this was not the 100% correct way to handle this, and ultimately the police should probably handle somebody who refuses to leave like that. Can a more experienced official walk me through how to handle a situation like this, and if there is a forfeit procedure involved at all? Thank you.
In a scholastic game, you never declare a forfeit for a fan refusing to leave (in the absence of an otherwise stated policy from your state), so don't threaten a coach with a forfeit for spectator behavior. Worst case scenario (meaning you've exhausted every possible option), suspend the game and let your state handle it. But again, it should never get to that point and should be a "nuclear option."

The AD should have handled this, as you noted. But, since he didn't, I don't see anything wrong with what you did in asking the visiting coach to handle it (especially in a freshman game). A freshman game may or may not have police presence, so asking the coach to deal with it and making clear the game won't resume until the clown is gone is a perfectly acceptable way to deal with it IMO. In a varsity game, there should be security and more administrators present to deal with it, and the coaches don't want to get involved in that.

After the game, the most important thing is for you to immediately let your assigner or state association (depending on the policies in your area) know the situation and that the AD did not do his job.

Last edited by SC Official; Tue Dec 06, 2016 at 12:00pm.
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Old Tue Dec 06, 2016, 12:07pm
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Advise the AD that he can get the police involved if he needs to, but that he is ultimately responsible for getting the fan out of the facility. No need to threaten the visitors, just don't start the game until it's resolved.
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Old Tue Dec 06, 2016, 01:29pm
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Thumbs up

For those of you who remember "Davisms". He told me once he had a spectator who was way out of line at a boys JV game. He went over with the AD to tell the guy to knock it off. The guy asked them what they were going to do about it if he didn't change his behavior. Dave told him, "We'll take your debit card and PIN number."
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Old Tue Dec 06, 2016, 04:17pm
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I believe that you handled it extremely well.

I disagree with the posters who have stated not to forfeit the game because of the poor spectator behavior. The rules state that the officials may assess technical fouls to either team for spectator behavior and that the R has the power to forfeit the game when conditions warrant.

And for those wondering, yes, I would have charged a team technical foul to the visiting team for this fan's unacceptable behavior.
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Old Tue Dec 06, 2016, 05:03pm
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I would just have the individual removed. No need to do more than that at that point of the contest. Be strong with the AD and tell them they need to remove the individual or we will all wait for him to be removed. Then I would report the incident to the state and let them deal with the AD for not getting rid of this individual in a timely manner. The state will deal with them better than making it about the overall contest will.

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Old Tue Dec 06, 2016, 05:07pm
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Beyond A Shadow Of A Doubt ???

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nevadaref View Post
I would have charged a team technical foul to the visiting team for this fan's unacceptable behavior.
How can one prove, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the fan was associated with the visiting team? Maybe he's a neutral fan? Maybe he's a "plant" and is actually a home team fan? Very slight chance, but it is possible.

2.8.1 SITUATION: What guidelines should be exercised by the officials when
spectators’ actions are such that they interfere with the administration of the
game? RULING: The rules book states “the official may rule fouls on either team
if its supporters act in such a way as to interfere with the proper conduct of the
game.” It is significant to note the word used is “may.” This gives permission, but
does not in any way imply that officials must call technical fouls on team followers
or supporters for unsporting acts. Thus, while officials do have the authority
to penalize a team whose spectators interfere with the proper conduct of the
game, this authority must be used with extreme caution and discretion. While the
authority is there, the official must rarely use it, because experience has demonstrated
that calling hasty technical fouls on the crowd rarely solves the problem
and may, in fact, result in penalizing the wrong team because the official may not
have proper knowledge as to which team's supporters were responsible for the
unsporting act.
COMMENT: Responsibility for the behavior of spectators is that
of home or game management. The rules book stipulates that insofar as the management
can reasonably be expected to control the spectators, it is its responsibility
to do so. Home management has the responsibility of providing a site where
the game can proceed in a sporting manner. If the conduct of spectators prohibits
the orderly continuance of a game, the officials should have a representative of
game management take whatever action is necessary. This may require the
removal of a team follower(s). This can be done without charging the supporters'
team with a technical foul. The advised procedure is for the official to notify game
management as to which follower(s) must be removed from the site. The officials
may stop the game until host management resolves the situation.
Another problem
arises when team supporters throw debris, paper, coins, ice or other items
on the floor. If the official has positive knowledge as to which supporter(s) threw
the items, the official should instruct game management to have the supporter(s)
removed from the site. As in the previous case, this can be done without charging
the supporters' team with a technical foul. If the official does not have positive
knowledge, the official should instruct game management to make a public
address announcement stating that the next time debris is thrown on the floor, it
will result in a technical foul charged to that supporters' team and will also result
in the supporter(s) being removed from the facility. If after the announcement, the
situation is not brought under control, the officials may also stop the game until
host management resolves the situation.
In most situations, after an announcement
has been made, game management is very aware of the problem and will
usually have positive knowledge as to which supporter(s) threw the items on the
floor. If the disruption is not brought under control and the contest cannot safely
continue, rather than assess several technical fouls, officials are advised to
suspend the game.
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Last edited by BillyMac; Tue Dec 06, 2016 at 05:13pm.
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Old Tue Dec 06, 2016, 05:50pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spyro View Post
Now for my question. I know that this was not the 100% correct way to handle this, and ultimately the police should probably handle somebody who refuses to leave like that. Can a more experienced official walk me through how to handle a situation like this, and if there is a forfeit procedure involved at all? Thank you.
It was 95% the correct way to handle this.

Minor changes next time... A) you don't forfeit or threaten forfeit. B) " so I told the man that he needed to leave." ... don't talk to the fan at all. Not a single word. C) have the HOME team deal with it. You don't really know who this guy was a fan of. You might be 98% sure... but you are not 100% sure. Home team is in charge of the facilities.
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Old Tue Dec 06, 2016, 05:50pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nevadaref View Post
And for those wondering, yes, I would have charged a team technical foul to the visiting team for this fan's unacceptable behavior.
Those of us who have been around weren't really wondering.
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Old Tue Dec 06, 2016, 05:52pm
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Talking

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam View Post
Those of us who have been around weren't really wondering.
LOL!!!

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Old Tue Dec 06, 2016, 10:01pm
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Quote:
I disagree with the posters who have stated not to forfeit the game because of the poor spectator behavior.
Let me see if I can be absolutely clear: YOU NEVER, EVER FORFEIT A GAME. Not for ANY reason. You SUSPEND the game and turn it over to someone else. I don't care if the rule says, "shall forfeit." Someone else can always do that later but if you screw up for whatever reason and forfeit a game that shouldn't be forfeited, it is done. On the flip side, I can't think of any reason why suspending a game (rather than declaring a forfeit) would cause trouble.

I would probably clear the stands first if there were multiple fan problems but absent that, I'm suspending the game if it is so bad we can't continue. If a team doesn't show, I'm suspending the game. If a team walks off the floor, I'm suspending the game. If there is violence directed toward an official, I'm suspending the game.
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Old Tue Dec 06, 2016, 11:18pm
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echoing what others have said for next time:
1) never talk to the fan.
2) tell the AD to handle it.
3) When AD weasels out, get home coach involved. Not really necessary to get visiting coach involved, but if you're sure was a visiting team fan (and, considering it was a freshman game, I'm sure it was pretty obvious who he was rooting for), I'm ok with getting visiting coach involved.

At this point, I'd probably just head back to the locker room and tell the coach/AD to come get you if and only if the jackass has left the building.

And, since the AD weaseled of his duties, a phone call to the assigner is in order as soon as you can get to your car; probably with at least an email to the assigner and possibly a report to the state later in the evening. These steps are mainly so that the assigner and state governing body can read the AD the riot act so this doesn't happen again in the future when a fan needs to be removed.
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Old Tue Dec 06, 2016, 11:29pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas Aggie View Post
Let me see if I can be absolutely clear: YOU NEVER, EVER FORFEIT A GAME. Not for ANY reason. You SUSPEND the game and turn it over to someone else. I don't care if the rule says, "shall forfeit." .
DO YOUR JOB. If a coach doesn't leave after second T...FORFEIT the game like the rule says. If you're afraid to make the decision you should probably find something else to do. "Turn it over to someone else" isn't what we do.

The "shall forfeit" language applies to team conduct. I've never had to do it but I can tell you if a coach would ever get a second T and refuse to leave I would tell the scorer the game is a forfeit.

Fan behavior doesn't fall under the shall forfeit language. Like others have said, I will look to AD or whomever to remove the person. If police are present and are involved I will play on. Police can forcibly remove someone. If there's no police, most underclass games, wait to resume game until person leaves. If he won't leave, you leave and write the report.

Last edited by BigCat; Tue Dec 06, 2016 at 11:38pm.
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Old Tue Dec 06, 2016, 11:56pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nevadaref View Post
I believe that you handled it extremely well.

I disagree with the posters who have stated not to forfeit the game because of the poor spectator behavior. The rules state that the officials may assess technical fouls to either team for spectator behavior and that the R has the power to forfeit the game when conditions warrant.

And for those wondering, yes, I would have charged a team technical foul to the visiting team for this fan's unacceptable behavior.
Rule says stop the game for spectator behavior and let game management deal with it. If game can't proceed then suspend. Fan behavior can be a reason to assess a T, (I've never done it or seen it) . Forfeit for fan behavior isn't a choice under rules as far as I remember.
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