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Old Sat Jan 12, 2019, 12:31am
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Halfway Through A 2-Person Varsity Season, and...

Had a physical, man-to-man varsity boys game on a 94-ft floor this evening. There were two of us. With a shot clock.

Ugh.

So my last four seasons have been 3-person. And in those places, officials get the angles, and get the early off-ball holds and pushes in the post, etc. Coaches donít complain. Players adjust. Freedom of movement improves. The game ďslows downĒ and is enjoyable to work.

This year, Iím finding that Iím still wired to get the post play garbage. Yeah, itís harder and I canít see it all, but Iím moving to improve and calling what I can. Iím also finding, frustratingly, that few of my partners have this mentality. They seem to be interested only in the stuff you can see from the eighth row. You call a common foul off-ball around here and your partner rolls his eyes while the affected coach questions what he sees as a phantom call as though youíd pierced his soul. On top of that, the players, since they are not used to the scrutiny, donít adjust well.

I spent many years going to camps and working on my 3-p skills to slow the game down for myself. Suddenly itís at warp speed again. And the only way to slow it down, as my partner from tonight suggested, is to focus on violations, just get the hard fouls, and sort of ďofficiate in a state of zen.Ē

I considered taking a year off because Iím only here for a year and I hate 2-p. Some of you may have remembered me considering this. But in the end I didnít want to miss a whole year of seeing plays. The game evolves without you; itís tougher to jump back in after time off. Plus I like getting out of the house and I relish challenges. So here I am. But gosh is it frustrating.

Iím not going to lie and say I had my best game tonight. Frankly it sucked. I had a questionable and meaningless block call in the first half and (gulp) a BI (CI) that I called from the L in transition (I was right there even with the basket, older partner was 47 feet away...got caught up overthinking it and made an impatiently crap call). But would either of these things (and a few others) have occurred if I knew that two sets of eyes had my back instead of one? I honestly donít think so.

The worst part was the post-game. Discretion being the better part of valor, I bit my tongue while my partner provided ďpointersĒ about ďimproving as an official.Ē It was internally humiliating; here I am a 10-year official being schooled as though a 3rd. Some of the points were perfectly valid (see aforementioned concession about sucky game above), but through it all, Iím thinking to myself, ďIím not the one with the dated Ďlet them play through ití philosophy here.Ē We just couldnít seem to get on the same page. It showed. Iím struggling with the reversion to swallowing my whistle like we all used to before the freedom of movement revolution. Part of me knows I have to adapt to Rome, but the other part of me doesnít want to develop lax habits that I carry into future seasons. Itís a conundrum.

Did I mention how much I hate 2-person? And what it does to the game in a given area where itís employed?


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Last edited by crosscountry55; Sat Jan 12, 2019 at 12:34am.
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Old Sat Jan 12, 2019, 01:55am
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Out of curiosity, where will you be next year? Hopefully you will go to a place where 3-person is prevalent, if not the default mode for varsity.

Re:2-person varsity, I feel your pain. 2-person JV is sometimes a pain in the ass if you have good teams that can move up and down the court and play physical. I appreciate the few 3-person varsity (and other 3-person) games that I have gotten even more, because I have the freedom to make off-ball calls and improve the crew's positioning by moving ballside. I move ballside in 2-person as well, but it's uncommon, even though Referee publications and the IAABO manual show how to go ballside and encourage its use. I try to cope with 2-person games by working them as the C and L would work a 3-person game, and thus transition more easily to the 3-person opportunities I have.
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Old Sat Jan 12, 2019, 06:21am
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I’m going to have to disagree. I enjoy 2-man officiating a great deal more than 3 because of that physical challenge that it is and the game management skills which are necessary with both the players and coaches. Also, there are times when you simply must make an educated guess. A call or decision is absolutes necessary and you didn’t have the ideal look, but there is no way that your partner can help. This is where experience and the art of officiating have a place as opposed to it being broken down to a science of NCC, CC, and IC.
And don’t tell me about backward areas or low-skill level of play. I work numerous games in CA which uses 2-man (in most of the state) with a shot clock.
I also don’t care for whistle-happy, robot officials. You can achieve freedom of movement and game flow with a few well-placed whistles. You don’t need to have 3 of the 5 starters on the bench with two minutes left in the first quarter and both teams in the automatic bonus before halftime. Over-called games aren’t enjoyable to me.
It also seems that your partner has part of his philosophy backwards. I would suggest to focus on judging the contact situations and getting the hard fouls while letting some of the violations and little stuff off-ball go. Traveling is insignificant compared to a kid getting his front teeth knocked out.
Finally, the level of physical play allowed in the game moves through cycles. I believe that a correction to the hands off and freedom of movement emphases of a few years ago is taking place now.

A cursory look at the NBA over the last 30 years shows some trends. Recall back when the league office decided that the game was too physical in the 90s and made an effort to clean up the rough play in the lane and the banging by the big guys? Now it seems to me that the emphasis on 3pt shooting and transition scoring has spread out the players and lessened the contact because all five guys need to be able to run, jump, pass, and shoot. There isn’t a spot on the floor for a wide-bodied banger who doesn’t move well or shoot particularly well.
So what are officials focusing on now? It’s not post play. It’s back to the basics of protecting jump-shooters and ballhandlers, while rebounding is quite physical.

Last edited by Nevadaref; Sat Jan 12, 2019 at 06:29am.
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Old Sat Jan 12, 2019, 10:30am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nevadaref View Post
Iím going to have to disagree. I enjoy 2-man officiating a great deal more than 3 because of that physical challenge that it is and the game management skills which are necessary with both the players and coaches. Also, there are times when you simply must make an educated guess. A call or decision is absolutes necessary and you didnít have the ideal look, but there is no way that your partner can help. This is where experience and the art of officiating have a place as opposed to it being broken down to a science of NCC, CC, and IC.
And donít tell me about backward areas or low-skill level of play. I work numerous games in CA which uses 2-man (in most of the state) with a shot clock.
I also donít care for whistle-happy, robot officials. You can achieve freedom of movement and game flow with a few well-placed whistles. You donít need to have 3 of the 5 starters on the bench with two minutes left in the first quarter and both teams in the automatic bonus before halftime. Over-called games arenít enjoyable to me.
It also seems that your partner has part of his philosophy backwards. I would suggest to focus on judging the contact situations and getting the hard fouls while letting some of the violations and little stuff off-ball go. Traveling is insignificant compared to a kid getting his front teeth knocked out.
Finally, the level of physical play allowed in the game moves through cycles. I believe that a correction to the hands off and freedom of movement emphases of a few years ago is taking place now.
I mostly agree with this. I'm only in year 2 of my basketball refereeing career, so I've worked exclusively 2-man. I enjoy the running and active role that I feel I play, but one thing I do struggle with is catching all the off-the-ball stuff (illegal screens, grabs/holds). This leads to inconsistent calling of games, which can lead to grumpy coaches/players. I think the solution of those that the OP is working with is to not call anything off the ball. However, if I want to show my worth as an official and "graduate" to higher level games, I feel like I SHOULD be calling those off the ball things. Unfortunately, if we combine my inability to get all the off-the-ball stuff with a partner that is not interested in getting those calls, it can lead to issues.
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Old Sat Jan 12, 2019, 10:43am
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Bone Spur, New Life As A Subvarsity Official ...

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Originally Posted by crosscountry55 View Post
... older partner was 47 feet away ...
Sounds like me but wasn't me.

I had a girls junior varsity game last night.

And give me enough time and I'll get past the division line.
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Last edited by BillyMac; Sat Jan 12, 2019 at 11:15am.
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Old Sat Jan 12, 2019, 10:47am
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Challenge ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nevadaref View Post
I enjoy 2-man officiating a great deal more than 3 because of that physical challenge that it is and the game management skills which are necessary with both the players and coaches.
While on one level I believe that three person is better for the game, I personally agree with Nevadaref.

But who knows, maybe if I worked more three person I could come to discover its own unique challenges and enjoy it?
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Last edited by BillyMac; Sat Jan 12, 2019 at 11:25am.
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Old Sat Jan 12, 2019, 11:23am
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Halfway Through A 2-Person Varsity Season, and...

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Originally Posted by Paintguru View Post
Unfortunately, if we combine my inability to get all the off-the-ball stuff with a partner that is not interested in getting those calls, it can lead to issues.

Bingo. That was my night in a nutshell last evening. I struggled to adjust to my partner. I make no excuses for that; should have done a better job of it. He didnít help things, however, when he would insert a marginal illegal screen away from the play or a phantom travel right in front of the bench. That didnít help me ďcome back to my partnerĒ in search of consistency.

Not surprisingly...the game had issues.



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Old Sat Jan 12, 2019, 09:30pm
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Originally Posted by crosscountry55 View Post
Bingo. That was my night in a nutshell last evening. I struggled to adjust to my partner. I make no excuses for that; should have done a better job of it. He didnít help things, however, when he would insert a marginal illegal screen away from the play or a phantom travel right in front of the bench. That didnít help me ďcome back to my partnerĒ in search of consistency.

Not surprisingly...the game had issues.
You just have to deal with that. Unless you are the assignor or evaluator, you have no control over who your partner is or what he calls, so donít fret about it and just call your game. I quit trying to match my partner several years ago and believe that I am a better official for it.
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Old Sun Jan 13, 2019, 07:19am
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Unilaterally Inconsistent ...

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Originally Posted by Nevadaref View Post
I quit trying to match my partner several years ago and believe that I am a better official for it.
I still try to be consistent with my partner, but some partners are so unilaterally inconsistent, it's impossible for their partners to mirror them.
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Old Sun Jan 13, 2019, 08:14am
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I hate 2-man. There's nothing great about it, there's nothing nostalgic about it and there's nothing about it that makes me a better official. Additionally, if there's a two-man game that usually means it's a crappy game around here. Any official who works hard will work just as hard in three man as they do in 2-man and be just as tired at the end of the game And working two man doesn't make anybody any less whistle happy. Just means more off ball and dirty plays are being missed.

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Last edited by Raymond; Sun Jan 13, 2019 at 08:18am.
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Old Sun Jan 13, 2019, 10:22am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raymond View Post
I hate 2-man. There's nothing great about it, there's nothing nostalgic about it and there's nothing about it that makes me a better official. Additionally, if there's a two-man game that usually means it's a crappy game around here. Any official who works hard will work just as hard in three man as they do in 2-man and be just as tired at the end of the game And working two man doesn't make anybody any less whistle happy. Just means more off ball and dirty plays are being missed.
Agreed. I cannot stand 2-person and if I had to do it for real games on a regular, I would just do college or quit.

Peace
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Old Sun Jan 13, 2019, 10:33am
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2man is a challenge. At least in 3-man if you have a partner or two that are just there, you can survive it mostly.

With a bad partner in two man, it feels like a dueling session.
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Old Sun Jan 13, 2019, 01:21pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SNIPERBBB View Post
2man is a challenge. At least in 3-man if you have a partner or two that are just there, you can survive it mostly.

With a bad partner in two man, it feels like a dueling session.


Yup. Everyone in the gym can identify the distinction between a pair of officials who arenít on the same sheet of music. When thereís three out there, chances are at least two are fairly aligned, which may take the pressure off the third guy who may not be (rookie, off night, doesnít do 3-p often, just plain sucks, etc.).


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Old Sun Jan 13, 2019, 01:31pm
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Metaphor Sunday ...

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Originally Posted by crosscountry55 View Post
Halfway Through A 2-Person Varsity Season
Be patient, like a roll of toilet paper, the end of the roll goes a lot faster than the beginning of the roll.
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Last edited by BillyMac; Sun Jan 13, 2019 at 02:18pm.
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Old Sun Jan 13, 2019, 03:25pm
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Originally Posted by Raymond View Post
I hate 2-man. There's nothing great about it, there's nothing nostalgic about it and there's nothing about it that makes me a better official. Additionally, if there's a two-man game that usually means it's a crappy game around here. Any official who works hard will work just as hard in three man as they do in 2-man and be just as tired at the end of the game And working two man doesn't make anybody any less whistle happy. Just means more off ball and dirty plays are being missed.
Agree 100%. Itís the absolute worse. Fortunately Iím at a place in my career where I can avoid them in HS (sub-varsity only in FL). Iíll take them in youth rec only because the game is slower and generally a lot less at stake. There was a point about 8 years ago (crappy economic environment for school board) where they were considering reverting back to two man to save money. I was prepared to hang up the whistle. Fortunately it never came to pass.
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