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Old Thu Dec 04, 2003, 02:05pm
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Unhappy

Last night I (novice) had my first ever "official" game (aside from the recball over the summer). It was a Boys JV Pre-season game. Finesse team (away) v. Streetballer team (home). Pretty much a blowout with the finesse on top throughout.

Anyway, the entire first half, my partner (senior ref) called all the fouls. I didn't have one! Partner stayed in his area too. Since we switched as mechanically correct, fouls were pretty balanced for both teams. I honestly did not see any adv/disadv or any kind of fouls in my area, whether L or T. After talking it over with partner at halftime, I only called about 5 fouls total for both teams during the second half. That's all I saw; can't call what I don't see, right? Home coach was riding me the entire game because he thought it was lopsided that only one ref was calling fouls.

After the game, I immediately called my Assignor/Evaluator/Mentor/etc. to describe what happened, how overall the game went well, but the calls seemed slanted. She told me next time to note how many calls partner is making, and should match up after it begins to appear that it is becoming "lopsided." She also told me to start moving a lil more to get better positioning (which i thought was doing okay, but maybe will work on a bit more).

Any mental notes I should take away from this game desc.? Since I'm still "inside" the game, was wondering if anyone had any advice from the "outside looking in" to help this novice ref...

Thanks
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Old Thu Dec 04, 2003, 02:17pm
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In a 2 man game it's real obvious who's grabbing fouls. Somehow the crew has to get on the same page. You should have found something to call. Your partner should have held a few whistles. Being the experienced guy your partner might have said something before the half to get you more involved, and he might have adjusted his own trigger to get in sync with yours.
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Old Thu Dec 04, 2003, 02:34pm
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I hate the two man games where you are in the spotlight. I had a game last year where I made the first 5 or 6 calls. I felt that pressure which is opposite what you had. I think I'd rather be in your shoes a little in this case.

I dont know....maybe find something but I would suggest...in my limited experience admittedly...that your foul judgement is your foul judgement. Over time it will improve more so in the What not to call department anyway. Tell Mr. Helper / Howler Monkey that you hear him and when you have something you'll get it but it's been ok in your primary so far and we have been rotating. Then puke on his pants and stare at his shoes.....or was it stare at his shoes and puke on his pants?!?

Anyway...My opinion...I'm not changing my game / style just to "even up". I know I'll get my share eventually and I dont ticky tack unless I really need to put the brakes on.

Assorted Old Guys....what do you think?
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Old Thu Dec 04, 2003, 03:20pm
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I had a similar situation several years ago. I was a second or third year official, calling a game with one of the highly respected veterans in the area. To make matters worse, one of the coaches was my old HS coach several years before.

All during the first half, it seemed like everything happened in my partner's area, fouls, traveling, out of bounds, etc... I think I had maybe two whistles in the entire first half.

During halftime, I mentioned this to my partner and he asked if I thought that I was out of position or was there anything that I thought I should have called but didn't. This got to thinking back through the half and realizing that basically, nothing happened in my area worth blowing the whistle for.

Sometimes, it just going to happen that one official in a 2-person game gets the majority of the whistles. Just keep doing the right things and working hard.
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Old Thu Dec 04, 2003, 03:46pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dan_ref

You should have found something to call. Your partner should have held a few whistles.
I disagree with this. Where I can see trying to motivate a novice official to blow their whistle at halftime, if they sincerely don't see any fouls, then they should not manufacture anything simply to even out the calls. I also don't think it's my duty as the more senior official on the court to hold back whistles just because my partner might be whistle-shy. I don't think it's right to have the officials affect the game because they need to be more even. On the other hand, I do think it's ok to allow the game to affect the officiating, say in a blowout.

The other day I worked with a partner who was working his first game ever. I could sense early on that he was pretty overwhelmed and was hesitant to blow the whistle. I ended up calling a lot of stuff in his area once I knew he was not going to call it because it was blatant and throughout the game I probably called 80% of the fouls. Being the senior official on the court and realizing that my partner was a little shell-shocked, my first priority was to maintain control of the game, not worry about how many whistles I was blowing compared to him.

Every situation is different, though, based on the players and coaches. I didn't have any coaches complaining about the calls.
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Old Thu Dec 04, 2003, 03:51pm
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Sometimes that's just the way it is, and sometimes you need a kick in the pants. An example of each.

Two seasons ago, I worked a 2-whistle HS girls game with a good partner. For a stretch of probably 8 or 9 minutes in the second half, every foul I called was against the home team. Every foul my partner called was against the visitors. Guess who got booed for most of the second half? But that's just the way it was. The calls that were in front of me were those calls. Oh well.

First game this season, 3-whistle college game. I called the first 4 fouls of the second half and 6 of the first 8. We finally got a TO and I went to my partner and told him simply, "Man, I've had 6 of these fouls." A little light went on and he said, "Really?" He just hadn't been paying attention. We were a more balanced crew after that.

Only you know which situation it was. Either way, you learn from it, move on and get better.
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Old Thu Dec 04, 2003, 04:02pm
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Question Makes you wonder

This might be a little presumptuous coming from a coach, but here goes. Not to cast any stones at you or your partner, but isn't it just a little bit possible the he was going out of his way (either consciously or subconsciously) to call it extra tight because you are a novice. My guess is there was at least as much of that going on as there was you not seeing decisive/actionable fouls occuring. As a novice, I would think your natural reaction would be to hold your whistle unless you were totally sure of your call, and by then the action has moved on (maybe a little bit of "deer in the headlights" reaction to first real game). Conversely, I can imagine some partners feeling they have to keep an even keener eye out than normal to keep the game under control. I would suggest you talk to other people who have worked with this guy before, and explain your quandry to them and ask for advice. Maybe even try to get some feel for how the total number of fouls called in your game compares to 1) other games your partner has worked, and 2) other games by these teams 3) the experiences of other officials who have worked with him. If the total for the game seems right, and partner has not seemed to be working games with a lot of fouls called, then he was probably trying to "balance" for you. If his games tend to have a lot of fouls called and his other partners say he calls a tight game, then you probably missed some.

As far as a coach getting on you because you eren't calling many, that's why they call us "Howler Monkeys". Since the overall foul count seems that have been about equal, if you called more, some of them would have been on his team, so he'd still be complaining. Complaining coaches are best ignored, except when you do your post game and try to see if there might have been some merit in the complaints. That appears to be what you did. That's the right way to handle it.

In any case, listen to all the advice you can get, both here and from other officials that you come across. Adopt what works for you as you learn from the others. If you've read this board often, you will know that not everybody agrees on everything (maybe on anything ?), but I know that I would welcome into our league any official who is a regular here.
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Old Thu Dec 04, 2003, 04:09pm
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Re: Makes you wonder

Quote:
Originally posted by CYO Butch
As a novice, I would think your natural reaction would be to hold your whistle unless you were totally sure of your call,
You make that sound like a bad thing. . .
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Old Thu Dec 04, 2003, 04:10pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by Luv4Asian8
I honestly did not see any adv/disadv or any kind of fouls in my area, whether L or T.
The princples of advantage/disadvantage work quite well when the entire crew is of the same mindset.

Even though the finesse team played through the contact of the streetballer team, perhaps some contact may have been called.

Experience teaches us. Good luck with this game.

mick
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Old Thu Dec 04, 2003, 04:21pm
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Re: Re: Makes you wonder

Quote:
Originally posted by ChuckElias
Quote:
Originally posted by CYO Butch
As a novice, I would think your natural reaction would be to hold your whistle unless you were totally sure of your call,
You make that sound like a bad thing. . .
Ouch, that hurts. Of course it's not a bad thing. Maybe only a rare thing? Isn't that where "selling it" comes into play ?. . .



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Old Thu Dec 04, 2003, 06:23pm
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Have some patience

I just started working games a few years ago, and I know exactly what you were going through. Don't panick and think that you need to start calling more fouls. As you become more comfortable (porbably within a few games) you will learn to see things developing and will be able to see more things to call. I know I had a slow whistle when I started and it just took me a couple games to start seeing things making a comparable number of fouls to my partner. Just keep on calling your game.
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Old Thu Dec 04, 2003, 06:27pm
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From another newbie's perspective...

I feel your pain, I really do! I can also share two examples and things I've learned from them.

First was at a camp this summer. Two whistle game. I was really inexperienced and my partner was very quick on the whistle. My partner was making all of the foul calls, and I was getting frustrated at my own inability to get into the game. The evaluator (a very good college ref and assigner for a nearby conference), pulled me aside and suggested that I needed to be more aggressive. That there was stuff to be called in my area and that I needed to "go get it." Now, at the beginning of a game, I often find myself thinking that I need to get the first one to get me into the game. Different mindset, different results. Sometimes there is just nothing in your area to call, sure. But more often, I think, you need to develop a mindset that there's stuff there and you need to "go get it." (subject to all the usual provisos about game flow, advantage/disadvantage, etc.)

Second, and I'm still smarting from this one Last night, second ever "official" high school game. Working with a veteran varsity official. I was doing VERY badly. Call 911, evacutate the building, I'm stinkin' it up bad! Fighting off a cold, little sleep the night before, recipe for slow thinking and lousy reaction time. It seems on every call or no call the coach is yelling about something that I just wasn't seeing. Ugh! Partner and I talked at the half, and he encouraged me to dig down and do better. Did my best; second half sucked less. After the game he told me that he adjusted his game in the second half to more match mine. Say what you will about whether he did right or wrong, the result was that things went more smoothly and it took a lot of the heat off of me, which translated into more self-confidence, which led to a better second half for me.

My conclusions? A, get more aggressive and make sure you have a mindset that includes going and getting what's in your area. B, be actively looking to get your first one, after that it usually gets easier. C, a strong partner can sometimes really help a struggling partner without letting the game get away from them. D, time and experience will help you get more of the stuff you're missing. Ask your partner what you're missing. Focus on catching some of it. After the game, consider what coaches may have complained about. Next game, look for those things. I'm convinced that experienced officials may watch the whole play, but they're focused on looking for the specific things they know can happen. That kind of "mental filter" can turn a rapid blur of activity into something you can actually see and process.

Two other suggestions I've found helpful. When I'm working with a "quick whistle" kind of partner and I'm struggling, I'll ask him to hold his whistle just a bit on stuff where we've got dual coverage and give me a shot at it. If you consider that to be rookie thinking, sobeit, I'm a rookie Second, when you've got a double whistle and one partner is getting most of the calls, that partner needs to give it to his partner. It really helps make it look more even, more like you're on the same page.
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Old Fri Dec 05, 2003, 01:31am
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Quote:
Originally posted by Back In The Saddle
This message is a natural product made from 100% recycled pixels. Variations and inconsistencies in grammar and spelling enhance its individual charm and beauty and this message should not be considered defective or flawed. Apocryphal elements, errors in tact or accuracy which may have occurred during the process of transmission are a result of this natural process and are not the fault of the sender.
Very, very nice...
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Old Fri Dec 05, 2003, 02:18am
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I too worked with a rookie in his first two nights so I kind of know your pain. We called two Jh(7,8) games the first night and three(7,8,9) the next week. The games were interesting but watching his weariness about blowing a whistle or even makeing a good signal when his whistle did blow was a bit to handle. I know as a veteran, I get comfotible working with a partner who knows what he is doing and will call a the game acording to the manual without much pregame. Working with a rookie, we know we have to get what is in our area because things are going on in your area that we will need to deal with if you are not making calls. Don't get in a panic. Stick around and learn. Learn what to call and what not to. Get used to the view you get as an official. Then see the play and make the calls according to what is there. You may have actully got yourself in a situation where all the calls were in your partner's area. If that is true great. Deal with it and go on. Good luck and see you down the road.
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