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Old Sat Jan 10, 2004, 06:36pm
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I'm new to this site and to officiating, so please be kind. Have been a coach (rec league for 7 years), 2 years as an A.D., & 2 years as a basketball official (rec league, 5th thru 8th grade), plus all these years as a player's parent, and now training as a high school basketball official. I have one observation & 1 question: Question: Is it proper etiquette to wear a black crew neck tee-shirt under the standard v-neck uniform shirt, or should I continue to search for a black v-neck tee-shirt? Is it OK for the tee-shirt to slightly show (at the neck) underneath the uniform shirt? Observation: Have been training heavily for several months and have a good working knowledge of the rules. Will be a cadet and take the course and test in the fall. I'm trying to get some games under my belt and did my first High School JV girls game last night. Will Rogers said something to the effect of, "If you think you're in control of your life, try giving orders to someone else's dog." Likewise, if you think you can officiate, try it. I quickly learned that all my experience meant almost nothing, it's like a completely different game depending upon your perspective. Knowledge of rules plus good mechanics should equal a good ref effort. I was terrible. As soon as I stepped onto the court, everything I knew went right out the window, especially after my first whistle when the gym went silent, waiting for my words of wisdom. I guess I don't know what I was expecting. My mentor, very experienced partner and 13 year old daughter all thought I was OK (well, my daughter has to say so, after all, I've done it for her too). My 2nd half performance was much better than my 1st half. The game was a huge blowout from the start so at least I did not affect the outcome. I had 2 very kind coaches who actually complimented me after the game (should get them into Heaven some day). My partner told me to try to focus on 1-2 aspects per game. After 10 games, hopefully I will be better in several areas. Everybody has a first game. How was yours? Please, your constructive criticism will be greatly appreciated.
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Old Sat Jan 10, 2004, 07:18pm
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First of all, welcome aboard. I think you'll find this board to be an invaluable resource. And welcome to the fraternity. Refereeing is a very challenging and very rewarding avocation.

As to your question, you may want to ask around in your local area. In my area of the country, people wear the crew neck T under the stripes. However, it may be a be a bit of a faux pas in your neck of the woods.

It sounds like your first game went about like most people's first games Your partner is correct. Pick a couple of things to work on. May I suggest you pick the ones that will make the biggest difference first? The self-improvement part never ends, so just get used to it. And, if you have already gotten a mentor, you're off to a good start.

You may feel a little awkward and sometimes clueless out there at first. That's normal. You may even have games when you'll be glad to just get through. That's normal too. But with each game you'll become more comfortable.

At some point, you'll have to give your first T. The reason I bring it up is that it can be a rather traumatizing experience for some new officials. But it's just business and don't let it ruin your game when it happens.

If both coaches had positive things to say, then you probably did okay. Having said that, don't let a coach, player, or fan be your measuring stick. But they can be something of a barometer to let you know when you're really stinking it up (and we ALL have one of those games occassionally).

Keep working hard. Solicit feedback from your partners and anybody else who is qualified to give it. Don't let negative feedback get you down. And go to a good camp this summer.
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Old Sat Jan 10, 2004, 08:21pm
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Hi Robert. Glad you found us here. As BITS said, this forum will probably be your second best resource (right behind your mentor) as you try to improve.

Your question. Fashion varies from area to area. Around here (Massachusetts), you'd be expected to have a V-neck t-shirt. You can find them pretty easily at any officiating supply website.

Honestly, I don't remember my first game, but I don't think you should feel bad about yours in any way. Even if you totally screwed it up (which you clearly didn't), new officials often have problems remembering their training in their first game. Everybody goes through it. Don't let it get you down at all.

Things to work on -- one at a time -- in your next few games. 1) Reporting to the table. Hustle to the table. STOP! Report slowly.

2) Stopping the clock properly. Straight arm. Open hand for violations. Closed fist for fouls.

3) Watching off the ball. It's very hard to make the adjustment from ball-watching fan to matchup-watching official. Start now (or soon) getting used to NOT watching the ball when it's not in your area of responsibility.

Keep checking in, ok? Good luck in your next game.
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Old Sat Jan 10, 2004, 08:52pm
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Welcome robertclasalle,

Good shirt here in my bag. I've seen guys struggle with regular sleeved V-neck T-shirts. The sleeveless never protrudes.

A59 - McDAVID hDc SLEEVELESS V-NECK SHIRT

Our Price: $16.45
http://honigs.com/browse_products.asp?Cat=1&Sub=5

My first partner was very gentle to me. I'll always think well of him for that.

mick


We never forget our first.
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Old Sat Jan 10, 2004, 08:57pm
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Robert, welcome to the forum.

One of the most imprtant things I learned in my first season was to SLOW DOWN! This now my fourth year and I still have to remind myself from time to time to slow down, relax and let the game come to me.

You are certainly correct in your observation, "I quickly learned that all my experience meant almost nothing, it's like a completely different game depending upon your perspective." Understanding that players, coaches and fans come with a decidedly biased perspective has helped me grow some thick skin over the past four years. Just call what you see, and you'll see it a lot better as you slow down.
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Old Sat Jan 10, 2004, 09:43pm
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On your \way!

Robert,

As everyone has done, I'd like to welcome you to this site. I'm a second year Ref and trust me this website and all the people that participate on it have been the single MOST important tool for me. Any question, really any, will get an answer.


As for your first game, its like that for all. I remember mine vividly and we share the same experiences. Just keep working games and you will improve and gain confidence.

Advice: Visit this site EVERYDAY, especially after your games.



Good luck!!
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Old Sat Jan 10, 2004, 10:28pm
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Glad you found us!!!

This forum will expidite your learning curve immensely.

One word of caution: not all your officiating partners are as committed to self-improvement and working a game by the approved mechanics as the participants in this forum. Hopefully, as you gain experience on the court, you will be able to quickly identify who will offer correct answers to your questions from those who will tell you what they think is right. One quick hint is.. Do they have a tattered rulebook/casebook/officials manual in their dufflebag?

SLOW DOWN is a classic and powerful first feedback!

STOP BALL-WATCHING is another one that will take time to achieve.



BTW: Black T-shirt is acceptable in my area, but check your area.
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Old Sat Jan 10, 2004, 10:45pm
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The two things that are easiest to control from the start are your whistle and your voice.Work at having a crisp and loud whistle.A huge part of our job is communication, everything we do communicates something,so use your voice.
Project and be clear and concise with what you have and what we will be doing.Not only will it make you a better partner,but it gives the appearance of confidence.


Practice your signals at home in the mirror.Have a dog-earred rule book.Another thing that helps is watch other officials work.

Good luck!
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Old Sun Jan 11, 2004, 01:07am
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A coach/principal locally that helped us call some elementary games years ago had a very good quote: "It's like I'm deer hunting. I'm aiming the gun, aiming the gun, aiming the gun, but by the time I know what I was shooting at, the deer is gone."

My translation: Don't be afraid to blow the whistle a little late. Better to be late and right than to be on time and wrong. You're thinking: "He did it....No, wait...I think..." and about that time a coach or a fan yells out the call. Even if the call you hear is correct, it tends to make you freeze. All this is just food for thought in case you run out of things to worry about.
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Old Sun Jan 11, 2004, 02:08am
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Quote:
Originally posted by just another ref
A coach/principal locally that helped us call some elementary games years ago had a very good quote: "It's like I'm deer hunting. I'm aiming the gun, aiming the gun, aiming the gun, but by the time I know what I was shooting at, the deer is gone."

My translation: Don't be afraid to blow the whistle a little late. Better to be late and right than to be on time and wrong. You're thinking: "He did it....No, wait...I think..." and about that time a coach or a fan yells out the call. Even if the call you hear is correct, it tends to make you freeze. All this is just food for thought in case you run out of things to worry about.
I agree! At first I thought I would have a harder time at basketball compared to football because in football you can really think about it and take your time about throwing the flag. I thought that in basketball I would have to think a lot faster but I came to the conclusion that you don't. Take your time you don't have to blow your whistle right away.
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Old Sun Jan 11, 2004, 10:51am
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Quote:
Originally posted by robertclasalle
I was terrible. As soon as I stepped onto the court, everything I knew went right out the window, especially after my first whistle when the gym went silent, waiting for my words of wisdom.
This was the big moment for me too, in my first scrimmage. It took, literally, two minutes for me to finally unwind enough to make a signal. Took another two months to get past that and step onto the floor again. Sounds like you did a little better than I did.

Like everyone else, I'll say welcome to the club, welcome to the board, and toss it straight (which means "Good luck").
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Old Sun Jan 11, 2004, 11:29am
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Talking

Yeah, I agree that taking your time with a call and getting it right is correct. I started back in slow-pitch softball first, and if any of you know, those calls almost have to quick to the button with no hesitation. Then I came back to doing basketball. I was pretty much quick with my calls. Was a bit frustrating, even after my mentor "preached" to me many times to take my time. Now that I've done a season of football, I find it easier to take my time to get the correct call. Coaches are less "gripy" about my whistle now. Ahhhh, the serene feeling of silence from the coaches box!
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Old Sun Jan 11, 2004, 12:33pm
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Robert,

After making my post earlier, I remembered a thread from a while ago, but it dealt with another very new official and had some good advice in it. If you're interested, click on this link: http://www.officialforum.com/thread/3284

(p.s. -- I really want the search function back )
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Old Sun Jan 11, 2004, 01:05pm
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Big Welcome Ditto's Robert--What neck of the woods are you from?

Regardign the T-shirt...just cut a little bit out of the neck...and trim the sleeves some too, black sleeves haning out from under the stripes looks bad also.
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Old Sun Jan 11, 2004, 01:20pm
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ROBERT

Great to have new officials. I did my first BB game 30 years ago. Some rules, mechanics, whistles and even shirts have changed, but most things have not changed.

Browse the rule book as often as possible. Even now, I browse it several times a week. "Know your definitions and be familiar with the rest of the book."

Be firm in your calls. "Sell" your calls with good mechanics and confidence. Take your time, don't rush it out there.

Be ready to listen to coaches. They like to vent. Try some humor with them. I have improved immensely over the years in this area. Admit you blew it if you did. They love to hear that.

Talk to other officials. Observe.

Don't rush to move up in the ranks. When I did my first varsity game, I realized that I wasn't ready. And now, even though I have done Junior High to Junior College, I still do Junior High games. I love it at that level still.

Have fun with it. You are doing your best. You are there for the kids. Ignore the idiots in the stands. There are more "expert" officials in the stands than "expert" coaches, if you can believe that.

Don't be the 'boss' out there. You are there to keep the game safe and within the rules. You are not the entertainment for fans, the kids are.

And, after 30 years, I still haven't had that "perfect" game.

Thanks for being an official!


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