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Old Mon Jan 12, 2004, 01:30pm
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Question

Was doing my junior league games yesterday (i.e. 3-4 graders). We all know that most are not the most coordinated, so my partner and I let a few (JUST A FEW) things slide. We know that, the table knows that, the coaches know that.

One example of a 'slide' would be a very slight foot shuffle. Again, not the most coordinated kids. But if they move A LOT, partner & I make those calls.

I stuck around after my games to see a friend of mine work. A parent (i guess), very tactfully (which I am very responsive to answer to), asked what I saw or didn't see. He was wondering what considerations my partner & I took in [not] calling these type of violations. I told him about their skill levels, advantage/disadvantage, etc. Otherwise, we'd be there all day with violation calls. He wondered if the kids were learning anything from our no-calls, which got me thinking also that he has a very good point. Since we ARE there to teach these kids, what should I do for these violations?
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Old Mon Jan 12, 2004, 01:46pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by Luv4Asian8
Was doing my junior league games yesterday (i.e. 3-4 graders)....

I stuck around after my games to see a friend of mine work. A parent (i guess), very tactfully (which I am very responsive to answer to), asked what I saw or didn't see. He was wondering what considerations my partner & I took in [not] calling these type of violations. I told him about their skill levels, advantage/disadvantage, etc. Otherwise, we'd be there all day with violation calls. He wondered if the kids were learning anything from our no-calls, which got me thinking also that he has a very good point. Since we ARE there to teach these kids, what should I do for these violations?
I thought it was the coach's job to teach the kids. Your job is to call the game fairly. It's the kid's job to have fun. It doesn't seem like much fun if the adults (you) are stopping the game every few seconds to call every....single....travel....

Does it? Let 'em play.
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Old Mon Jan 12, 2004, 02:01pm
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One thing to consider, too, is how much are they going to learn if you're stopping the game every time they shuffle their feet to no advantage. Dan's right, it's not our job to teach them, but at the same time....
Basketball at this level is about improvement and teaching. They aren't going to improve their basketball skills a whole lot if all their practicing is throw-ins.
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Old Mon Jan 12, 2004, 02:29pm
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One thing I have learned over the years (10 years to be exact). Nothing is "Little League" to the parents. Even though their son may only be in 3rd grade, that foul you called just kept him from a scholarship at a D1 college. That being said I agree we have to keep it fun while calling the obvious stuff. In my 10 years I have seen some of the kids go from elementary all the way thru high school. Somewhere along the way they developed just fine even though I did not call every little foot shuffle on them in 3rd grade.
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Old Tue Jan 13, 2004, 04:30pm
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Wink Keep on Truckin'!

Yes, "let 'em play" has been my philosophy throughout this lil league adventure. Realizing that we need to leave it up to the coaches to teach the kids, I'll just keep doin what I'm doing. But as the playoffs/championships draw near, maybe I can do a tighter pregame with the coaches so all would be on notice to clean up a few things.
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Old Tue Jan 13, 2004, 08:38pm
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I work a lot of the kids ball, and the advantage/disadvantage principle has been the backbone of many of my calls. If a kid walks with the ball every time he gets it, i'll call it, then explain the rule to him. 9 times out of 10, he won't do it again.
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Old Tue Jan 13, 2004, 10:13pm
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Even if you call these violations, the kids will still have no idea what they did. And the coaches probably won't explain it.
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Old Tue Jan 13, 2004, 11:53pm
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Great point Bktballref, you can call travels all day on little kids, but if the coach doesn't know what the player did (as most don't at that level) and the player doesn't know, not much is gained from that call, especially if there was no advantage gained. When the kids become more accustomed to the game and get better coaching, they'll learn how to use their feet without travelling.
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Old Wed Jan 14, 2004, 01:39am
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I think at the younger age group it is perfectly fine to call the travel and then explain what he is doing wrong, briefly, before inbounding the ball.
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Old Wed Jan 14, 2004, 09:45am
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snakeeyes,
the problem is that while you're inbounding the ball, the player guilty of traveling is (at this level) virtually always going to be headed to the other end of the court.
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Old Wed Jan 14, 2004, 10:11am
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Unfortunately, the coaches at this level do not always have teaching in mind at all times. At times, I have seen coaches who are taking things too seriously or are trying to do things too complex to stop and teach a kid why what they did is not allowed. Sadly, they may be too busy yelling at the kid or may just expect the kids to not mess up. So, yes, it can sometimes be our role to teach the young ones about good basketball if we care about the game and its future.
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Old Wed Jan 14, 2004, 11:11am
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Quote:
Originally posted by sleebo
Unfortunately, the coaches at this level do not always have teaching in mind at all times. At times, I have seen coaches who are taking things too seriously or are trying to do things too complex to stop and teach a kid why what they did is not allowed. Sadly, they may be too busy yelling at the kid or may just expect the kids to not mess up. So, yes, it can sometimes be our role to teach the young ones about good basketball if we care about the game and its future.
Sleebo, I agree that at the younger levels the coaching is not always the best. But I disagree that the officials have to step in to teach/coach. It's really not what we're there to do - bad coaching should be addressed by the league directors and parents off the court. I also disagree that the future of good basketball is at stake if these calls at this level are not made & explained by the officials.
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