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  #1 (permalink)  
Old Sat Feb 07, 2004, 06:39pm
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Glendale, AZ
Posts: 1,023
Had a coach tell me the first game I worked this afternoon was "the worst-officiated game I've seen."

Had to happen eventually, right?

As you know, I've been at this all of two weeks, and my partner had been at it for two years. I know I didn't call many fouls, and I know I punted a couple, but the guy was on us for most of the fourth quarter (his team lost by 9).

The guy came into our room and said his piece. Neither my partner nor I said anything, and he left. This was an 8th-grade girls B game.

I honestly didn't think we favored one team over another.

Did two more games after that one, with a different partner, one who had been at it for 18 years. I know an over and back I blew (ironically), but I feel like I tried my best in all three games. After the second one, the coach (the game finished tied - they can have ties after two overtimes in this league) of the visiting team said thanks and that we did a good job (and I actually felt like I had a tougher time with the second game - sixth-grade girls B - than I did with the first game) and that "I have to get on you a little bit - I'm a coach, that's what we have to do."

But he was good-natured about it and realized that it wasn't life and death. Which was a nice contrast to the first guy.

I know coaches like the first guy are out there, which is unfortunate. But I feel like a real official now!

And when I got home, my official papers from my state association and my patches were waiting in my mailbox! Finally!
"And I'm not just some fan, I've refereed football and basketball in addition to all the baseball I've umpired. I've never made a call that horrible in my life in any sport."---Greatest. Official. Ever.
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old Sat Feb 07, 2004, 07:17pm
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Posts: 87
Too bad that happened, unfortunately it does every now and then. The only thing I would worry about it that the coach came into your room. I would talk with the game admin at that site and let them know. I do not believe that coaches should be coming into change rooms to comment positively or negatively. We do not go into their changerooms and comment on their team or coaching.
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  #3 (permalink)  
Old Sat Feb 07, 2004, 07:43pm
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Location: NeverNeverLand
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Ya know coach, my partner and I were just talking about how that was the worst game we ever officiated!
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  #4 (permalink)  
Old Sat Feb 07, 2004, 10:38pm
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Posts: 14,612
DO NOT allow a coach to enter your locker room and chew your a$$. Find a cop, a security guard, a game administrator, sombody, to get his a$$ out!

And, once it's over, report him to the proper authorities, which would be your state association for a school game or your recreation association for a rec league game.
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  #5 (permalink)  
Old Sun Feb 08, 2004, 12:02am
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Location: Glendale, AZ
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It wasn't really a proper "locker room" per se. This is fifth-through-eighth grade Catholic suburban league. It was just a storage room right off the court. The teams went into slightly larger storage rooms right off the court, and we stowed our bags and jackets in the smallest one right in the middle. You'd have to see the tiny little gym to understand.

But the guy just wanted to get it off his chest - he was frustrated because his team lost and because he must be one of those guys who thinks the games should be an endless parade of free throw shooters. He thought his team got the short end of it, and if they did (besides the score), it wasn't because of anything conscious we were doing.

He spoke his piece and left, and that was the end of it. No escalation, which might have happened had he not had the opportunity to vent. I hope that he'll wake up tomorrow and feel differently, but if not, hey, that's basketball. We're out there trying our best.
"And I'm not just some fan, I've refereed football and basketball in addition to all the baseball I've umpired. I've never made a call that horrible in my life in any sport."---Greatest. Official. Ever.
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  #6 (permalink)  
Old Sun Feb 08, 2004, 12:11am
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Posts: 2,910
You have the right to not have any interaction with the coach once you reach your changing room. He was totally out of line.

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  #7 (permalink)  
Old Sun Feb 08, 2004, 02:09pm
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Location: Northern VA
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Whether it is a cubby-hole or a huge room, a coach has no business being in there. He does not have the right to walk into your space and "get if off his chest". What if he decided to do more than vent? Could be some real trouble. Simply tell him that he is not authorized to be in your changing area - and then report him.
Never argue with an idiot. He will bring you down to his level and beat you with experience.
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  #8 (permalink)  
Old Sun Feb 08, 2004, 04:37pm
Ref Ump Welsch
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I can understand not letting the coach into your "private" space after the game, but who knows if that was also his team's storage room? I work a parochial school league (5th to 8th graders, boys and girls) where I sometimes don't even have a room to get away from the coaches, fans, etc. The best I've ever gotten out of any of these schools in that league is a storage closet that opens right out into the gym, and is accessed by each coach from that school. Sometimes it's unavoidable.

Best thing to do in a situation like this is to simply ask the coach to leave so that you have time to prepare for the next game.
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  #9 (permalink)  
Old Sun Feb 08, 2004, 06:19pm
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As a fairly new official (2nd year HS) one of the things that I have worked on and learned the most about this year is about dealing with coaches. I had a couple of instances this week that reinforced my belief that effective communication with coaches is very important and that failure to handle coaching problems can lead to events and comments like, "This was the worst officiated game ever." My first couple of instances, which I thought were generally effective were during a girls' varsity/JV double. In the early varsity game an underdog team was hanging with one of the area's elite teams, and the elite team began to pull away in the 4th quarter. The coaches had been barking early, but were effectively controlled through warnings. With 2 minutes to go, a player got injured and I informed the coach when she got to the bench that he had 30 seconds to replace her, to which he replied, "I know my job, you should know how to do yours," to which I responded with a technical. After the game the coach went out of his way to approach me about the technical call, and started to make some personal comments, to which I responded by telling him that he'd better leave for his own good because his conduct would be included in my game report. He left promptly. In the JV game, V HC sat on the bench and commented with some bench personnel and I heard some griping from the players. I told JV HC to control his bench and sure enough, he didn't take my warning seriously and I called a technical on a bench player for loudly objecting to a call later in the half. The bench was very cooperative for the rest of the game.

My other instance occurred in a boys varsity game later that week. There was a decent crowd and both coaches were rather animated. One thing that I've noticed is that when coaches get animated, that tends to turn the whole atmosphere against the officials involved. While my partner and I discussed bench decorum throughout the game and issued warnings to both benches early, nobody crossed the line to earn a T. To make matters worse, it was an extremly sloppy game. However, the crowd was extremely hostile, and although after thoroughly analyzing our performance in the postgame my partner and I decided that we did a good job officiating in terms of our judgement, etc. I didn't have the perfect game (we both missed out of bounds calls, but the other official was able to provide help), but my assessment was that we did fairly well, yet some commented that it was "the worst officiated game." In hindsight, I think that the failure to put a lid on the benches led to that perception and it re-emphasized to me the need to commmunicate and TCB early with the coaches. Sorry for the long post, just wanted to get it all out.
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  #10 (permalink)  
Old Sun Feb 08, 2004, 06:48pm
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Kinda off subject but, my partner and I had a Coach visit our Dressing Room last night. He was the Varsity Home Coach...the losing Coach (by 1 pt.) This Coach was a class act. He knocked and asked if he could enter the room. Now you know us officials don't have egos or like to brag... but, this Coach went on to tell us that we had done an excellent job of officiating, and that he appreciated a job well done.

My partner was very glad to hear this, because the night before he had and ugly situation arise at the end of an overtime game he did.
I'll try to be brief...and explain it as told to me.
Said Official called an intentional flagrant foul with 5 seconds left in OT against the Visiting Team. The Visiting team was down by 5pts at the time. It was a frustration foul with the player throwing the other player down to the ground hard. After the foul, the same player "chested" up to another player and said, "I'll kick your a** too"! Said Official seperated the two players and reported the intentional flagrant foul. Visiting Coach was told of the ejection and stated that "yeah, he shouldn't have done that".
During the FT's someone must have told the Coach of the ramifications of an ejection...i.e. player to miss next game.
Visiting Coach went balistic...other official had to calm him down while said Official administered the FT's.
Game ended with said Official at the far end of the court. As said Official was running off the court, and trying to catch up with the other official, he saw something out of the corner of his eye. It was the Visiting Coach making a beeline toward him. Said Official said he stopped "out of instinct" only to hear the Visiting Coach say, "You F***ing homered us, that was B*** S***"! Said Official told him he needed to get away from him and go to the other end of the court. (Where visiting locker room was) Yes, official was still on the court.
Anyway, both officials went to their locker room with nothing else eventful happening.
Assignor wants full report and will be turning this into the State Administrators.

BTW, I told said Official the Coach was a jerk, and deserves to be punished. But, a learning experience can come out of this...Don't stop for an irate coach or fan after a game...keep on moving, and get to the locker room.
Even though this is totally the Coach's fault, maybe it could have been avoided if the Official had just ignored him. Again, I said maybe...if Official wants to nail him with a Flagrant T right there, it would be IMO justified.

Dan Ivey
Tri-City Sports Officials Asso. (TCSOA)
Member since 1989
Richland, WA
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  #11 (permalink)  
Old Sun Feb 08, 2004, 07:27pm
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The guy came into our room and said his piece. Neither my partner nor I said anything, and he left. This was an 8th-grade girls B game.

You are not only required to report him but, you have an obligation to file a report to the state. It is not to late. keep it simple, just state that the coach can it the officials room after the game and gave us a piece of his mind. This coach has done this to other officials before and he will do it again unless someone reports him.
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  #12 (permalink)  
Old Sun Feb 08, 2004, 09:14pm
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Posts: 71
There is no way you should have to tolerate a coach barging into your locker room. It is not a right of theirs to invade our privacy specifically to berate us. They get to do enough of that when they are on the court. Albeit, sometimes from a mandatory seated position...Seriously though-you have the right to be protected from that kind of nonsense.
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