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  #16 (permalink)  
Old Sat Nov 20, 2004, 01:22am
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Clark,

I loved reading your "rant." Sounds like you did great. You should congratulate yourself for seeing that time-out. I've seen second year officials who have a coach absolutely screaming at them for a time-out and they still don't notice.

Keep it up. It'll only get more fun (and addicting) as you move along.

Don't worry about the ref who showed up late. Most refs are great people, but there are always a few buttonheads.

Thanks,

Z
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  #17 (permalink)  
Old Sat Nov 20, 2004, 05:12am
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Clark welcome! It was exciting and refreshing to see the passion and fire from a "newbie's" eyes and heart. Pls post any questions you might have... everyone here loves seeing your type of passion and will do anything to help!

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  #18 (permalink)  
Old Sat Nov 20, 2004, 05:31am
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Quote:
Originally posted by dhodges007
Clark welcome! It was exciting and refreshing to see the passion and fire from a "newbie's" eyes and heart. Pls post any questions you might have... everyone here loves seeing your type of passion and will do anything to help!

Ditto that, it's great to see the passion and the excitement. Your mind is definitely in the right place when it comes to officiating and wanting to work hard for the kids and have fun with your partners, and I'm sure you'll improve quickly with the dedication you have shown.

Regarding the "late guy" it's good to see that you are able to recognize the good officials who you saw and the bad official. Not all partners will be great partners and many might not share your passion and enthusiasm for the game (i.e. lazy guys), so it's good you're not discouraged by him. When you have a partner like that, just TCB and get out, and don't let that negative experience impact you. Good job and welcome.
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  #19 (permalink)  
Old Sat Nov 20, 2004, 12:13pm
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Thanks for everyone's support and comments. I had a blast last night.

My next scrimmage is today at 1-3 PST at a real good local HS with a very good program so I expect even the freshman games to be a bit more clean and skilled than last night. But who knows.

I was surprised at the speed of the freshman game. It was faster than I thought it would be. No where near too fast of course, but it surprised me. I thought "I dont remember us running and pressing like this when I was a freshman."

So today in additon to calling and watching in my area I am focusing on getting my arm with signal (hand or fist) up quickly and also trying to get some game awareness--time on clock, subs, coach, etc.

Clark
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  #20 (permalink)  
Old Sat Nov 20, 2004, 01:57pm
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You will run into a few idiots along the way, but keep in mind you can learn from EVERY official.

The good officials can show you the little things that help you get better.

The poor officials show you what does not work; what will retard your growth.

It's a lot more fun to be around and work with the good ones, but get something positive from the bad ones when you run across them.
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  #21 (permalink)  
Old Sun Nov 21, 2004, 03:30pm
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Way to go, totalnewbie!

Keep the cowboy in the back of your head. When you're having a bad day and a hard game and start to think that it just isn't worth it (and we all have those games occassionally), remember the cowboy. Tell yourself the game deserves better than that toad and get back to work
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  #22 (permalink)  
Old Mon Nov 22, 2004, 02:39am
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My second scrimmage (on saturday) was an improvement. I felt I picked up where I left off. My "field of vision" wasnt great, but it was where it was by the end of the first scrimmage.

I got lucky and got a real good crew of guys for this scrimmage and a senior observer who was real dialed in to what newbies need. He was real encouraging and super cool. We had 6 newbies so he platooned us in groups of two and rotated a new person in every 5 minutes. It was the same as yesterday, 4 10 minute quarters with a running clock. Then he talked with the guy he rotated out and said what he saw and what to work on.

I got lucky in that I worked the varsity game (we did 2 man because of the number of newbies, basically all newbies--6 did the varsity game and 6 did the freshman vs. JV game).

The varsity game was, to me, way easier to call than that freshman game. The freshman game was barely controlled chaos with players that werent in good position and hands where everywhere. The varsity game the skill level was way better, the defense was better, the position was better, it was way easier to see the contact for me. Does everyone else see it that way, or am I just being a newbie and not seeing the important stuff in the frosh games?

I blew the hell out of a call, but I got past it. I didnt dwell on it. I cant believe I did this. I called a foul on what appeared to be a shot attempt. But I got so fixated on persons and numbers that I frankly had no clue if he shot or passed. I looked to my partner for help, but I should hve that. He gave me 2 fingers, so I went and reported a shooting fowl, shooting 2. The blank look I got at the bench and from the players pretty much told me I tanked it. But I just kept on going. "white 32 on the arm, shooting 2" and went and took trail. It wasnt fair to look to my buddy, all he was doing was looking at me (he was another newbie) It wasnt cool of me to have him make the call for me on shooting or not. If I didnt see it I should have just called it on the floor. But my partner was cool. He spotted that I was in a jam, he made something up and I went with it. But when we were both of the floor he told me he didnt know what I needed from him. I think we both learned something. But it was my mistake that started it.

And I wasnt always getting my fist/hand up right with my whistle. But I would realize that and get it up a second later. I still find I go too fast when I am moving. I need to slow it down a notch and make sure I look slow on the court--relaxed and in control.

I got some nice words from the senior guy who was there reviewing us. He said I had a strong whistle and made quality calls. He pulled me aside and said he liked that, that most new guys call the silly stuff and let the big stuff slide. He said I saw the calls that needed to be made and got them in my area. Frankly, I think I was just luky that a few clear calls happened in my area.

I also felt good about how I communicated with my partner ("we got two shots, Dave") and getting to the table to report. I blew a travel call right in front of me. I whistled to end a quarter and signaled no shot (it was obvious) when I was lead and should have left that to my partner (I did it instinctively, the shot was under the basket and I had the look at it, but it still isnt my call, but I whistled it anyway cause my brain and my mouth arent totally working together yet ).

The supervisor asked me how I felt. I said I loved it. He said "I think you are ready to work one for real." That made me feel good. I know he doesnt mean I did everything right, I certainly didnt. I cant see doing stuff right even 90% of the time until I get a whole slew of games under my belt. I think I am going to volunteer for some weekend rec games just to get more time blowing the whistle. But it was nice to hear that, with a solid partner, he would feel comfortable putting me out there live (of course he could be saying that just to build me up and help me out, but I prefer to believe that he really means it )

He told me the two things he wanted me two work on where the things I noticed too: arm up with the whistle and slow it down a step. So those will be my next two things.

We have a meeting tomorrow and I think we will be able to sign up for more scrimmages before the games start for real.

Our assigner has a policy that guys who work scrimmages get first shots at real games so I want as many scrimmages as I can get--both to improve and to get some real games.

As a trial lawyer, I train our younger attorneys. There is no true substitute for trying cases. We can do mock cases all we want but until the bullets are flying and it counts for real, the experience isnt the same. It seems to be the same with officiating (and many other things in life). I cant wait to call some real games.

Another cool thing we did in the scrimmage was situational scrimmaging. They would put 10 seconds on the clock with one team down by 2, send a guy to the line for 1&1 and then play out the end of the game. Then they did some 4 seconds left end of game plays with throw ins and length of court stuff and quick time out or quick foul stuff. I am really glad I got to be in for soem of that. Awareness seems crucial. Knowing to expect a quick timeout so you can blow the whistle. Know to look for the long pass and crazy out of bounds situations. That was really useful.

Clark
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  #23 (permalink)  
Old Mon Nov 22, 2004, 02:47am
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blindzebra-

you're right. i did learn from cowboy. what i learned is that 90% of the guys i have met officiating (and girls) are super cool and everyone works together and no one ball hogs. but no need to be a dick back to him. just do my job. maybe talk to him at half time (had this been a real game). but i also saw how the senior guys looked at this guy. they said he was a spaz and was reaching way into other people's areas and trying to dominate the game. the senior guys were really talking about it.

contrast that to this younger guy who had just moved from california. he only had 3 years experience but he was sharp. even a total new guy like me could see it. and all the senior guys who were talking about cowboy were also talking about this guy--how sharp he was, how good he looked, how well he communicated. all the senior guys were pointing to him as an example. they told me something interresting, they said "see that guy. his mechanics are awesome. that is why mechanics are so important, because fans and coaches might not recognize sloppy mechanics, but good mechanics impress even non-officials (and he was right, because even a new guy like me was saying "wow this dude is in control of this game")" and then they said "he could be a real average official as far as the calls he makes, but his mechanics make him a real good one." they then went on to explain that the kid also made real good calls ("quality calls" as they called it).

so i noticed two things: 1. the senior guys definately are watching, and 2. i'd rather be talked about as a guy who is sharp than like cowboy who was a spaz and was reaching.

and to the credit of the senior guys, I saw the most senior guy go to cowboy and be real cool to him. they said "slow it down a bit, you are trying a bit too hard, you can call the game, just relax a bit and trust your partners (it was 3 man) to make their calls."

so they didnt just knife him in the back, they actually went to him and tried to help him.

clark
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  #24 (permalink)  
Old Mon Nov 22, 2004, 07:07am
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Clark,
I know that the SNOA is happy to have you. Glad you had such a good time this weekend on the court. When the real games start it is even more fun, if you can believe that. You have some excellent officials down there, if you watch them and ask questions you will improve very quickly.
We had our meeting today and got our first schedules. I have my first game this coming Saturday.

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  #25 (permalink)  
Old Mon Nov 22, 2004, 09:11am
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Quote:
Originally posted by totalnewbie

The varsity game was, to me, way easier to call than that freshman game. The freshman game was barely controlled chaos with players that werent in good position and hands where everywhere. The varsity game the skill level was way better, the defense was better, the position was better, it was way easier to see the contact for me. Does everyone else see it that way, or am I just being a newbie and not seeing the important stuff in the frosh games?
Shhh, don't tell our secret. Where I live, my partner and I usually show up about 60-75 minutes early for our varsity game. We sit and watch the JV game until the end of the third quarter, when we head in to dress. Many times I am grateful that my game will be a lot easier to call.

--Rich
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  #26 (permalink)  
Old Mon Nov 22, 2004, 10:15am
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Clark: Welcome to the world of officiating. I have been doing this for about 10 years and I can clearly remember my first scrimmage and how "scared" I was. We need people like you that have an enthusiam for the game. You seem to be someone that is willing to listen/learn and that is important. You will always find a spaz or 2, maybe even 3 or 4, but these individuals will generally not go very far because they don't want to learn and nobody wants to work with them.

I had my first scrimmage of the year this past Saturday. FG girls on 1 court and JVG on another running at the same time. Had VG after these 2 were over. We had 7 officials there and we just rotated in as needed. One of the guys had never worked 3-person and it was a definite learning experience for him. We run 3-person on all varsity games and on Saturday, we ran everything as 3-person. I have a VG scrimmage tonight. Our season (northern VA) kicks off on 2 Dec. Keep up the good work and I hope you have a great season.
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  #27 (permalink)  
Old Tue Nov 23, 2004, 01:08am
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clark,

one thing you can do to improve your mechanics and really sharpen them is to work in the mirror... Work on all your mechanics and use the mirror like you would the table. Then when you have to do them for real it is automatic.

And congrats on the improvment and being ready for the real deal. Have a blast!
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  #28 (permalink)  
Old Tue Nov 23, 2004, 01:42am
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Quote:
Originally posted by totalnewbie
blindzebra-

you're right. i did learn from cowboy. what i learned is that 90% of the guys i have met officiating (and girls) are super cool and everyone works together and no one ball hogs. but no need to be a dick back to him. just do my job. maybe talk to him at half time (had this been a real game). but i also saw how the senior guys looked at this guy. they said he was a spaz and was reaching way into other people's areas and trying to dominate the game. the senior guys were really talking about it.

contrast that to this younger guy who had just moved from california. he only had 3 years experience but he was sharp. even a total new guy like me could see it. and all the senior guys who were talking about cowboy were also talking about this guy--how sharp he was, how good he looked, how well he communicated. all the senior guys were pointing to him as an example. they told me something interresting, they said "see that guy. his mechanics are awesome. that is why mechanics are so important, because fans and coaches might not recognize sloppy mechanics, but good mechanics impress even non-officials (and he was right, because even a new guy like me was saying "wow this dude is in control of this game")" and then they said "he could be a real average official as far as the calls he makes, but his mechanics make him a real good one." they then went on to explain that the kid also made real good calls ("quality calls" as they called it).

so i noticed two things: 1. the senior guys definately are watching, and 2. i'd rather be talked about as a guy who is sharp than like cowboy who was a spaz and was reaching.

and to the credit of the senior guys, I saw the most senior guy go to cowboy and be real cool to him. they said "slow it down a bit, you are trying a bit too hard, you can call the game, just relax a bit and trust your partners (it was 3 man) to make their calls."

so they didnt just knife him in the back, they actually went to him and tried to help him.

clark
We have two jobs, judgment and communication. To put it another way, what we call and how we call it.

Communication makes your judgment look better than it might really be. It is what makes or breaks game management, and it is what makes you a great partner to work with.

Whistle, voice, and crisp signals. Get those down and half of the battle is won.

Keep in mind that there will be some rough patches. You'll miss a call, mess up a rule, have a coach from hell; we all have gone through it.

Just remember how excited you were when you started this thread, when those times arrive. Learn from the bad, to make yourself better.

For all of the bad, the times you hear a, "Great job, ref," from a losing coach/player/fan more than makes up for it.

Keep plugging away.
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  #29 (permalink)  
Old Tue Nov 23, 2004, 02:57am
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Thanks for the words of advice and encouragement.

We just had our first assignment meeting and (in addition to the two scrimmages I signed up for) I was assigned an actual game this coming Saturday (freshman girls, sure, but hey its a game and its for real!).

My two scrimmages are Wednesday and Friday, which will be nice before my real game on Saturday.

Clark
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  #30 (permalink)  
Old Tue Nov 23, 2004, 04:32pm
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Thumbs up

Clark,

Congrats on the real game! Let us know how it goes.
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