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Old Mon Jan 09, 2006, 11:37am
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How to handle bench clearing situations.

This weekend I had a game where there were words exchanged on the court between two players and then one shoved the other and before I knew it coaches and players from the bench were on the court. I backed away from the group and tried my best to get the players that came off the bench. It was total chaos! I was standing next to the bench and remembering numbers of players that were coming back to the bench. Then I realized that the players that were originally on the floor were coming back with the bench players. I was having trouble remembering the numbers anyway in all the chaos.

Does anyone have advice on how to handle this situation so that we can penalize the right players. A friend of mine had the suggestion to find out who is still on the bench and then you can deduce the bench players that left the bench during a fight. Would it also help to keep a pen in your pocket and write down numbers on your palm or paper. Should I go to the table and grab a pen and paper from them? This whole situation started and finished in less than 30 seconds.

What if I get the players from the White team and my partners don't get anyone from the other team? This isn't fair to penalize one team and not the other just because we didn't do our job on the other side.

I want to be as prepared as possible the next time this happens.
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Old Mon Jan 09, 2006, 03:46pm
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Without replay evidence that can be used at higher levels, it is extremely difficult to catch everyone if multiple players from both teams come off the bench. It's not perfect, but a good rule of thumb is to use hockey officiating principles: the 2 linesmen break up the fight, and the referee observes to hand out penalties. In basketball, try and let the 2 closest officials intervene while having the 3rd set of eyes farthest from the action observing what happens coming off the bench. The 3rd official takes mental notes and at the first available opportunity should utilize pen and paper at the table, if necessary, to remember the right numbers. He can then have a dialogue with the other officials to sort out everything that has happened to assess the correct number of fouls and ejections.

If all you-know-what breaks loose, get everyone you can who leaves the bench, but most importantly, don't miss pushers, shovers, and punch throwers while trying to figure out the bench runners. You will get in more trouble by failing to toss a guy who throws a punch than you will by missing a bench player running out onto the floor.
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  #3 (permalink)  
Old Tue Jan 10, 2006, 01:28am
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There was a good thread about this type of advice very recently. You will have to try and search for it. If you don't find it I'll look for it tomororw when I get a chacne.
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Old Tue Jan 10, 2006, 09:39am
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Yes paper and pen works well, if you have to you can ask the scorer to put a mark by the numbers u tell him that way you can watch whats going on and still record it. In basketball however I would not try to break a fight up. Just sit back and observe, you dont want to get yourself hurt. Besides I dont belive the rule book says anything about breaking a fight up, does it?
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Old Tue Jan 10, 2006, 09:47am
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the teaching I've got says don't break up a fight, so I agree, stand back and observe, have the board take notes keep calm, and keep blowing the whistle (if you don't talk to the board people) nothing is so distracting as a referee whistle in your ear :d
All posts I do refers to FIBA rules
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Old Tue Jan 10, 2006, 10:31am
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Don't focus on who LEFT the bench - but in the heat of the moment take a quick note of who STAYED on the bench. The "stayers" are in a confined space (bench) and not wandering all over the floor to look for a fight.

As peace reins - you have the data regarding who left the confines of the bench - by exclusion.

"Sports do not build character. They reveal it" - Heywood H. Broun
"Officiating does not build character. It reveal's it" - Ref Daddy
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