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Old Thu Jan 12, 2006, 05:22am
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Hello, I am new to the forums and refereeing (first game this friday). I'm a senior in HS so I get to do the 3rd -5th graders and I was looking for any tips or words of wisdom. I know I will mess up but I will try my best. Right now I feel like I want to ref for the rest of my life (maybe in college) but we'll see after this weekend! What were some of your first times like? any horror stories?
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Old Thu Jan 12, 2006, 07:48am
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At the Youth Level it is all about the safety of the kids, learning the game and having fun. You have to explain the Rules to them so they know why something was called. Stress that defense doesn't involve hand-checking, explain the screening rule so moving defenders don't get clobbered, set them up correctly on free-throws, etc.

I tend to be very lenient at this level so the kids don't feel that they failed. Exmaple: If a kid is over the line after inbounding a made basket, I'll blow the whistle and make him go back and inbound it from behind the end line so they learn the Rule.

Depends a lot on what the League is stressing? Hopefully, it's more instructional than competitive at that age. Good luck!

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Old Thu Jan 12, 2006, 09:06am
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First games are tough. You're nervous, you're self-conscious, you're overly self-critical. Your first couple of years are about the very basic stuff. Where do I stand? Which signal do I give? Do I use an open hand or a closed fist?

I can't tell you how to call your youth game. But I can tell you to hustle when you need to (keeping up with play), slow down when you need to (reporting), and try to figure out in your head what needs to be called.

At that age level, you could have 20 violations per possession. You're going to have decide what's important enough to put a whistle on, and that only become easy by working a lot of games and seeing a lot of plays.

Best of luck. Try to have some fun. Come back here with any stories or questions. Welcome to the forum.

(BTW, I just stuck up for you in another thread. Don't let Jurrassic chase you off. He's got bunions that are older than you are. )
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Old Thu Jan 12, 2006, 09:54am
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Don't let parents and coaches annoy you, they have an emotional attachment to the game.

If there's any games before yours, then show up early so you can see what they are calling. It's a process but you will learn to watch a basketball game in a completly different way as an official.

Blow the whistle like you mean it.

Have fun.
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Old Thu Jan 12, 2006, 10:05am
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Be confident with your game. Make the calls you see need to be called, go to report ( slow down here, stop to report near center court), then your back into the game. Don't ever take anything a coach or fan says to you personally. Like was said earlier they have emotional interest in the game. Have some fun, help the kids learn the game, all the while you will be learning to ref the game.

Good Luck, I hope you stick with it long term.
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Old Thu Jan 12, 2006, 03:44pm
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Talking

I officiated with my son when he did his first game (soccer) last Summer. He put into words the same thing I remember from my first game -- it was like everything was coming at you at once. Go out to have fun and keep the kids safe. Don't take any bull from 3-5 grade coaches. Relax, sell your calls, use good strong signals, speak clearly when reporting to the table, fill your whistle up with air (no wimpy whistles), take your time reporting, and have fun. Oh yeah, and remember that "Three seconds!" and "Call it both ways!" are the mating call of the howler monkey and it's ususally mating season in every younger level game!
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Old Thu Jan 12, 2006, 03:54pm
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Officiating can be very rewarding, but as a complete newbie keep this in mind:

It might be tough but you'll need to develop a thick skin. It might seem that the coaches & parents are insulting you personally at this level...and you would be right. Work your games, do your best, don't let the coaches push you around and completely ignore the parents. If there's a problem with a parent then let the league director handle it.

If you make a mistake (you will) admit it & move on. It's not the end of the world.

And most importantly: have fun!!
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Old Thu Jan 12, 2006, 07:10pm
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Hey I am a second year ref and am a junior in highschools. Your gonna be fine, odds are your first game is gonna be with a very experienced guy. You cant come much worse then me. My first call ever was a press violation when the team had the ball in their front court. Just do your best and keep learning and you'll do well. Let us hear your stories and welcome to the forum.
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Old Thu Jan 12, 2006, 10:35pm
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Horror stories? You bet

My first game, I was a teacher at a Christian grade school where 98% of the students were black ( I'm white). My school was playing a school of all white students. "Their" official was calling the most lopsided game I've seen to this day. At one point the ball went out of bounds. He actually paused and thought for a moment, and then pointed in the direction of the white team. The coach from our school asked me, "Shouldn't he have called a jump ball if he wasn't sure?" He wanted to talk to the othe ref. So he called a time out, and asked me to send the other ref over. Sitting down, he asked the same question. "TECHNICAL FOUL!" "For WHAT?" Another T! "YOU'RE GONE!" Coach stands up, keeps his cool, straightens his tie, and walks out. Later he goes and sits in the stands. When the other ref sees him, he stops play and yells at him to leave the gym. Coach plays it cool again and leaves. The fans are going bonkers and yelling at this guy. He turns to me and says, "You need to go quiet your fans down!" I told him it was his call, he needed to do it. "You're my partner, you're supposed to back me up!" I finished the game. There were meetings between the schools. What a mess.
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Old Fri Jan 13, 2006, 04:37pm
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Re: Horror stories? You bet

Quote:
Originally posted by mplagrow
My first game, I was a teacher at a Christian grade school where 98% of the students were black ( I'm white). My school was playing a school of all white students. "Their" official was calling the most lopsided game I've seen to this day. At one point the ball went out of bounds. He actually paused and thought for a moment, and then pointed in the direction of the white team. The coach from our school asked me, "Shouldn't he have called a jump ball if he wasn't sure?" He wanted to talk to the othe ref. So he called a time out, and asked me to send the other ref over. Sitting down, he asked the same question. "TECHNICAL FOUL!" "For WHAT?" Another T! "YOU'RE GONE!" Coach stands up, keeps his cool, straightens his tie, and walks out. Later he goes and sits in the stands. When the other ref sees him, he stops play and yells at him to leave the gym. Coach plays it cool again and leaves. The fans are going bonkers and yelling at this guy. He turns to me and says, "You need to go quiet your fans down!" I told him it was his call, he needed to do it. "You're my partner, you're supposed to back me up!" I finished the game. There were meetings between the schools. What a mess.
I'd like to meet that coach, what if all coaches could be calm and cool. I wonder where he got the idea to straighten his tie though (James Bond perhaps)


Quote:
Hello, I am new to the forums and refereeing (first game this friday). I'm a senior in HS so I get to do the 3rd -5th graders and I was looking for any tips or words of wisdom. I know I will mess up but I will try my best. Right now I feel like I want to ref for the rest of my life (maybe in college) but we'll see after this weekend! What were some of your first times like? any horror stories?
Don't worry to much, call what you see, keep a good communication with your partner (let him/her help you overcome the beginners mistakes) and let the kids have fun, like they say above, at low levels it is for fun, let them learn the rules and help them when they don't understand.

And most importently, be prepared for the mistakes, evrybody makes them, but only the best are brave enough to admit them and correct them. Don't be afraid to correct a mistake (if you point the wrong way at a throw in, just blow the whistle, say "sorry, my mistake, pointed the wron way, we're going that way" and get the play going, if you're polite the coaches will accept it, evrybody makes mistakes

Good luck!
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