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  #1 (permalink)  
Old Fri Jan 13, 2006, 03:13pm
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I am new to this site. I am an official IHSA in Baseball & Softball, but only ref for church leagues in basketball.

At my 12 yr old son's games lately, several parents who know me have been coming up to me asking WHY...? I have never said it is the REF's fault. And both teams parents come to me.

One VERY young kids Ref has heard the bad mouthing from parents and he is positive that I am the root of all evil.

He is very one sided in all games I have seen whether or not my kid has been a participant in the game. (READ I'm not bias toward one side or the other on some games. These same parents know that I do not play favorites in baseball season when it is I ump or there is no game.) He came to me after the game night before last complaining to me about the "missed calls" and my qualifications to say so. He asked for examples and I gave them to him with exact player #s and call that I would have given. I also explained that I know that with a 2 person team, that there will be some calls missed, but I did not understand why there were very appearant calls that were not made in his area of responsibility. I could tell I was already under his skin and it did not matter what I said. I politely excused myself from the situation.

Two minutes later, the principal of the school came to me. The ref has stated if he sees me open my mouth at any game again--not to him, but to anyone--he will call a T on my son's team and I will be evicted from game. I briefly explained that I was not the problem and that she (past IHSA Ref) and I both know the rules of the game. I also let her know she should encourage him to be a little thicker skinned to what parents are saying. I have had to learn the thick skin for baseball, ignoring comments. I once again excused myself.

I wonder, from you pros in this area. What should I do or say. He is scheduled to ref about 1/2 of my son's remaining games.

Thank you for your time.
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old Fri Jan 13, 2006, 03:26pm
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My advice would be to say nothing and do nothing. This is a low level game. Encourage your son, cheer for his team, and take them out for ice cream afterwards. If parents ask you about a call, simply tell them you're not on the floor. When you entertain other parents' ideas that this official is not good, you're adding gas to the fire as they see you as an expert because you work other sports. This official could very well be either a new official learning the trade, or an official that is only working that level for a reason (because they are not ready to move up the ladder). Either way, you're not going to gain anything by talking to him or taking action.
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  #3 (permalink)  
Old Fri Jan 13, 2006, 03:38pm
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I usually do not answer the parents on if a call should or should not have been made. As that has always been my practice in baseball/softball.

And I have never addressed him except the one time he came to me. I do cheer for all players, my son's team, but the players from other teams that I know (which is most).

Thank you for your help Junker.
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  #4 (permalink)  
Old Fri Jan 13, 2006, 03:47pm
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When do we get to hear the official's description of the same incident?

Call me suspicious, but somehow I think that the official's story might just be a tad different than a fanboy/parent's. Officials and principals never bother with parents who are just cheering their kids on, in my experience.
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  #5 (permalink)  
Old Fri Jan 13, 2006, 03:47pm
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Next game - go sit or stand somewhere way away from the other parents. That way you can cheer all you want, and the other parents won't be bugging you with all their questions/gripes. And if someone does walk over to where you are and complain, your LOUD response should be "Oh come on now, ______. These refs are doing a great job for our kids." Loud enough for the sensitive ref to hear.
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  #6 (permalink)  
Old Fri Jan 13, 2006, 04:07pm
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What do you mean when you call an official "one-sided?"

Do you mean he called more fouls on one team? Do you mean that he did not call fouls at all on one team?

I can speak from experience in basketball that it is very hard to call things just based on what one team is doing. I know I do not count the fouls I make, I just call what happens.

If I have not said this 100 times I will say this again. This is a lower level game. You are not likely going to see the best officials (I know that is the case mostly in Illinois). At least you will not with the amount of varsity and college games going on 7 days a week. You are not going to see the best officials no matter how much you think you should.

Let us get into "Good Trouble."
Charles Michael “Mick” Chambers (1947-2010)
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Old Fri Jan 13, 2006, 04:09pm
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Rockyroad.. Great suggestion. Can't really get away all together as we are in a small gym, but I can sit or stand near the principal at the score table so she would see that I am not instigating anything and the ref is making something out of nothing at least on my part.

Jurassic, would love to have you hear his side, but I'm not going to stop to talk to him about posting it.
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  #8 (permalink)  
Old Fri Jan 13, 2006, 04:20pm
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JRutledge, This particular ref is a little one sided. Not counting the calls, just noticing the type of call for one team and not the other.

I'll use a game where my son's team was not playing as an example.

The maroon team would go over the back for rebounds, would literally trip the guards from the green team as they were trying to bring the ball down in some cases the guard would end up on the floor. When the green team had the ball coming down the court, you would hear the whisle blow at least every other trip against the maroon team. Last 1 minute of reg play, Green team kids actually pushed maroon team kids while dribbling that he ended up in stands a couple feet away from where he was at. Personally, Call it - Don't call it, just keep the same rule for calling for a whole game.

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  #9 (permalink)  
Old Fri Jan 13, 2006, 04:23pm
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I agree with Junker that your primary activity should be cheering for, and encouraging, the players. Your secondary activity should be helping fellow parents focus their energies on the primary activity.

I would, however, suggest that you go one step further. The next time you see this young official, go up to him at an appropriate time (e.g., while he's on the floor officiating would not be that time) and apologize. Sincerely apologize. Say that you know it's a tough job and you appreciate his efforts. Then go back to your responsibilities under paragraph one.

This is old news now, but in the future if an official approaches you for advice and constructive criticism, privately give it to her/him. If the official approaches you for some other reason (as appears to be the case here), you might refrain from pointing that he is a lousy official. Even though you profess to be unbiased, what you think of as missed calls that were apparent, most of us are likely to think of as calls viewed by a parent.

Best wishes as you become the parent/fan for whom it would be a joy to work your games in front of. [Edit: That last sentence is garbled. I meant to say: You're a sports official; you should know better. Practice the Golden Rule and become the fan in front of whom you'd like to work your games.]

[Edited by bgtg19 on Jan 13th, 2006 at 04:57 PM]
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  #10 (permalink)  
Old Fri Jan 13, 2006, 06:19pm
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On another forum, there's a similar thread.

My response there was something like, "In this game you're a fan. Fans should STFU."

bgtg19 was more polite.

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  #11 (permalink)  
Old Fri Jan 13, 2006, 06:28pm
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Thumbs down

This sounds like a big pile of crap to me.

HOMER: Just gimme my gun.
CLERK: Hold on, the law requires a five-day waiting period; we've got run a background check...
HOMER: Five days???? But I'm mad NOW!!
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  #12 (permalink)  
Old Fri Jan 13, 2006, 06:31pm
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if you're a ref, then be quiet. we have enough people complaining towards us without brother officials doing it too!
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  #13 (permalink)  
Old Sat Jan 14, 2006, 12:56am
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What you do is spend quite a few minutes before the game alone in the car remembering your very first ever officiating experience. If you were an adult at that time, you think back to the games you've worked with a very,very new partner who was a teenager. Don't tell me you've never worked those before. Remember the uncertainty, the self-consciousness, the lack of conviction and understanding. Feel again the confusion about the various interpretations of rules that you'd heard from various sources.

Then you remember what people said to you that was encouraging, helpful or uplifitng in those situations.

Those are the only words you're allowed to say to this guy, or to anyone else about this guy.

If you've really never felt the kinds of insecurity this fellow is working through, you go to him and offer to be his partner for a couple of his games that your son won't be playing in. But then when you're back to being a parent, nothing but encouragement and praise.

In the lower levels of play, there's no acceptable reason to critique the refs, unless you're their direct supervisor.
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  #14 (permalink)  
Old Sat Jan 14, 2006, 01:13am
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Originally posted by crayon402
The maroon team would go over the back for rebounds, would literally trip the guards from the green team as they were trying to bring the ball down in some cases the guard would end up on the floor.
Let me clear some things up for you.

#1, there's no such thing as ever the back. Just like "the hands are part of the bat," "over the back" is a myth.

#2, just because you trip over my feet, it doesn't mean that I've fouled you. I'm entitled to my spot on the floor, just as you are. Unless I obviously stick my foot out in front of you and intetnionally trip you, it's nothing.

As for the threat by the official made against you, talk to the official's booking agent about it, if the principal is going to back you up.
" cool as the other side of the pillow." - Stuart Scott

"You should never be proud of doing the right thing." - Dean Smith
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  #15 (permalink)  
Old Sat Jan 14, 2006, 05:28am
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Did you say you were a BASKETBALL official? It doesnt sound like it to me. Color me suspicious, crayon.

You should be taking no part in criticizing the officials to the parents. How about saying something like "they are right there on the floor, they have the best angle to make the call." How about "They are trained to be in position to make that call." Or "If he passed on it it is because he felt the contact was incidental." How about "come on, do you really think these guys are volunteering their time to purposely skew games?" Or how about "Not all contact is a foul." How about "Just cause they didnt call it doesnt mean they didnt see it. They are focusing on advantage and disadvantage." Or maybe, "heck, they cant call it that tight at this level, neither of the teams would ever cross the freethrow line and the game would take 3 hours." Or better yet "I've got an idea, YOU volunteer to be an official. I can hook you up with the head of the association." Or how about "do you even know what the traveling rule is? And if not, how can you complain about what the officials are calling?" You know, now that I think about it, you could really be doing a great service for officials in your area by helping build awareness. Help teach the parents. But instead you are being part of the problem.

If you actually have a problem with an official, you should quietly be talking to his assigner or commish and expressing your concerns, not talking to other parents and fueling the fire.

And you might want to brush up on the over the back rule, its rule 11-5-9.
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