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  #1 (permalink)  
Old Mon Jan 16, 2006, 08:09pm
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At a girls varsity game, one of the refs (in a small town where it seems everyone must know each other) carried on several arguments with a fan (or fans) about calls he had made. They argued over what the rule was and whether or not something was a foul. The varsity coach was not part of the discussion, nor was she complaining about the call.

Why would a ref even address fan unless to kick him out?
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Old Mon Jan 16, 2006, 08:20pm
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First of all we might address fans for all kinds of reasons. I would not use a blanket statement that officials should never talk to fans. There a lot of appropriate times to talk to fans. You might have some so close to the floor that you might have a nice conversation as you are putting the ball in. As long as it is not conversational or problematic, I think talking to fans happens a lot. I know when I know certain people fans ask me questions (not necessarily about the game) and I have answered them. I will not go out of my way to talk to them or seek it, but there are many times when we can and have talked to fans without incident. I would say that we should not argue with them and I would not talk to a fan to eject them. Game management should personally get rid of fans and all we should do is point out who is the problem.

Peace
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Old Mon Jan 16, 2006, 11:34pm
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While I don't think a little, limited friendly banter with the fans during a non-emotional moment can be a good thing, interacting with fans is generally a two-edged sword. Arguing with fans is unprofessional and a losing proposition. You're not going to win an argument with them, no matter how right you are. And in trying to argue with one fan, you lose whatever respect you may have from other fans.
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Old Tue Jan 17, 2006, 02:30am
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Fans?.....What fans?

During a game I pretty much ignore them unless they cross the line - then I have game management take care of them. Someone on the board has a great signature line that saya it all - "Never argue with an idiot, they'll only bring you down to their level and then beat you with experience."
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Old Tue Jan 17, 2006, 08:16am
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For the most part I avoid direct interaction with fans - seemingly no good comes of it. And then the occasional "good" fan, the one who we often forget, politely walks up and asks a very straightforward question about a specific play or call trying to better understand and appreciate the game or offer their appreciation for your work; heck, they even say "thank you" after your reply. That's why I never say "never". Like everything else, guess you have to pick your spots.

Yes, and just when you think you've got a handle on "the fans" a seemingly innocent exchange can quickly turn around and bite you on your compression shorts.
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Old Tue Jan 17, 2006, 09:21am
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Coach, I can never imagine when there would be a good and proper time or reason to directly address fans.

Arguing with fans over calls even goes further away from anything productive.

As you read herein, referee's have learned from the behavior and I suggest your sample will too. Even if they know the person in the stands.

Like the neighbors dog, sometimes it bites.

Sure - its sometimes a great temptation when the loudest voice in the arena is emotionally challenging your calls - and even more attention grabbing when they are absolutly wrong about a rule. Happens every game.

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Old Tue Jan 17, 2006, 09:41am
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Quote:
Originally posted by TimTaylor
Fans?.....What fans?

During a game I pretty much ignore them unless they cross the line - then I have game management take care of them. Someone on the board has a great signature line that saya it all - "Never argue with an idiot, they'll only bring you down to their level and then beat you with experience."
That would be me, Tim. If you knew my previous boss, you would know it fits exactly. I wasn't alone in this feeling and fortunately, he was transferred.
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Old Tue Jan 17, 2006, 09:55am
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I will only talk to fans during dead ball periods or in pregame situations if they ask me a question. I would never initiate a conversation with a fan. I certainly would never argue with a fan or discuss a call in the present game with a fan. This actually kind of came up Friday night before my varsity game. A couple of really good guys asked me a question before the boys game. I answered and they just started a 2-3 minute conversation. I hated spending that much time, but I couldn't get away politely. I'm sure it didn't look good.
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Old Tue Jan 17, 2006, 11:39am
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I find chatting with fans can be a big help to "humanize" the zebras. I was R at a varsity game recently and while waiting for the teams to come onto the floor before the game, I started chatting with a couple of fans -- high school kids and their parents. I asked one if he knew how many "pebbles" were on the ball. I then gave him a couple of hints and I told him I would check back at halftime.

When I came out of the locker room at halftime, he was waiting with his answer. He wasn't close, but it gave him something to think about and it put a smile on his dad's face.
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Old Tue Jan 17, 2006, 11:44am
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My $0.02

This is a very fine line and rather than arguing with a fan, I simply do one of two things that seem to work or at least I haven't gotten my rear in a ringer with them anyway. The first thing I do if they are complaining or yelling every time down the floor is get close to them and invite them to the officials meeting that we have every Monday. I tell them "We are always looking for well qualified people to help." That usually puts an end to it. Or, I have used "You can either see the show or be the show. You make the decision." Another thing that works THE SILENT METHOD... is to inbound the ball as close to them as you can and when you blow it ready for play, turn right at them and give a good honk on it! Of course they need to be pretty close to the floor (first row or two.)
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Old Wed Jan 18, 2006, 12:18pm
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OK BayStateRef.....the suspense is killing me: "how many pebbles on a basketball?"
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Old Wed Jan 18, 2006, 01:01pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by jeffpea
OK BayStateRef.....the suspense is killing me: "how many pebbles on a basketball?"
A lot!
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Old Wed Jan 18, 2006, 01:24pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by jeffpea
OK BayStateRef.....the suspense is killing me: "how many pebbles on a basketball?"
LOL.

There are 122 pebbles per square inch on a Spalding basketball which is equivalent to approximately 35,000 pebbles.
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Old Wed Jan 18, 2006, 02:25pm
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Re: My $0.02

Quote:
Originally posted by ThickSkin
This is a very fine line and rather than arguing with a fan, I simply do one of two things that seem to work or at least I haven't gotten my rear in a ringer with them anyway. The first thing I do if they are complaining or yelling every time down the floor is get close to them and invite them to the officials meeting that we have every Monday. I tell them "We are always looking for well qualified people to help." That usually puts an end to it. Or, I have used "You can either see the show or be the show. You make the decision." Another thing that works THE SILENT METHOD... is to inbound the ball as close to them as you can and when you blow it ready for play, turn right at them and give a good honk on it! Of course they need to be pretty close to the floor (first row or two.)
The only problem with the get close and tweet method is that you often have a difficult time not grinning immediately after the whistle (thus giving away the true intentions). I have used the, if you can do better join us. I have even gone as far as to making my own flyers for preseason rec games with info about joining on the scorers table. if I have an incessant complainer I invite him/her to join. It has only produced 2 takers that I know of, both quit before the seasons end (but much wiser!).
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Old Wed Jan 18, 2006, 03:18pm
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Our association issued a list of common myths such as what the calls really are when someone thinks they have seen a carry, or someone's 'over the back' or some such thing. It explains things pretty well. Just wish it could be handed to the general public for their absorption.
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