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Old Fri Jan 20, 2006, 10:15am
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Unhappy

Okay, I hope I don't get lumped in with other parents complaining about the officials that do their kid's kindergarten games. I officiate volleyball and softball but when it comes to basketball I'm glad that I'm just sitting in the stands watching my daughter play. There was an incident last night that really bothered me enough to the point of actually posting what I've been thinking since last year's season. My daughter is playing 8th grade "A" team, and near the end of the game (other team winning by about 15 points), a girl from our team doesn't like the legal screen that is being set as she's trying to guard the other team's 1. She fights her way through the screen, but after getting around it, she slugs the screen setter in the back! This was the 4 or 5 on the other team and much bigger than our 1, but it happened in clear view of the official, who looked like he at least thought about whacking her. I'm disappointed that he didn't. I had already commented to my wife that I thought the officials were the best we'd seen this season (of course she knows I've created a black hole around us in the stands because I'm always defending the refs to the other parents).

The lack of a call was just the straw that broke the camel's back. I'm always trying to instill good sportsmanship in all our kids. I get discouraged when I see my daughter shoving a girl in the back to prevent a layup without even making an effort to play the ball. I preach to her that I think that's wrong, but when her coach is smiling after she sends a girl sprawling I know that I'm just creating a dilemma for her...please dad or please the coach? The coaches we have in our school system seem to think that in order to have the girls play aggressively, they need to rack up fouls. My daughter, who's a 4, had just three fouls last night, which is a low for her this year. The coaches tell her she should have three in the first half or else that means she's not playing hard. Me...I'd rather see her move her feet to establish position and see her QUIT REACHING. By the same token, it's hard for me to watch her doing a beautiful job of blocking out (finally), only to see her reward be a two hand shove in the back that sends her flying to the floor that goes uncalled. It's also hard to see her after every game bruised up and scratched up from the rough play on the inside.

Is this typical of what you see? Will this only get worse in high school? I was away from the game of basketball for many years, coaching baseball before getting into officiating. I played basketball when I was in high school, but are my memories of playing defense with your feet, having respect for your opponents, and good sportsmanship just selective? Okay, enough already. I guess I need to quit stressing about it and just keep letting her have fun. Thanks for letting me get this off my chest though.
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Old Fri Jan 20, 2006, 10:31am
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Bob, your daughter's coaches are idiots. All you can do is hope that she'll get proper coaching in future years. Until then, all you can really do is what you are already doing- trying to instill the proper values in her. It's also a fact of life unfortunately that middle-school games are often officiated by newer officials who are just starting to learn their avocation or older officials without the ability to do higher levels but who are still needed to fill game assignments.

Good luck to you and I hope that everything works out well in the future- for both you and your daughter.

[Edited by Jurassic Referee on Jan 20th, 2006 at 10:38 AM]
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Old Fri Jan 20, 2006, 10:36am
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I commend you for not just seeing the calls that go against your team. I also commend you for stressing sportsmanship.

At the 8th grade levels, you might not have great coaching. If she's having fun, that's the most important thing.

At that level, you might have beginning refs or maybe some veterans who now have mobility issues and have seen their better days. Calls get missed. Live with it and move on. Hopefully the officiating will be better as your daughter moves to higher levels.

Z
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Old Fri Jan 20, 2006, 10:41am
Jerry Blum
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First, sounds like there at least should have been a foul on your teams point guard if not Intentional.

Based on what you wrote I definetely wouldn't lump you in with the other parents that complain about officiating at games or on this board. Sounds like you are looking at the situation from the correct point of view and trying to instill good sportsmanship in your daughter despite the coaching. From someone that officiates basketball and is about to become a father for the first time I hope that I am able to instill good sportsmanship in my child when they start playing as well. However, I see, like you have a declining attitude toward sportsmanship recently. Parents have always been, for the most part clueless about the rules of the game and therefore the way the game is officiated but when they are yelling and complaining about the officials it only transfers to their children who then start showing the same lack of sportsmanship.

Whether this will get better or worse when your daughter gets to highschool, I would say that it should get better because based on my experience highschool coaches for the most part don't teach or put up with the unsportsmanlike behavior. Now unfortunately there are always the exceptions to the rule.

My suggestion would be to continue to teach your daughter to play the game within the rules and in a sportsmanlike manner. Like I said that is the way I hope to teach my child to play sports even if it means that it is in conflict with the coaches ideas.

Nice to hear a parent that is on the officials side for once.
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Old Fri Jan 20, 2006, 10:55am
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I think you have a big problem. Any Coach that sanctions shoves in the back to prevent lay-ups by airborne players is endangering kids. There's no easier way to break a wrist.

Having played for a great Coach in HS.....there's no strategic advanatge to pick-up dumb fouls. It only puts the other Team in Bonus quicker and usually alerts the Refs to keep an eye on the offending Team.

Trouble is that if you talk to the Coach...he might take it out on your daughter. Just try to teach her that his style differs from the viewpoint of many other people and that while she may have to try to conform to his style that it's is unacceptable by most people. Explain to her that "Winning by Any Means" whether in sports, business or politics usually ends up badly for the parties involved.

Where do these people come from?
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Old Fri Jan 20, 2006, 11:17am
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Quote:
Originally posted by BlitzkriegBob
I'm always trying to instill good sportsmanship in all our kids. I get discouraged when I see my daughter shoving a girl in the back to prevent a layup without even making an effort to play the ball. I preach to her that I think that's wrong, but when her coach is smiling after she sends a girl sprawling I know that I'm just creating a dilemma for her...please dad or please the coach? The coaches we have in our school system seem to think that in order to have the girls play aggressively, they need to rack up fouls.

...I'd rather see her move her feet to establish position and see her QUIT REACHING. By the same token, it's hard for me to watch her doing a beautiful job of blocking out (finally), only to see her reward be a two hand shove in the back that sends her flying to the floor that goes uncalled. It's also hard to see her after every game bruised up and scratched up from the rough play on the inside....
BlitzkriegBob,
The advice that you have given your daughter is excellent and in accordance with the rules. Sportsmanship, moving the feet and not reaching are great calls !

But, don't shoot the coaching staff for the general message they are passing along to their players. Teaching aggressiveness at the 8th grade level starts the players on the right mental track for the future where, in order to compete, they will become more comfortable with body contact and minor aches and pains, where they will not be concerned with bumping an opponent in an effort to get the ball, where a broken finger nail is nothing.

Though pushing an opponent in the back with no play on the ball is generally considered an intentional foul and unsporting, getting to a certain foul count may be the only way the coaches can communicate the need for a player to "git to it" and to "git dirty". They should perhaps be putting more of an emphasis on the sporting aspect of the contact that they are requesting.

As you have witnessed, officiating crews will vary with the amount of contact that is allowed on the floor. By being willing to foul (a mindset from your coaches) and by knowing the spirit of the rules (a mindset that you are establishing), you are preparing your athlete to compete in a game that is called loosely or tightly.

Aggression does not come easily or naturally to all young athletes, sometimes it must be taught, but along with that a coaching staff should encourage the ideals of sportsmanship, skill and finesse.
mick
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Old Fri Jan 20, 2006, 12:00pm
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This is a great thread, but may I offer a pragmatic approach. At the 7th/8th grade level, what is the dire consequence of racking up fouls? If you get away with the steal, you have the ball, and if a foul is whistled, and the opponent is in the bonus, what are the odds they are going to make both free throws? I bet a large majority of the time, you're going to get the ball back with the opponent making one or no free throws.

Unfortunately, this could be the mind set of a coach at that level who is obsessed with winning, rather than teaching the game of basketball.
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Old Fri Jan 20, 2006, 12:08pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by FrankHtown
This is a great thread, but may I offer a pragmatic approach. At the 7th/8th grade level, what is the dire consequence of racking up fouls? If you get away with the steal, you have the ball, and if a foul is whistled, and the opponent is in the bonus, what are the odds they are going to make both free throws? I bet a large majority of the time, you're going to get the ball back with the opponent making one or no free throws.

Unfortunately, this could be the mind set of a coach at that level who is obsessed with winning, rather than teaching the game of basketball.
Also, unfortunately, it's the mindset of a coach that doesn't really care if someone gets hurt while his players are being aggressive- or whether that someone is on his team or the other team.
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Old Fri Jan 20, 2006, 12:46pm
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I have always felt that coaches and players should adjust to what is being called that night by the refs. They should push the limit of aggressiveness until they know what amount of contact will be tolerated by the refs calling that game. The only way to do that is to get a foul or two, observing closely what is being called. To continue being aggressive when the refs are calling a tight game is idiotic. It will eventually create a shortage of players on your team that are available for the game.

Aggressiveness can be a good thing or a bad thing. It can be a strategy as pointed out by FrankHtown. But to foul, just be have the appearance of playing agressively is poor coaching.

My two cents.
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Old Fri Jan 20, 2006, 01:43pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by BlitzkriegBob
Okay, I hope I don't get lumped in with other parents complaining about the officials that do their kid's kindergarten games. I officiate volleyball and softball but when it comes to basketball I'm glad that I'm just sitting in the stands watching my daughter play. There was an incident last night that really bothered me enough to the point of actually posting what I've been thinking since last year's season. My daughter is playing 8th grade "A" team, and near the end of the game (other team winning by about 15 points), a girl from our team doesn't like the legal screen that is being set as she's trying to guard the other team's 1. She fights her way through the screen, but after getting around it, she slugs the screen setter in the back! This was the 4 or 5 on the other team and much bigger than our 1, but it happened in clear view of the official, who looked like he at least thought about whacking her. I'm disappointed that he didn't. I had already commented to my wife that I thought the officials were the best we'd seen this season (of course she knows I've created a black hole around us in the stands because I'm always defending the refs to the other parents).

The lack of a call was just the straw that broke the camel's back. I'm always trying to instill good sportsmanship in all our kids. I get discouraged when I see my daughter shoving a girl in the back to prevent a layup without even making an effort to play the ball. I preach to her that I think that's wrong, but when her coach is smiling after she sends a girl sprawling I know that I'm just creating a dilemma for her...please dad or please the coach? The coaches we have in our school system seem to think that in order to have the girls play aggressively, they need to rack up fouls. My daughter, who's a 4, had just three fouls last night, which is a low for her this year. The coaches tell her she should have three in the first half or else that means she's not playing hard. Me...I'd rather see her move her feet to establish position and see her QUIT REACHING. By the same token, it's hard for me to watch her doing a beautiful job of blocking out (finally), only to see her reward be a two hand shove in the back that sends her flying to the floor that goes uncalled. It's also hard to see her after every game bruised up and scratched up from the rough play on the inside.

Is this typical of what you see? Will this only get worse in high school? I was away from the game of basketball for many years, coaching baseball before getting into officiating. I played basketball when I was in high school, but are my memories of playing defense with your feet, having respect for your opponents, and good sportsmanship just selective? Okay, enough already. I guess I need to quit stressing about it and just keep letting her have fun. Thanks for letting me get this off my chest though.
This sounds like it should be on the Football Board.
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Old Fri Jan 20, 2006, 02:43pm
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Thanks for sharing your insights. Of course these are probably less experienced officials. Stupid of me to forget that. But that's exactly why I guess I have a problem with a coach that has a mindset of "let's see how much we can get away with". I don't watch to watch my daughter shove a girl into the first row of chairs behind the basket to see if the officials will let it go. Nor do I want her doing that because she's thinking the girl she's fouling will probably only make one foul shot at best. Heck, at this level, on a good night there's only a 50% chance she'll make that uncontested layup. Also, using the example I originally used, does the fact that no foul was called on the punch, does our point guard think she can get away with doing that again? Why not, since it didn't even get her a foul the first time?

I feel much better now. Thanks again for the advice. Mick, especially, for showing me the perspective from the coaching side.
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Old Fri Jan 20, 2006, 02:52pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by BlitzkriegBob
... for showing me the perspective from the coaching side.
Ouch !!!
That's gonna leave a mark!
That was from the "enjoy the game" side.
mick
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