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Old Sat Jan 21, 2006, 04:24am
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Good Evening All,

Hope everyone's week went well. I worked a frosh/soph boys game tonight and had a snafu with the clock in overtime. I originally had a question, but after looking through the federation case book, I think I got my answer.

However, I still want to post the story for the benefit of the newer officials. Any vets who feel like commenting, please do as well....it is somewhat embarassing, but also a good lesson learned.

To set up the scenario, it was "Rivalary Night" for the league I worked tonight. Two schools from close proximity to each other played a "Quad": F/S Girls at 3:15 PM, F/S Boys at 4:45 PM, Varsity Girls at 6:15 PM and finally Varsity Boys at 7:45 PM.

The gym was packed, the energy was high and both teams really battled. As an added bonus, the game was TIED and went into overtime.

My partner, who is in his 2nd year and still learning his way around, asked me, "how long is the overtime period? Is it 5 minutes?". To be perfectly honest, my mind drew a bit of a blank. I simply did not know the timing rules in the book.

In any case, I nodded to my partner who told the clock person to set the clock to 5 minutes.

Interestingly, the story doesn't quiet end yet. Apparently, no one notices the clock's been set incorrectly....until there is 3:27 seconds left in the overtime period. The visiting coach beckons me and says to me "You guys set the clock for OT wrong, it should have been at 3 minutes".

Somehow, I managed to keep my composure enough to both coaches that we might have set the clock wrong, but we're going to play through it anyway. The visiting coach wasn't happy and said we should have corrected it by subtracting 2 minutes off the clock. I politely said "no, we're not, we're just going to keep playing".

I talked to my partner about it after I had talked to the coaches and we agreed to play through the rest of the period as is. I was TEMPTED to talk to one of the veteran officials who was working the girls varsity game after us. However, she was sitting in the stands and it wouldn't have been to good to mention that you screwed up in front of the fans.

The visiting team eventually won (thankfully). I was thinking if they lost, that the coach might file a protest because of the clock snafu.

SOOOOO, I'm sure a few people will have different reactions to this. Feel free to comment as you see fit.

As for me, my final comments/learning points for myself are:

The overtime period is FOUR MINUTES

If there is a snafu with the clock being set incorrectly too high (as in our case) and it is discovered with MORE than 4 minutes left in the OT period, the clock should be set to 4 minutes. If the snafu is discovered with less than 4 minutes left in the period, the game shall proceed normally with no clock adjustments.

I am glad I didn't listen to the coach about the clock. Though it was our fault that the clock was set incorrectly, we accidently did the right thing since it was discovered after the clock had gone down to 3:27.

A very interesting night at the gym. I could post a little more, but maybe later. TIme to shower and sleep!!
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Old Sat Jan 21, 2006, 04:52am
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Good situation. Glad you took the time to look it up and learn it cold. You will never forget it.

I'll just add that since you worked the jv game prior to the varsity game, the coach may have been correct that OT should have been 3 minutes. It depends upon how long your quarters are. If your quarters are 8 minutes then you would have 4 minute extra periods, but if you use 6 minute quarters at the sub varsity level in your area, then you should have been playing a 3 minute OTs. (if 7 minute quarters, then OT = 3:30).

If that was the case then you would adjust the clock down from 3:27 to 3:00 and continue.

Here are the rule citations for you:

5-7-3 . . . The length of each extra period shall be four minutes (or half the time of a regulation quarter for non-varsity contests). As many such periods as are necessary to break the tie shall be played. Extra periods are an extension of the fourth quarter.


LENGTH OF EXTRA PERIOD INCORRECT
5.7.3 SITUATION: Following a violation in the first extra period, the timer beckons the referee to the table. The timer informs the referee that by mistake the period started with: (a) more; or (b) less than four minutes on the clock. RULING: In (a), if the mistake is discovered before the clock reaches four minutes, the clock shall be set at four minutes and play resumes. If discovered after reaching four minutes, no correction is allowed. In (b), the appropriate amount of time shall be added to reflect a four-minute period. (2-5-5)
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Old Sat Jan 21, 2006, 06:05am
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As Neveda pointed out, the rules are currently that an OT period is half the length of a quarter. Because I am a numbers guy, it is easy to remember.

Great job!
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Old Sat Jan 21, 2006, 12:26pm
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Thanks guys, actually you are right, the game I was working was going 7 Minute Quarters. Technically, the coach was right that the OT period should have been set ORIGINALLY to 3 MINUTES instead of 5 Minutes. That's what I get for trying to post at midnight local time after a long day working, reffing and having dinner with friends. ZZZZZZZZ

HOWEVER, I guess it was hard to explain last night, but the visiting coach wanted us to just take two minutes off the clock.

I.E., the clock was at 3:27 at the time and he said (to paraphrase) "Just take two minutes off the clock and make it 1:27". I assume his reasoning was that since OT was started with 2 extra minutes, we could knock 2 minutes off and call it even. I doubt the home coach would have been happy about that (and the rather large crowd would have been...eh, somewhat unhappy with that).

Also, interestingly enough, I believe this was the first ever overtime contest I've ever worked while doing high school games. If it was, what a way to "break in'.

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Old Sat Jan 21, 2006, 01:41pm
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FWIW our state (MO) has adopted a 2 minute overtime for all subvarsity games. So you might want to check that angle as well.
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Old Sun Jan 22, 2006, 03:29am
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Quote:
Originally posted by coach41
Thanks guys, actually you are right, the game I was working was going 7 Minute Quarters. Technically, the coach was right that the OT period should have been set ORIGINALLY to 3 MINUTES instead of 5 Minutes.
If that was the case then you STILL did the right thing, but for the wrong reason. Also the coach was still incorrect.
As I wrote above, for 7 minute quarters, you should play extra periods that are 3 minutes AND 30 SECONDS in length. That is half of the regulation quarter.

So when you discovered the mistake at the 3:27 mark, you are just barely below the threshold and should leave the clock alone and continue the game per the case book play.

Again you handled it correctly by luck!
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Old Sun Jan 22, 2006, 09:45pm
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Nevadaref,

I guess I noted I could have set the clock to 3 minutes because someone told me they have never seen a period started at "3:30" so they said three minutes probably would have been the most appropriate.

This is an interesting scenario that I'll need to run by the folks in our local association.

Thanks!


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