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Old Mon Apr 10, 2006, 12:21pm
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players on the floor-held ball situation

Whenever there's a held ball situation, it try to get in right away and let players know I'm there.....let it go.....easy up.....or whatever is necessary. This weekend, my Son played in an 8th grade tournament and on the next court over there was a 7-8 year old tournament. This pee-wee game was officiated by only 1 official even though there was always another official sitting at the table whenever I looked over there. I guess that's how the director wanted to do it.

Skip forward a few minutes....as you can guess, they had several held ball situations. The official would hit his whistle several times but make no attemp to get close. I guess he figured it would never happen.

2 kids from red and 1 from blue all get their hands on the ball and noone is even considering letting go. Ref blows his whistle and kids keep pulling. He blows a few more times and now the kids fall but everyone holds on. They're rolling, twisting and pulling. Finally, one of the kids from the red team lets go, stands up and starts slugging one of the blue players. All the coaches from the blue team (they must have had 5 of them) and some parents are now on the floor grabbing their kids. I honestly think they all come out to help and that must be what the ref decided along with the tourn dir as they only shot 2 freethrows. (I figured it wasn't my game and my kid wasn't playing so I didn't worry about it much)

Anyway, watching this situation play out only reinforced to me why we must get in there and keep things under control. Does anyone have any additional comments or a story they could share with the group?
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Old Mon Apr 10, 2006, 02:04pm
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Yet another reason why 7 and 8 year olds should not be playing in competetive tournament situations.....
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Old Mon Apr 10, 2006, 02:44pm
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Geeze...you go to a 7/8 year old game and an NBA game breaks out.....

What do you do if you do run in and the kids still won't let go? I think that the last thing anybody would want to do is grab one or both of the players. That's liable to get a Mummy coming outa the stands to give you a pop upside the head....."Don't touch my little James".....just before she hits the speed dial to her lawyer. Thoughts?
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Old Mon Apr 10, 2006, 03:14pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jurassic Referee
That's liable to get a Mummy coming outa the stands to give you a pop upside the head....."Don't touch my little James".....just before she hits the speed dial to her lawyer. Thoughts?
Hmm, that's exactly what my mommy does when the big, bad coach tries to intimidate me...

I've always been taught to stick my face in the middle of the pile, while maybe giving a few toots on the whistle. For some reason, players seem to relax and let go when I've got my ugly mug near theirs. It sounds like, in Chris' case, the ref just stood back a ways while the kids continued to tug. If there had been someone within their field of vision telling them to let go, good hustle, help each other up, etc., they probably would give up their little testosterone contest. (Even 7/8 year-olds? ) I'm not sure I'd be digging in and pulling them apart, but at least getting close to the players has that tendancy to keep them from going overboard on the tug-o'-war.
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Old Mon Apr 10, 2006, 03:35pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M&M Guy
I've always been taught to stick my face in the middle of the pile, while maybe giving a few toots on the whistle. For some reason, players seem to relax and let go when I've got my ugly mug near theirs.

I'm not sure I'd be digging in and pulling them apart, but at least getting close to the players has that tendancy to keep them from going overboard on the tug-o'-war.
That was my question. If you do stick your face in and they still ignore you and just keep a-tugging away, now what? Iow, if they're ignoring the whistle from 15 feet away, what do you do if they ignore the whistle from 3 feet away? If you do try to get between them, you're gonna be causing phyical contact of some kind to a coupla 8 year olds. Do you take the chance of doing that in order to get them to stop? Or do you say "have at it, you l'il sh!ts"?
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Old Mon Apr 10, 2006, 03:39pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jurassic Referee
That was my question. If you do stick your face in and they still ignore you and just keep a-tugging away, now what?
Blow the whistle real hard right in the middle of the pig-pile. They'll stop whatever else they're doing and hold their ears. And the damage to their hearing won't show up for a couple years, so they won't remember how it happened.
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Old Mon Apr 10, 2006, 04:11pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jurassic Referee
Iow, if they're ignoring the whistle from 15 feet away, what do you do if they ignore the whistle from 3 feet away?
Well, at least in my experience, I've never had them ignore me at 3 feet away, at any level. There must be something about my ugly mug, or the striped shirt, that gets them to stop. Maybe players get accustomed to hearing the whistle and knowing 9 times out of 10 it has nothing to do with them, so hearing the whistle doesn't always have much of an effect, where seeing an official that close takes their mind off all the tugging.

I guess if they do ever ignore me, I'll treat it like a fight. We'll try our best to keep it from happening, but if it does, get out of the way and start writing down numbers. I do think Chuck has a good point - blow the whistle loud enough that close and they'll be using their hands to cover their ears rather than pushing and tugging on each other.
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Old Mon Apr 10, 2006, 05:25pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChuckElias
Blow the whistle real hard right in the middle of the pig-pile. They'll stop whatever else they're doing and hold their ears. And the damage to their hearing won't show up for a couple years, so they won't remember how it happened.
And if they do, you just have to say "What?" because you were just as close to the whistle blast.
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Old Tue Apr 11, 2006, 11:39pm
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Getting in there is important. Usually they'll behave if you're breathing down their necks. But once you're in there, it's also important to stay in there until everybody is off the floor, moved apart and settled down.

The only punch I've ever had thrown in one of my games came after I turned away from the aftermath of a held ball on the floor too soon. I thought I had it sorted out. One of the two players was standing up again, everything looked kosher. Then out of the corner of my eye I saw the kid still on the ground take a swing at his opponent. Not cool.

So, maybe offer the kid on the ground a hand up? It gives you a reason to stay with the play and may defuse the emotions a bit?
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