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Old Wed Jan 17, 2007, 12:58pm
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Interaction with crowd

Being a new official I would like to get some feed back from some some of the more seasoned refs. I was doing my second game last night(4th grade boys), when in the first quarter, A1 shoots the ball from near the baseline and hits the back of the backboard. I whistle we are going the other way. A couple possessions later, B1 hits the side of his backboard, of course no whistle. One particular father sitting near the division line rants and raves that I am only calling it one way, I don't pay any attention to him the rest of the quarter while I concentrate on the game. I'm the ref, so just prior to the start of second quarter, while waiting for my partner to rouse up the teams, I decide (in a pleasant way)to give him a quick rules lesson. Naturally, he replies he saw it different, I just let it go from there. My question to you is should I have even tried reached out to communicate with him or just let it go? I will say I did not hear a word out of him for the rest of the game. At the end of the game I was happy because I did get a lot of people telling me that we did a good job. Any feed back would be greatly appreciated.
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Old Wed Jan 17, 2007, 01:02pm
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it depends

It just depends on the situation and it changes from one to the other....A general rule is no, but there are some people based on their personalities that can get away with interacting with the crowd. The thing to keep in mind though is this, you are usually dealing with (team) biased individuals with little to no rules knowledge, which in turn makes for some strange observations from the peanut gallery to say the least
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Old Wed Jan 17, 2007, 01:14pm
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You can generally lump interactions with fans into two categories. There are those situations where the answer to the question of whether to talk to fans is definitely No. On the other hand, there are those times when the answer is Hell No! Knowing the difference is important
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Old Wed Jan 17, 2007, 01:35pm
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Leave the crowd alone. They are the least of your worries out there on the court. Just handle players and coaches and you will be fine. I think my signature says it all.
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As an official, I always appreciate the crowds stupidity. It reminds me why I am on the court, and they are sitting in the bleachers.
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Old Wed Jan 17, 2007, 01:44pm
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I guess it depends on why you're officiating 4th grade. As I started to officiate, I used the rec leagues of younger kids to work on my mechanics, floor positioning, "game management," etc. My goal was to build skills and get into the habit of doing things the way the local association wants them done in a jr high or high school game. Since virtually every official I've met has counseled me to refrain from speaking with the fans, I made it a habit not to talk to the fans in rec league play. If your goal is the same, getting court time to help you develop your own skills, I would definitely suggest NOT speaking to the fans.

Now, if you're working this age group to help kids develop their skills or a different reason...then I guess go with what your instinct tells you. Not all, but many, parents (oh, and coaches) of younger kids lack a basic understanding of the rules. In particular, BC violations, hand-checking, intentional fouls, and the like don't seem to register with them. Short of conducting a weekly seminar, you'll be hard pressed to help them understand why what you called was the correct call.
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Old Wed Jan 17, 2007, 01:56pm
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If the conversation is confrontational in nature I would say do not interact with any fans. If there is something funny or they are directly getting involved with players (not necessarily in a bad way), then I have no problem with some interaction.

Peace
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Old Wed Jan 17, 2007, 01:56pm
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I might apologize to the dad for costing his son a college scholarship, but that's about it in a 4th grade game when the Dad is whining like this.

Learn from it. You could show him a replay and the rulebook, and it's not going to have any affect.

As Rut says, though, there's nothing wrong with some lighhearted interaction if the atmosphere is conducive.
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Old Wed Jan 17, 2007, 02:09pm
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Thanks to all. The general consensus is not to, and I won't. This level is definitely a stepping stone, and if I am going to make mistakes, I rather it be at this level. By the way, this forum has been absolutely awesome.
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Old Wed Jan 17, 2007, 03:24pm
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I am one who talks to the crowd from time-to-time. But I only do it when it is obviously light-hearted. I will only talk to the crowd if I have a smile on my face and I'm seeing smiles back at me.

However, I never initiate any conversations (unless she is cute and single ) and I don't hold rules clinics for them. I never engage confrontational fans and I ignore any negative comments.
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Old Wed Jan 17, 2007, 03:31pm
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Indy,

At the 4th grade level I would feel free to address a polite question regarding rules from the fans. I had a game early in my career where a parent asked me about 5 second counts. After I explained it to him he was very appreciative. It doesn't work for every official or fan. Some are just being instigators.
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Old Wed Jan 17, 2007, 03:36pm
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It's a situational thing...I generally ignore them, sometimes they will say something so good, I'll react and smile or laugh and they will pick up on it.

With the younger kids, I'll take some opportunities to educate the parents on what the rules are from time to time.

I have had a couple of times with student sections this year where I've talked to them a bit.

The best one was after I had two kids on the floor for a loose ball and I stopped the game because we had a huge wet spot, a kid from the student section took off his tee shirt and started wiping it up...they had a white-out night...I pointed to a spot by my foot that he missed and he gave my shoes a quick buff while he was down there. It was priceless.
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Old Wed Jan 17, 2007, 04:33pm
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By definition the crowd are "spectators" - be very careful.

My dreamm is to hand out a rules questionaire before a game and see who gets them anywhere near correct -
Define a blarge
The three second rule
Define "over the back" (!)
Whats a COACH'S BOX
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Old Wed Jan 17, 2007, 04:33pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ref Daddy
By definition the crowd are "spectators" - be very careful.

My dreamm is to hand out a rules questionaire before a game and see who gets them anywhere near correct -
Define a blarge
The three second rule
Define "over the back" (!)
Whats a COACH'S BOX
Anybody scoring over 50% gets a used Fox40.
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Old Wed Jan 17, 2007, 05:38pm
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Tell the guy you'll be conducting a rules clinic after the game and he's welcome to attend. Then also mention the modest fee.
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Old Wed Jan 17, 2007, 05:56pm
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I posted the following on the bulletin board during our 9-10 and 11-12 year old rec league last year. It got practically zero attention.


Being a Student of the Game


Listen to the fans around you as you watch the game. (or in some cases listen to yourself) “These refs are awful! That guy obviously doesn’t even know the rules!” This could be true, but many times the one who complains loudest knows the least. Registered officials are the only ones in the gym who are required to pass a rules test. Is this very difficult? Not really, but the point is the guy being criticized at least owns a current rule book. How many fans have ever seen a rule book? Check out the following list of questions. If you get them all correct, consider yourself very knowledgeable.

1. Held ball situation, possession arrow favors team A. Player A1 takes the ball out of bounds. He extends the ball across the line and out over the court, where B1 grabs the ball and ties it up. What is the call?

a. Violation when the ball crossed the line, B’s ball
b. Technical foul on B1
c. Warning on B1, if it happens again it is a technical
d. Held ball, B gets possession
e. Held ball, A keeps possession

2. End of game situation: Team A leads by 2. Players A1 dribbles at midcourt, and with 1 second left throws the ball high in the air, thinking his team has won. Buzzer sounds while the ball is in the air, but, incredibly, the ball goes through Team B’s basket. What is the call?

a. No points. Ball entered basket after the buzzer. A wins by 2.
b. 3 points for team B. B wins by 1.
c. 2 points for team B. Overtime.

3. Traveling involves the limit on movement of the pivot foot. A player gains possession of the ball and has not yet used his dribble, therefore he may start a dribble, shoot, or pass. The limits on movement of the pivot foot are:

a. The same on all three options.
b. Different on all three options.
c. The same on a shot and a pass. .
d. The same on a shot and a dribble.
e. The same on a pass and a dribble.

4. Official calls a foul near the baseline and you do not see the signal. You are told the call was either an intentional foul or a technical foul. There are 2 differences in the penalty for these 2 infractions. What are they?

5. Team A leads by 1 as time expires to end the 4th quarter. Immediately after the buzzer, team A’s coach steps out and uses profanity as he gives his opinion to the officials of how the game was called. Ruling: Technical foul on Coach A. Two free throws will be shot to determine which team wins or if overtime is necessary. True or false?
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