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Old Sun Feb 25, 2007, 01:36pm
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Stop Sign Not Considered Harmful

I have noted with some sadness the fad of bashing of the stop sign here. It's high time somebody stood up for this much maligned game management tool. I guess this makes me somebody

Let me start by saying that I respect what tomegun has been trying to accomplish with his comments. I have even benefited from them: I've given a couple Ts this year that were deserved and afforded no opportunity to stop sign the recipient. Previously I might have felt obliged to give some kind of warning instead of taking care of business. So, Tom, thanks for helping make my game better.

But all this negative press does not negate the simple truth that the stop sign remains a good game management tool. It still works as well as it always has for a variety of uses, mostly having to do with helping a coach or player understand when they are nearing the end of their leash and there is a chance for them to reel themselves back in. And it still has the added benefit of being visible on film.

Despite the criticism it has come under here recently, officials should not hesistate to use it -- when it is appropriate. In fact, rather than eliminate it from their bag of tools, most of us should probably pull it out sooner than we do.

I'm not on a crusade to end the dialogue about when it's appropriate and inappropriate to use. I find that useful. What I find disturbing is the way that other "wanna-be cool kids" regularly pile on. I'm talking about snide comments along the lines of "Did you give him the stop sign, that would have fixed everything." Tomegun's comments certainly sounded heretical to begin with, but were aimed solidly at accomplishing a specific, useful end. But these pile on comments are nothing more than the moral equivalent of picking on the nerdy kid to try to appear to be cool too.

Most of us realize that, chuckle, and don't lose any sleep over it. But there are a lot of newer officials who come here looking to us for sound advice and I think we do them harm by openly dissing the stop sign just to try to be cool.
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Old Sun Feb 25, 2007, 01:51pm
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I appreciate the constructive voice added to the dialogue. I agree with what you're saying about the pile-on.

Perhaps there's a middle ground we haven't considered.

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Old Sun Feb 25, 2007, 01:54pm
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My opinion only:

There is nothing a stop sign can do that a low volume word or two cannot do.

Whereas I have seen the very visible stop sign make a situation worse (the coach and crowd can easily interpret it as being "shown up") I have never had a properly chosen soft word turn a situation worse.

I will continue to employ less potentially volatile techniques.
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Old Sun Feb 25, 2007, 02:02pm
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Helpful ?????

I believe I got the following, with some editing, from the Tri-City (Washington State ???) Officials Association web site. It may be helpful to rookie officials:

Technical Fouls

Top Reasons To Not Give A Technical Foul
1) You can address a coach before it becomes a problem. A quiet word can go a long way in preventing a technical foul.
2) When coaches complain ask yourself, is the call questionable, is the call wrong. If they have a legitimate gripe then allow them some latitude.
3) If you know a coach is upset then move out onto the floor when in front of their bench.
4) Warnings can be very effective in preventing situations from escalating. Don't tolerate a lot before a warning.
5) Lend and ear. Coaches like to be heard. If you ignore them then they become more frustrated and are more likely to lose control.
6) If an assistant is out of line, then you can speak to the head coach and ask them to help you out.
7) If a player is out of line then let the coach know. Tell them you've warned their player. That way if you do give a technical foul, then the coach isn't surprised. Most good coaches will speak to the player first.
8) If you have had a rough day and know your fuse is short, keep that in mind before you do anything rash. Ask yourself, does the situation come under one of the top ten reasons to give a technical foul.

Top Reasons To Give A Technical Foul
Knowing when the right time to call a technical foul is half the battle. There are many different factors to consider, when deciding to give a technical foul. Generally, there are three areas of coach's behavior that need attention: when a coach makes it personal, when a coach draws attention to himself or herself, and when a coach's complaints are persistent.

Some technical fouls are easy. They are black and white situations that leave little room for negotiations:
1) Using profanity or language that is abusive, vulgar, or obscene.
2) If a coach questions your integrity.
3) Inciting an undesirable crowd reaction.
4) If you are being embarrassed.
5) If coach or player has been warned and has not heeded the warning.
6) Leaving the confines of the coaching box and complaining.
7) A coach demonstrates displeasure with your partner and their back is turned.

Other technical fouls are not as black and white. In some situations a warning may be appropriate before the technical foul is given:
8) A coach or player continually demonstrates signals or asks for calls.
9) If they have interfered with the game or your concentration then they have usually gone too far.
10) If giving a technical will help give structure back to the game and if it will have a calming effect on things.

Top Ways To Give A Technical Foul
1) Calling a technical foul should be no different then calling any other violation. Maintain a pleasant attitude,have poise and presence. Don't embarrass the coach by being demonstrative.
2) Explain technical fouls on players to coaches.
4) Never look at a coach when you give a technical foul.
3) Call the technical foul. Report it to the table and leave the area. Find your partner.
4) Explanations, it needed should be done by partner.
5) After technical fouls, get the ball in play immediately.
6) Make them earn the second technical foul. Don't be reluctant to give the second trechnical foul if it is warranted.
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Old Sun Feb 25, 2007, 02:32pm
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I am in your camp with the use of game management. I too am thrown under the bus, maybe not as bad as Tomgun when it comes to suggesting such a thing. You call it being cool. Is that the name for it, because I happen to think that there are simply some bad officials out here with personal agendas. Some of these guys like JR and Snagwells like to throw officials under the bus and then have you believe they are justified in doing so. I guess that's the new way of being cool but to me, I see their true colors. Unfortunately, they are allowed to continue their crusade of crushing most they come in contact with who challegense their way of thinking on this forum. The art of the stop sign was a point of emphasis a couple of years ago in NFHS. I continue to use it.
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Old Sun Feb 25, 2007, 02:53pm
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BillyMac, do you type about 200 words/minute? You have some of the longest posts I have ever seen!
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Old Sun Feb 25, 2007, 02:57pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GarthB
My opinion only:

There is nothing a stop sign can do that a low volume word or two cannot do.

Whereas I have seen the very visible stop sign make a situation worse (the coach and crowd can easily interpret it as being "shown up") I have never had a properly chosen soft word turn a situation worse.

I will continue to employ less potentially volatile techniques.
I see what you're saying, but if you're about to administer a free throw and the coach is jawing, you've got no way to have a quick "low volume word." I'm not a big fan of the stop sign, but I've used it to good effect once or twice.

And just yesterday I had a coach run right through a "properly chosen soft word." It wasn't what he wanted to hear, and "that's enough, coach" (loud enough for him to hear) didn't work.
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Old Sun Feb 25, 2007, 02:58pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old School
The art of the stop sign was a point of emphasis a couple of years ago in NFHS. I continue to use it.
The usage or non-usage of the "stop sign" has never been an NFHS POE.

It must be said though that Old School Stare Of Imminent Painful Death(tm) has been outlawed by the United Nations for humanitarian reasons.

Oh, the humanity, the humanity..."
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Old Sun Feb 25, 2007, 03:05pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old School
Is that the name for it, because I happen to think that there are simply some bad officials out here with personal agendas. Some of these guys like JR and Snagwells like to throw officials under the bus and then have you believe they are justified in doing so.
Oh no, OS thinks I'm a bad official. I may as well hang it up. If calling you out for your numerous and frequent mistakes is throwing you under the bus, I suggest you either start wearing body armor or get a rule book. That said, I challenge you to show me where I threw an actual official under the bus.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Old School
I guess that's the new way of being cool but to me, I see their true colors.
I never did get to sit at the cool table. Boo Hoo.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Old School
Unfortunately, they are allowed to continue their crusade of crushing most they come in contact with who challegense their way of thinking on this forum.
You're projecting now. You've demonstrated repeatedly that you don't know the rules and you aren't really all that concerned about it. Just because some of us feel compelled to correct your errors doesn't mean we're "crushing most they come in contact with." I disagree, quite civilly, with several people here on several issues. There seems to be a different variable in this equation than mere disagreement; maybe you can find it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Old School
The art of the stop sign was a point of emphasis a couple of years ago in NFHS. I continue to use it.
There's a card game I like to play that seems appropriate here. I call "Bull Sh!t." Show me where the NFHS has ever had a point of emphasis that even obliquely mentioned a "stop sign."
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Old Sun Feb 25, 2007, 04:03pm
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I used to use the stop sign, but no longer find it particularly helpful.

I don't mind if others use it, as I once found it to be a useful tool.

I thought that I was drawing a line for the coach. But I realized that the line I was drawing was in my mind for my own thought process.

On the humorous side:
If your hand is a little bit too high when giving the stop sign, on film it looks like the "Heil Hitler" mechanic.
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Old Sun Feb 25, 2007, 04:11pm
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I think we need to put this conversation in some context. Most of the stories about the stop sign that people decide to tell about their usage of the "stop sign" ends up in a T anyway. That does not sound like a very good tool if you ask me. If you do something that only exacerbates the behavior, I do not see that as something.

Also how can I tell a coach not to make gestures and as an official I am making a gesture that everyone can see?

On Friday I was working a Regional Championship game. The top seed had a very experienced coach who coached a Division 1 program in the Chicago area at one. I made an obvious travel call very early in the game after a loose ball where a player gained possession against this coach’s team. I come in front of him after the ball was ruled dead. I was standing right next to this coach and simply told him, “We are not going to yell at me all night about travel calls.” He started to yell at me again and I said, “We are not going to yell at me when I am talking to you.” I think proceeded to explain to him what took place. After a timeout he tried to talk to one of my partners who was a State Final Official and works in a supervisory role with officials on another level. All my partner said to him, “Coach, there is a right way to complain about a call.” No one heard these conversations (it was very loud in the gym) and the coach behaved himself the rest of the night. He did not yell at me or any of my partners again. He was warned as well and he got the message. No stop sign given and no T given. I consider that a win-win.

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Old Sun Feb 25, 2007, 04:21pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snaqwells
I see what you're saying, but if you're about to administer a free throw and the coach is jawing, you've got no way to have a quick "low volume word." I'm not a big fan of the stop sign, but I've used it to good effect once or twice.
No way? Are you sure about that? If you are working 3 man, you can go right to the coach and talk to them. If you are working 2 man, tell the coach, "I will be over there in a second, give me a chance" and they will have to hold their horses. If they do not, then you have options.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snaqwells
And just yesterday I had a coach run right through a "properly chosen soft word." It wasn't what he wanted to hear, and "that's enough, coach" (loud enough for him to hear) didn't work.
Maybe you could choose a better set of words than "That's enough coach." This also sounds confrontational as well in my opinion.

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Old Sun Feb 25, 2007, 04:34pm
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[QUOTE=Back In The Saddle]I have noted with some sadness the fad of bashing of the stop sign here. It's high time somebody stood up for this much maligned game management tool. I guess this makes me somebody
I'm not on a crusade to end the dialogue about when it's appropriate and inappropriate to use. I find that useful. What I find disturbing is the way that other "wanna-be cool kids" regularly pile on. I'm talking about snide comments along the lines of "Did you give him the stop sign, that would have fixed everything." Tomegun's comments certainly sounded heretical to begin with, but were aimed solidly at accomplishing a specific, useful end. But these pile on comments are nothing more than the moral equivalent of picking on the nerdy kid to try to appear to be cool too.

QUOTE]

Quote:
Originally Posted by blindmanwalking
Did you give them... the STOP SIGN? This probably would have fixed everything.

Really, good job.
I guess I'm the guy that put you over the top. My apologies. It was an attempt at humor.

For the record, however, at the rules meeting I attended in my part of Illinois, we were told straight up to take the stop sign out of our arsenal of un-approved mechanics. Seems it might have been having opposite the intended effect in some cases.
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Old Sun Feb 25, 2007, 04:43pm
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My Legacy to this forum

This whole stop sign controversy started with one of my postsand me describing when I used it (which did end up in a T). However, Friday night, I had a situation that I know some would've used the stop sign.

Home team (Falcons) were Hosting the Rangers. Boys JV. Falcons coach is usually very calm. Two pretty good teams. Falcons lead most of the game 6-10 points. With about 4:00 in the game Rangers put a little run together to close to 7. I am lead as Falcons have the ball. Rangers player tips away ball from behind as Falcons player drives the lane. Before the ball goes out of bounds, it hits off the chest of a Falcons player. I call blue and point the other way. In hind sight I realize that the Falcons player had his back to the bench and there is no way anyone byt me saw the play. As I get ready to administer the throw in the Falcons coach says out loud for the whole gym to hear, "Come on Ignats, don't start screwing me now."

I didn't give him the stop sign. I Whacked him. I'm sure in my first couple of years the stop sign is all I would've given him. But now I won't tolerate anyone questioning my integrity like that.
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Old Sun Feb 25, 2007, 05:01pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GarthB
There is nothing a stop sign can do that a low volume word or two cannot do.
Is there an argument for using the stop sign because that will show up on game tape? Since we are constantly on video, using visible means of commication can be useful - especially if the coach ends up being ejected and there is some reason to revisit the chain of events.
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