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Old Sat Apr 07, 2007, 12:53am
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AAU Issues

Last year we had a large national AAU Tournament here. The play was good but the coaches were slightly out of line. At least three were removed from gyms by the Police Officers at the University hosting the event.

They're coming back this year. We asked our supervisor to discuss penalties for ejection with the Tournament Director. In regular season high school ball, if you get ejected you sit 1 game. We suggested that if a coach gets ejected he sits a game and if he's ejected twice, he's done for the tourney. The director refused and told us that the problem coaches weren't coming back anyways. Does anyone have similar rules for AAU Tournaments where you are?
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Old Sat Apr 07, 2007, 09:19am
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There's several things here:
1. How hard did your Supervisor push the issue?
2. The Tournament Director is running his tournaments like a business. Do you know why? Because it is. He doesn't want to start running off teams with their enty fee, gate money and consessions profits.
3. The officials are still the same and your line is the same line. If they cross it, then penalize. If they do it again, they are gone for that game. If they do it again next game, then so do you.
4. Let's just say some of those same trouble coaches do indeed show up, or maybe some new ones do. Be careful not to walk into your games with some preconceived notions on how their behavior will go. I know it's hard because we can forgive but not forget. Remember, you're representing good officials everywhere.
5. Sometimes it's rare in AAU ball but consider a quick pregame where sportsmanship A#1.
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Old Sat Apr 07, 2007, 10:04am
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Like Chris says the AAU events are a business. They want teams to pay to get in & keep the people there buying stuff once they arrive.

IMO the best way to deal with out of line AAU coaches is to just T them up. No warnings, no worrying about "taking the game away from the kids", no nuthin. And If he steps over the line again give him a quick second and have someone make sure he leaves before you start the game up again.
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Old Sat Apr 07, 2007, 11:17am
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This is one of the few situations where dinging a coach can help the next game with a different coach, because teams are there watching. If a coach gets out of line, at all, ding him, and the other coaches will see it.
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Old Sat Apr 07, 2007, 03:15pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AZ_REF
Last year we had a large national AAU Tournament here. The play was good but the coaches were slightly out of line. At least three were removed from gyms by the Police Officers at the University hosting the event.

They're coming back this year. We asked our supervisor to discuss penalties for ejection with the Tournament Director. In regular season high school ball, if you get ejected you sit 1 game. We suggested that if a coach gets ejected he sits a game and if he's ejected twice, he's done for the tourney. The director refused and told us that the problem coaches weren't coming back anyways. Does anyone have similar rules for AAU Tournaments where you are?
Wow, and I thought I was the only one that has ever had to call in the police. I had a similar tournament last year and a coach from out of state was out of line. He bought in 3 teams which was quite a bill, including airfare. He was a piece of work and basically got upset when his team lost, you know, the immature type. Not a lot you can do accept discuss the situation with the tournament director. Be careful here with how hard you push because you could push yourself out if you're not careful. The coach is bringing in more business than you so you know who's going to win the argument with the host.

Actually, in the AAU, they don't put up with out of control coaches. There is some accountability here, but my program was a private program not affiliated with the AAU, so I'm stuck with what the host decides to do about it. If you are faced with this type of situation, just T him up when they get out of line, let the chips fall where they may. He gets 2 T's, he's got to leave the gym. Stand behind that. If he's the only coach like in my case, go get a parent to come sit on the bench. My point is, he's not sitting on that bench with 2 technicals. I would not worry about the fact that he gets to coach the next game. Hopefully, it won't be yours and if another set of officials gives him a T in the tournament that votes good for you.

Now, in the rare event, and I mention this because it could actually happen. But in the rare event, this guy gets tossed in a semi-final game and his team wins, and I'm working the final game. He ain't coaching that final game. I would let him back into the gym, but he ain't sitting on the bench and I would try to enforce this even if I wasn't the officials working the final game. Of course, the final decision rests with the hosts and I would abide by any decision that was made.
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Old Sat Apr 07, 2007, 03:25pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old School
Now, in the rare event, and I mention this because it could actually happen. But in the rare event, this guy gets tossed in a semi-final game and his team wins, and I'm working the final game. He ain't coaching that final game. I would let him back into the gym, but he ain't sitting on the bench and I would try to enforce this even if I wasn't the officials working the final game. Of course, the final decision rests with the hosts and I would abide by any decision that was made.
This post was less than horrible until this final, self-contradicting paragraph. You've got no jurisdiction to enforce this, don't get involved. Even making the attempt makes you look vindictive.

BTW, I wouldn't be too careful with these guys. If they're that out of line, and the tournament management doesn't want you to deal with it, you can find better things to do with your time; like gardening or something. That doesn't sound like the case, however.
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Old Sat Apr 07, 2007, 04:02pm
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As much as AAU is a business, well-run businesses do not tolerate behavior that makes the business unwelcome. This is from the rules of one of the AAU programs around here:

Our certified IAABO officials are instructed not to tolerate any negative feedback from coaches, parents or players. Please be advised, that offenders will be promptly removed from the gym and banned from the remainder of the tournament.


This tournament director means it. He also attracts excellent teams...so the marketplace is certainly working.
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Old Sat Apr 07, 2007, 05:07pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BayStateRef
This tournament director means it. He also attracts excellent teams...so the marketplace is certainly working.
The marketplace is only working for the tournaments that have responsible tournament directors and also hire qualified officials. In my experience, that does not apply to the majority of AAU tournaments. Most of them want to get their officials as cheaply as possible, and they don't care who they hire to officiate their games as long as they get covered. That's why you can get the Old Schools of the world out there masquerading as officials.
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Old Sat Apr 07, 2007, 05:20pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AZ_REF
Last year we had a large national AAU Tournament here. The play was good but the coaches were slightly out of line. At least three were removed from gyms by the Police Officers at the University hosting the event.
"Slightly out of line" gets coaches removed by the police? Not sure what "slightly out of line" equates to in this case, but it sounds to me like you've got freakin' outstanding on-site management support.
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Old Sun Apr 08, 2007, 12:14am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisSportsFan
There's several things here:
1. How hard did your Supervisor push the issue?
2. The Tournament Director is running his tournaments like a business. Do you know why? Because it is. He doesn't want to start running off teams with their enty fee, gate money and consessions profits.
3. The officials are still the same and your line is the same line. If they cross it, then penalize. If they do it again, they are gone for that game. If they do it again next game, then so do you.
4. Let's just say some of those same trouble coaches do indeed show up, or maybe some new ones do. Be careful not to walk into your games with some preconceived notions on how their behavior will go. I know it's hard because we can forgive but not forget. Remember, you're representing good officials everywhere.
5. Sometimes it's rare in AAU ball but consider a quick pregame where sportsmanship A#1.
1. I don't think pushed it too hard, he just assigned the tournament last year and didn't see anything first hand. Just took our concerns to the director.

2. And he should run it like a business, that's what it is.

3. I agree, what earns you a T in game one, earns you a T in game two.

4. No problem with that, everybody gets a new chance at the start of every game. They all get treated teh same by me. See #3.

5. Not a bad idea, we'll have to try that one. Normally we just introduce ourselves to the coaches and say hello.
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Old Sun Apr 08, 2007, 12:16am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Corndog89
"Slightly out of line" gets coaches removed by the police? Not sure what "slightly out of line" equates to in this case, but it sounds to me like you've got freakin' outstanding on-site management support.
Dang sarcasm not working well on the internet.

In this case slightly out of line meant, running at an official at the opposite baseline from the bench and screaming about kicking his ***, and throwing a clipboard at an official. Those were the two incidents I remember.

The police were already there, they just took care of it and site management didn't get involved.
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Old Sun Apr 08, 2007, 01:29am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AZ_REF
Dang sarcasm not working well on the internet.

In this case slightly out of line meant, running at an official at the opposite baseline from the bench and screaming about kicking his ***, and throwing a clipboard at an official. Those were the two incidents I remember.

The police were already there, they just took care of it and site management didn't get involved.
Copy and understand your original intent now...yeah, the two you describe are not "slightly out of hand". Thanks.
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Old Sun Apr 08, 2007, 07:04am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AZ_REF
Last year we had a large national AAU Tournament here. The play was good but the coaches were slightly out of line. At least three were removed from gyms by the Police Officers at the University hosting the event.

They're coming back this year. We asked our supervisor to discuss penalties for ejection with the Tournament Director. In regular season high school ball, if you get ejected you sit 1 game. We suggested that if a coach gets ejected he sits a game and if he's ejected twice, he's done for the tourney. The director refused and told us that the problem coaches weren't coming back anyways. Does anyone have similar rules for AAU Tournaments where you are?
That is the nature of the beast. I had to put a spectator out yesterday and really didnt have any problems with coaches this weekend.
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Old Mon Apr 09, 2007, 12:37am
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In my opinion, the vast majority of problems in AAU games come because the officials on the games haven't yet developed the level of expertise needed to control these games. Often, AAU officials are younger officials looking to work higher level ball, or guys who will ref 10-11 games in a row to pick up a paycheck, and couldn't care less about the coaches. Also, many of the coaches are slighly less scrupulous than coaches in high school games because AAU is a business to them, and they don't have a teaching job they need to worry about.

My philosophy when I work AAU games is that I will not be bullied or intimidated, nor will I make any concessions in terms of the rules or sportsmanship. Many guys have the attitude that because it's summer ball, it's relaxed and they will have more tolerance for BS than they ordinarily would, I go in with the opposite approach. There are plenty of AAU games around, and if the tournament director doesn't like how I deal with coaches or wants me to bend, I will simply not work those games. If the director sides with a coach over me, fine, I just won't work. I think if collectively we as officials adopted the policy that we will not bend to simply help the tournament director make a buck, then we'd be much better off.
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Old Mon Apr 09, 2007, 01:32am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SMEngmann
In my opinion, the vast majority of problems in AAU games come because the officials on the games haven't yet developed the level of expertise needed to control these games. Often, AAU officials are younger officials looking to work higher level ball, or guys who will ref 10-11 games in a row to pick up a paycheck, and couldn't care less about the coaches. Also, many of the coaches are slighly less scrupulous than coaches in high school games because AAU is a business to them, and they don't have a teaching job they need to worry about.

My philosophy when I work AAU games is that I will not be bullied or intimidated, nor will I make any concessions in terms of the rules or sportsmanship. Many guys have the attitude that because it's summer ball, it's relaxed and they will have more tolerance for BS than they ordinarily would, I go in with the opposite approach. There are plenty of AAU games around, and if the tournament director doesn't like how I deal with coaches or wants me to bend, I will simply not work those games. If the director sides with a coach over me, fine, I just won't work. I think if collectively we as officials adopted the policy that we will not bend to simply help the tournament director make a buck, then we'd be much better off.
I do not think the over all problem is ever the officials. I think the problem is the tournament structure. There is money these teams put into these teams and often times the coaches are not real coaches. You get some dad, pro athlete or business owner running a team rather than someone that has that kind of training or background. I have seen some of the most competent officials have to deal with the most out of hand coaches and players. You can have all the best intentions and attitudes and some coach that has never been reprimanded all summer long can give you crap. I have thrown out coaches only to have them try to approach me after the game (not in a threatening way) about why they were thrown out and an evaluation of what my resume was. I once had a coach try to tell me that I was not a HS official because I was not wearing an IHSA Patch on my sleeve during a tournament. Little did the dumb azz know I do not wear patches during those kinds of games (a lot of people do not wear them). But you could not tell that to this fool. So it really never is going to matter how good you are or how experienced you are. These games will always have some kind of problem unless tournament directors want to put their foot down. But that might mean they lose money or teams in the process. So that will not happen anytime soon in most cases under the current structure.

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