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Old Wed Jan 23, 2002, 05:40am
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I have a question - I recently began doing middle school level games, and many of them ask the officials to do a 5th quarter. I understand the concept - let the kids play who weren't good enough to play in the real game (I won't go any further into my disgust of middle school sports' "Win at any cost" philosophy, when you're supposed to be teaching the kids how to play and half the bench sits for most if not all of the game - ok, enough venting )... but what I have a problem with is the level of rule enforcement at this point. I have only worked a few games that did this, but I was told by one coach not to report fouls, and by the other to call and report them so he knew which players were fouling on his team. I was told by my partner in both cases, "Let most stuff go". My problem is the idea of what do you let go? Some people have told me to let everything go but the obvious fouls and violations - well, I don't normally call the non-obvious ones! If I see someone travel, it stands out to me as obvious. If I see someone hit another player and affect their shot, again, obvious. But it would seem that I am calling more than I am supposed to, from talking to my partner after the game about this 5th quarter.

I guess I'm not sure how the kids will learn if they do finally get some playing time, but they are allowed to do whatever they want (ok, maybe not whatever, but for example, travel if it was ONLY 2-3 steps, or push another player if it wasn't THAT hard) and not be told, by calling fouls, that what they did was wrong. I mean, I talk to the players too, and explain what it is they are doing wrong, but if they don't want fouls called, or violations, then why not just have the coaches ref the game - why have us there to not call the rules we are supposed to?

I ran into this issue with my IM league - the kids said that the refs were calling too much - I asked them which rules we should ignore, and after discussing it, they coulnd't come up with any specific ones - they just want less calls (which to me is more fouling).

Thanks for any advice on this matter - again, I don't have any problem with doing these 5th quarters... it's not the money that is getting me there anyway - I'm doing it because I enjoy it - I just have trouble when all the black and white rules become fuzzy.
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Old Wed Jan 23, 2002, 09:44am
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Thumbs up Agreed!

I've done 2 or 3 SIX quarter games this year. I call the extra quarters nearly the same as the 1st 4 quarters. These kids are playing as hard as those who played earlier, and I believe they deserve to have the same rules employed. (Besides, when I played, I was almost always on the 'B' team!)

Why then do I say "nearly" the same? Quite honestly, the level of play in these extra quarters has been so poor that I've had trouble maintaining my concentration. I try very hard to maintain the same level of attention, but I guess I need to grow in that area!
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Old Wed Jan 23, 2002, 09:48am
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What are your goals in the officiating world? If you are relatively new and aspire to "move up" my advice might be to do what you think someone in your ultimate position would do. If you have been officiating for twenty years and are "moving down" then do what comforts you. My point is that once I realized where I want to be I started officiating at that level regardless of what kind of ball I was working. I am personally comfortable being a high scshool varsity referee and desire to stay at that level for a specific amount of time. Accordingly, I referee the same for whomever I am working. I am a varsity official, here is what you get. What are you comfortable with?
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Old Wed Jan 23, 2002, 10:06am
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I think you can change the way you officiate in the 5th quarter. If that is what they want then give it to them. However, If one coach says report and the other says no, then i'm reporting all fouls. Protect the airborn shooter. If he is not in the air, let miner body contact go, if hit on shooting arm, and you think it will go in the basket, let it go. Get only the obvious travel, where everyone in the 32nd row seen it. Most inportant is to work on specific mechanics, i.e. arm straight up, steping down on shot, comeing to stop to report, etc.
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Old Wed Jan 23, 2002, 11:42am
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I don't have any real input into the main question of this thread, but I want to ask a question of my own. Why would you agree to stay for an "extra quarter"? I've never been asked to do this, and I guess I just don't understand why an official would stay after his assigned game to work extra. If the agreement between you and the assignor is that you work one game, then you work one game. If the coaches can't figure out how to get the kids in the game, that's their problem, not the official's. Are you compensated for staying after the game? It just seems like a strange practice to me.

Chuck
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Old Wed Jan 23, 2002, 11:48am
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Personally, I've been adequately compensated each time I've done it. Although I wouldn't rule out a "pro bono" quarter at a lower level, I certainly wouldn't want to make a habit of it.
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Old Wed Jan 23, 2002, 12:12pm
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Aside from the fact most of us wouldn't get paid anything extra for this (this is different from a game that goes into overtime), this part of the "game" might be considered a scrimmage, not a game. After all, you are specifically asked to modify calling the game properly, and it isn't part of the record that was established after the regular time was over.

My point? INSURANCE. Mine doesn't cover scrimmages and every association I have ever belonged to has stated their's doesn't either.

It's nice to be a nice guy, but not at the risk of your career - or your house.
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Old Wed Jan 23, 2002, 01:24pm
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Around here, all middle school/junior high girls games (called "Modified") are 5 quarters. Each team has an A and a B squad. The A squad plays quarters 1 and 3; the B squad quarters 2 and 4. Anyone can play the 5th quarter. These are regular games and we get paid extra for them.

It's a nice system that lets the coach take everyone who is interested in playing.
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Old Wed Jan 23, 2002, 03:55pm
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I am located on Long Island, NY. In my county we also play "modified" rules at the middle school level. They play 5 7-minute quarters. We also use the "A" and "B" team concept. This is done because they don't cut any players and they all get to play. I think it works out well. Also we get extra pay because of this extra quarter. In addition, the 5th quarter is played as a continuation of the second half and team fouls keep accumulating. This sometimes makes that 5th quarter take longer than the other quarters.

As far as how to call the game, let me add my two cents. I try to call it the same way I call a high school game. I believe that the kids will never learn to play by the rules if we don't show them that the rules will be enforced. Obviously, though, we have to make a few changes because their skill levels are not as good as they will hopefully become over the next few years. This level game always has some "nonsense" stuff that happens: lots of collisions and travelling calls. It is important to call the obvious, but I always enforce the behavior rules: no trash talk, no disrespecting players or officials, shirts tucked in, no jewelry, etc.

Bernie
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Old Wed Jan 23, 2002, 04:24pm
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Maybe some areas are different, but I agree with Mark, unless I have a contract that spells out what I am going to do, I don't touch it.

This is not emphasized (sp) very much in basketball, but I see it a lot in the volleyball leagues where I work. If you perform any duties outside of your contracted work, or outside the rules, then you leave yourself wide open for a big fat lawsuit.

You do what is spelled out, nothing more. It is not being a jerk, it is being safe. I get a lot of requests when a volleyball game ends early to "play on" or play extra until the next match starts. My policy is there is the net, there is the ball, do what you want, but I am going to be out in the hall.
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Old Wed Jan 23, 2002, 06:04pm
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I do believe that this is an attitude which I equate with the attitude about letting the good players play. I have no problem doing the reffing pro bono - it's more practice for me, and It's fun (except for trying to figure out what they want you to call). I believe that people who are unwilling to give a little extra time for the little kids shouolnd't be doing this. Now, varsity level? That's different - you should be paid for extra time. But I have NO problem giving some time for myself to help out. Now, I don't see why the coaches can't do it themselves, since they aren't counting it and don't seem to want much called (unless it's obvious, which I discussed earlier), but I have no problem doing it. This world is too filled with people obsessed with lawsuits. If we just did what was right, lawyers would be out of a job. (Welcome to my utopia!)
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Old Wed Jan 23, 2002, 07:46pm
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In our area we have done 5th quarters. They are scheduled as part of the game and we get paid extra to do them. At the high school level we occaisionally do a half JV boys and a half JV girls game for some of the smaller schools that we serve. They are also scheduled and paid for. A lot of times we do the 5th quarter first and then play the regular game. If we do it that way. we clear the score and the fouls and then start over. It's what ever the coaches agree upon. I have also done middle school weekend tournaments for traveling teams. We usally get paid for them but not the regular rate. I have done 4 or 5 games on a saturday and when the organizers come to pay me I'll tell them to take the kids out to dinner on me. I don't have a problem with telling the coaches before hand that the games will be done pro bono. I'm not afraid of being sued. I haven't been sued yet. I think an altruistic approach at times can have a very positive impact on the community and give officials a better reputation.
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Old Thu Jan 24, 2002, 09:45am
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I do not have a problem with the fifth quarter concept either. The OhioHSAA does not allow it but the MichiganHSAA does allow it. The question I have for you is this: Does your contract specify a fifth quarter to be played? In Michigan if your contract does not specify a fifth quarter you do not officate a fifth quarter. If the schools want to continue on as a scrimmage between themselves that is okay, but you are done. I think it is way out-of-bounds for a school to ask the officials to stay for an extra quarter when the officials arrive at the game site. I know that I sound like a spoil sport, but it is a professional courtesy that the schools should be extending to the officials.
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Old Sun Jan 27, 2002, 09:23pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mark T. DeNucci, Sr.
I do not have a problem with the fifth quarter concept either. The OhioHSAA does not allow it but the MichiganHSAA does allow it. The question I have for you is this: Does your contract specify a fifth quarter to be played? In Michigan if your contract does not specify a fifth quarter you do not officate a fifth quarter. If the schools want to continue on as a scrimmage between themselves that is okay, but you are done. I think it is way out-of-bounds for a school to ask the officials to stay for an extra quarter when the officials arrive at the game site. I know that I sound like a spoil sport, but it is a professional courtesy that the schools should be extending to the officials.
It definitely does sound like a spoil-sport attitude to me. A little altruism goes a long way
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