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  #1 (permalink)  
Old Wed Jan 30, 2002, 10:08am
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Here's a good "Letter to coaches" from officiating.com. I though you may all enjoy it. I hope the URL shows up right...

http://www.officiating.com/index.cgi...=jm_openletter
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Old Wed Jan 30, 2002, 12:35pm
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This is from an official in my chapter, I am also one of the 23 that kept going from the original 158, I can't believe that many stopped officiating.

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Old Wed Jan 30, 2002, 12:37pm
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I'll pass this along...

...to the Howler Monkeys at the coaches discussion board. Very well written!
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Old Wed Jan 30, 2002, 12:55pm
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that article makes me feel good about all the techs i have given to coaches for bad comments. i do not let the coaches go wild on us without penalty. in my pregame conference )highschool) i tell coaches that we are approachable they can come to us with questions and approach us, not ATTACK us. verbal attacks will not go unaddressed!
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Old Wed Jan 30, 2002, 01:48pm
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In my pregame withthe coaches/players I always tell them that if they have a question that they can POLITELY ask us and we will be happy to answer them when we have a chance.
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Old Wed Jan 30, 2002, 02:10pm
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Invitation to a firestorm

Well, I posted the artcle at the Howler Monkey (should I capitalize Howler Monkey?) and a youth coach responded to the article...here is it exactly as it was written by "NW WI Dad:"



"The article is a good one and brings up some very valid points. But I would also, as a youth coach with several years' experience,
have this to say to referees: ---Conduct yourselves with professionalism and respect for the coaches and players. If you make a
call, give a clear, concise explanation to the scorer, so that we can hear it, too. If we have a question about it, answer it in the
same manner. ---If we are being a little too vocal, tell us during a time-out. Be firm, but try to be understanding. Don't just yell at
us from the floor or T us up without warning. ---Be consistent. If you are calling a tight game in the first half, call it that way in the
second. If you're letting the kids play a physical game, don't change to a tight game at halftime. ---Don't single out players. If you
call a travel or palming against the star guard, call it against the average guard. If you call over-the-back against a big center as he
grabs the rebound from smaller kids, call it against the smaller kid when he climb's the big kid's back. Don't try to even up the
abilities of the players artificially. ---Don't tolerate out-of-control parents. If some leather-lung is giving you grief from the stands,
tell us about it and give us a chance to deal with the parent. If that doesn't work, we'll probably be happy to have you toss them.
But if my kids' parents are loud and obnoxious, don't hold it against me or my kids. ---If you miss a call at one end, don't try to
make it up at the other end. ---If you're fair, professional, consistent, you will gain immediate respect from the great majority of
players and coaches. Those that don't give you their respect will suffer the consequences, in terms of technical fouls, if their
behavior warrants it. Nothing gets our attention quicker than that T-signal. ---Remember, if you think, "They're not paying me
enough to do this," we're probably thinking the very same thing about our own situations."

Just relaying the info boys,
Coachgrd
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Old Wed Jan 30, 2002, 02:25pm
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Re: Invitation to a firestorm

Quote:
Originally posted by coachgrd

Just relaying the info boys,
Coachgrd
I personally don't have a problem with anything he wrote. They way I read it, all he ask is that we approach the game professionally, treat everyone with respect and call a consistent, fair game.

As for the parents in the stands, there has been only one occassion where I could not ignore or tolerate what was being said. It is a long story, but the jerk was promoting viloence on the floor. I did not go to the coach. He has more important things with which to be concerned. I simply asked the authorities to facilitate him enjoying the gourgeous morning...you know...allow him to connect with nature.
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Old Wed Jan 30, 2002, 09:51pm
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About the original ariticle. I say Wow!!! Well written. What I have to say about the coach's response: is read the original article again. Let us train the officials. We are not going to be consistant until we learn what consisitancy is. But if you gripe and complain we can never get into a rythm of officiating that is consistant. We will be working toward your weak standard that isn't fair to the other coach. During interscholastic compitition, technicals and parent ejections must be reported. This gives us a chance to verify that the official is doing it for justifiable reasons. Let us deal with the newbies and get them on the right track. By you criticizing, condeming and complaining, all you do is give someone a very good excuse to quit.
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Old Thu Jan 31, 2002, 12:33am
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Coachgrd,

You need to re-read the letter.

Don't just yell at us from the floor or T us up without warning.
I can't imagine a ref "yelling" at a coach. If they did, chances are it was because they were tired of you yelling at them. We don't have to give you a warning, it depends on the circumstances whether you get one or not before a T.

---Be consistent. If you are calling a tight game in the first half, call it that way in the second.
If both teams play the same way in both halves, the officiating will be "consistent." A good ref adjusts to the level and style of the play.

If you're letting the kids play a physical game, don't change to a tight game at halftime.
Again, the teams decide how physical it is. We just call the fouls and violations that we see.

---Don't single out players.
That statement is so ridiculous that it isn't even worthy of a response.

If you call a travel or palming against the star guard, call it against the average guard. If you call over-the-back against a big center as he grabs the rebound from smaller kids, call it against the smaller kid when he climb's the big kid's back. Don't try to even up the abilities of the players artificially.
Another ignorant statement. We just call the game. I've never cared who won nor cared who the star players are. If you think you see the same thing against one kid and not against the other, the ref saw something different. There is no such call as "over the back." If a player is displaced or put at disadvantage on the rebound, we'll call a push regardless of the size or ability of the players.

---Don't tolerate out-of-control parents.
We don't have jurisdiction on parents unless they are sitting on your bench. Yeah, we could call a "T" on the crowd, but it isn't recommended. You could help us by having game management deal with the out-of-control parent before we have to get game management to do something.

But if my kids' parents are loud and obnoxious, don't hold it against me or my kids.
Another ignorant statement. I don't hold an obnoxious coaches behavior against the kids nor would I hold a parent's conduct against them either. We just ref.

---If you miss a call at one end, don't try to make it up at the other end.
If you see that happen in my game, your coaching bias is affecting your judgment. Make-up calls are for the NBA.

---If you're fair, professional, consistent, you will gain immediate respect from the great majority of players and coaches.
When we take the floor, all we are trying to do is be fair, professional and consistent. However, that "winning and losing thing" seems to cloud the ability of many coaches and players to see that.

Z
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Old Thu Jan 31, 2002, 08:32am
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I'll pass your sentiments along

Zebraman:
I'll pass your comments along to the responder from the coaches forum. I simply acted as a go between between the fine officials here and the caring coaches over at the coaches forum.

Incidently, the Howler Monkey forum can be found at http://www.worldofsports.com

Click on "Chalk Talk."

I say "caring" coaches because the regulars over there, like myself, don't make a habit of bashing officials. Most are concerned about the development of of thier program and players. I venture to guess that the majority of the regulars are not varsity coaches.

Please stop on by and share your experiences and perspective!

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Old Fri Feb 01, 2002, 01:46pm
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Conduct yourselves with professionalism and respect for the coaches and players.

This is a two way street, IMHO.

If you make a call, give a clear, concise explanation to the scorer, so that we can hear it, too.

Sure. Stop complaining about the call while I report. And for that matter, move out of the way so that the scorer can see me reporting.

If we have a question about it, answer it in the
same manner.


What if it's a stupid question? Do we get to give a stupid answer?

If we are being a little too vocal, tell us during a time-out.

OK, if we miss a call or make a call that you don't like, please wait until you call a time-out to say anything.

Don't just yell at us from the floor or T us up without warning.

OK, then don't yell at us.

Be consistent. If you are calling a tight game in the first half, call it that way in the second. If you're letting the kids play a physical game, don't change to a tight game at halftime.

If your kids are playing physically and the other team isn't, don't complain about the fouls being 10-4 against you. Especially if you're winning.

Don't single out players. If you call a travel or palming against the star guard, call it against the average guard. If you call over-the-back against a big center as he
grabs the rebound from smaller kids, call it against the smaller kid when he climb's the big kid's back.


Don't assume that we have a hidden agenda when making calls.

Don't try to even up the abilities of the players artificially.

Don't try to get us to even up the foul count.

Don't tolerate out-of-control parents. If some leather-lung is giving you grief from the stands, tell us about it and give us a chance to deal with the parent. If that doesn't work, we'll probably be happy to have you toss them.

(I'm laughing too hard to respond to this one.)

But if my kids' parents are loud and obnoxious, don't hold it against me or my kids.

What if you're being loud and obnoxious?

If you miss a call at one end, don't try to
make it up at the other end.


Stop believing that make up calls exist. They don't — or only in coaches' minds.

If you're fair, professional, consistent, you will gain immediate respect from the great majority of
players and coaches.


But you will still catch a ***load of grief no matter how fair you are.

Remember, if you think, "They're not paying me
enough to do this," we're probably thinking the very same thing about our own situations."


Well just remember that we are being paid a lot less that you are. And don't ever give us the sob story about coaching being your job and that we have another job. We love officiating and want to succeed in it.

It's amazing to see a typewritten account of how biased things look to coaches.
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Old Fri Feb 01, 2002, 03:08pm
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Exclamation

Quote:
Originally posted by Brad
It's amazing to see a typewritten account of how biased things look to coaches.
At the risk of being ostracized, let me point out to everyone that it is easy to pick apart a letter written by anyone and make it sound bad. I feel it is more beneficial if we try to look at the overall point of the letter. Like I said in an earlier post, I think the coach is asking that we approach our "jobs" on the court with the same dedication and care we approach our professions. Sure there were comments in the coach's response that could have been worded better or left unsaid. However, to prove a point I took a few quotes from the official's letter and tried to do the same thing others have done to the coach's letter (not necessarily easy since I have never been on the other side of the equation);

"…unless you take immediate and aggressive action, it's going to start falling down around your ears - and it's your fault."

Typical comment from someone who fails to understand that correcting the conduct and actions of a child or youth fall on the PARENTS. It is the coach's job to teach the game. If there is a behavior problem, look at the parents. My son played baseball, soccer and basketball. Some of his coaches were jerks, but he knew better than conduct himself in an unsporting manner…and it had nothing to do with the coach.

"As the pressure on you to win has become a higher reality, it has replaced or at least reduced the pressure to demonstrate the higher ideals of sportsmanship and fair play."

Nothing like painting an entire profession with one broad brush. Sure this is true in some cases, maybe even most cases. But even in my short time as an official I have seen coaches tear into a player for his on-court conduct. There are some bad coaches, just like there are some bad officials.

"…we know that if we penalize you, we may very well not work at your school again, regardless of our skill level, because you're generally an unforgiving bunch."

If a coach says something that calls into question our professionalism, we give him/her a T, how is this comment not calling into question the professionalism of the educator/coach?

"You demonstrate to them that strong adults don't hesitate to abuse and insult other adults - and those in authority at that."

They don't need coaches for that, all the have to do is watch the news and observe real life (like a dad getting stopped for speeding and *****ing about the ticket while little Tommy is sitting next to him).

"You're their heroes,"

WAY to much wrong with this statement to type!

"And we're enablers. The kids see us tolerate that behavior."

Then it's not all the coaches fault.
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Old Fri Feb 01, 2002, 03:19pm
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At the risk of being ostracized, let me point out to everyone that it is easy to pick apart a letter written by anyone and make it sound bad.

That really wasn't my goal.

My point is that coaches believe what they believe. That there are star players that get away with things, that make-up calls are common, etc., etc.

It does take a certain amount of audacity to write a several paragraph long post regarding how we are supposed to do OUR jobs when so much of the post reflects on things that the coach should do as well. If coaches expect officials to act in a professional manner they should do so themselves as well, etc.
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Old Fri Feb 01, 2002, 03:52pm
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I think there's a basic principle, that if understood by officials and coaches, might do a lot to reduce the level of contentiousness between the two groups.

At a camp a long time ago, I was told the following:

There may be someone in the gym that knows more about the game of basketball than you do. After all, John Wooden or someone like that might be visiting.

But - there is no one there that knows better than you how that game, in that gym, on that day, should be called.

I'm sure someday I'll run into a coach who knows more about the game than I do (of course, it would have to be John Wooden or maybe Jack Ramsey ), but I don't think I'll ever run into a coach that knows more than me about how a game should be called. There's a big difference.

The next time a howler monkey tells you that "he's been coaching for 20 years", so he knows how a game should be called, pull this Davism out and tell him that you've been a passenger on airplanes for 20 years but that doesn't make you a pilot.

I know that difference - I just wish they did.

[Edited by Mark Padgett on Feb 1st, 2002 at 02:55 PM]
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Old Sat Feb 02, 2002, 03:50am
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Talking

I have occassionally said to coaches of this ilk' If any of us were any good we wouldn't be working/playing at this level" and left it at that. It usually cools them out. It also works with over the hill rec players.
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