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Old Wed Dec 10, 2008, 12:31am
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Question I need some advice.

Let me explain a tough situation I'm in. First and foremost I'm not an official. I don't know much about basketball other than the fundamentals I was taught when I was a kid. Football and Baseball I know but not basketball. Anyhow, I was recently hired to run the sports programs at a state prison. I walked into a mess. The programs have been run haphazardly for years. Select inmates are the officials of their games. The problem with this is the officials do not know the rules. I'm not an official but I know a foul when I see one. Apparently the inmates do not see any of them on certin teams. So I guess what I'm asking is there some sort of test I can get my hands on to check the quality of these officials. Maybe weed out some of the useless ones for a concrete reason.
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Old Wed Dec 10, 2008, 12:35am
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Originally Posted by benmonk View Post
Let me explain a tough situation I'm in. First and foremost I'm not an official. I don't know much about basketball other than the fundamentals I was taught when I was a kid. Football and Baseball I know but not basketball. Anyhow, I was recently hired to run the sports programs at a state prison. I walked into a mess. The programs have been run haphazardly for years. Select inmates are the officials of their games. The problem with this is the officials do not know the rules. I'm not an official but I know a foul when I see one. Apparently the inmates do not see any of them on certin teams. So I guess what I'm asking is there some sort of test I can get my hands on to check the quality of these officials. Maybe weed out some of the useless ones for a concrete reason.
You've got more problems here than just "who knows the rules and who doesn't". I think if I were in your situation, I'd try to get ahold of some other prison sports directors and find out how they handle the various unique problems you're going to have. They'll have more experience than we could about how to balance the overall prison rules with the rules of the game, and what kinds of penalties can be assessed if more is needed than a T.
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Old Wed Dec 10, 2008, 12:45am
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Things like fights I'm not worried about. They know if they fight they get to go to segregation for a few months. Also if a game is being called terribly one sided I'll stop the game pull up the head official (Who knows the rules fairly well) and let him know if things aren't called more fairly he and his officiating crew will not be welcome in my gym. On the other hand I had an official say for a charge to be called the player being charged had to have a foot out of bounds. I don't want to jump all over these guys due to their ignorance.
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Old Wed Dec 10, 2008, 12:53am
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I see. Well, I think the best thing to do would be to construct your own test. Anyone who doesn't pass by your standards could be given some study material, or some tutorial and then they could try again. I mean, you don't want to just "fire" them all!!

Another thing you could think about would be using this as an opportunity to teach objectivity, disinterestedness, or neutrality (whichever word). I know from some experiences in teaching that the ability to stand outside oneself and see a situation from a "neutral" position is something that lots and lots of us never learn -- and certainly don't value. Yet it's crucial in getting ahead in the world, and it's a valuable lesson in learning to understand the concept of law. Being a ref is a great way to learn that.
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Old Wed Dec 10, 2008, 05:14am
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Is the a chance that you could bring in refs from the outside? That could solve quite a few problems.
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Old Wed Dec 10, 2008, 08:07am
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Originally Posted by Back In The Saddle View Post
Is the a chance that you could bring in refs from the outside? That could solve quite a few problems.
Would you work that game?
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Old Wed Dec 10, 2008, 08:31am
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To get a test, you might contact the high school athletic association in your state, explain your situation, and ask them for some tests, some instructional materials, etc.
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Old Wed Dec 10, 2008, 08:38am
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Prison Teams

I used to work prison games back in the '80's when I was in Kenai, Alaska. Best games to work. Players made the best out of the only opportunity they had for rewarding recreation. Sportsmanship was great, partly cuz they knew they had a guy observing from the corner of the gym who could make things bad for them if they got out of hand.
The prison teams were part of our city league back then. Of course, they had no away games that I can remember.
Some city league teams' players had to conveniently miss their game at the prison, likely due to outstanding warrants, I think.
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Old Wed Dec 10, 2008, 08:53am
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I used to work prison games back in the '80's when I was in Kenai, Alaska.
Freddy it is good to see that you have turned your life around since your release

Another case where officiating has changed lives!
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Old Wed Dec 10, 2008, 10:56am
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Freddy it is good to see that you have turned your life around since your release

Another case where officiating has changed lives!
Officiating is a step up from prison? I think I would like a second opinion on that

-Josh
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Old Wed Dec 10, 2008, 12:18pm
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Originally Posted by benmonk View Post
... I don't want to jump all over these guys due to their ignorance.
You might also consider contacting a local officials association and see if they could bring someone in to do a "clinic" for your officials (seeing how your guys probably won't be able to get to many camps held during the off season). Usually there are some veteran officials who have had experiencie teaching basic mechanics and fundamentals to rookie officials.
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Old Wed Dec 10, 2008, 12:31pm
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Just remember that "over the back" and "reaching" are not fouls. Oh wait. Maybe in prison they are.
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Old Wed Dec 10, 2008, 01:32pm
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rule book first

First you have to decide under which set of rules you are going to play.
Then get those rule books and give them to the officials to study, and take a test from.

if you were to go to the E-officials site you can download and print w/o cost the NCAA rule book, case book, and there are a fair amount of training videos and other information. If you pay the Fee there are even more areas available that could be helpful.

I would run a training class from that information and then test your people - those who pass can officiate and those who don't, well they just have to study harder - contact some local officals assoc. and see if you can get some help from them regarding training. depending on the security level of your facility someone may even be willing to run a sanctioned class for you for Federation - FIBA - or IABBO.

Someone may even be willing to floor train with some officials - that would be a different situation, but maybe possible.

There is a lot of inforamtion available, and probably people willing to help this would be just a first step and there are quite a few along the way.
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Old Wed Dec 10, 2008, 11:42pm
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Thanks for the info I think I can really run with these ideas. Hopefully we can have some legit games in the future.
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Old Wed Dec 10, 2008, 11:50pm
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Originally Posted by Mark Padgett View Post
Just remember that "over the back" and "reaching" are not fouls. Oh wait. Maybe in prison they are.
Only after the soap has been dropped.
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