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Old Tue Feb 10, 2009, 04:52pm
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Communicating with Coaches

I am a more frequent reader than poster here. In many of the threads I see refs referencing their comments to/with coaches. Some of you clearly call the game with minimal interaction while others are sarcastic, especially with the belligerent coaches (and maybe it's just what you'd like to say...).

Regardless, I believe a number of our less respected refs have little or no interaction with the coaches (many of our refs SPRINT off the court after the game...). Many of our most revered refs are great "game managers" which requires regular coach interaction. My questions: is there room for sarcasm, especially in a tense game? Do any of you find value in "managing" the coach in pre- and/or post-game? And, do you use their first names during games or always refer to them as coach? Other input besides answers to these questions are welcome.

Thanks.
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Old Tue Feb 10, 2009, 05:00pm
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Old Tue Feb 10, 2009, 05:16pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lmeadski View Post
I am a more frequent reader than poster here. In many of the threads I see refs referencing their comments to/with coaches. Some of you clearly call the game with minimal interaction while others are sarcastic, especially with the belligerent coaches (and maybe it's just what you'd like to say...).

Regardless, I believe a number of our less respected refs have little or no interaction with the coaches (many of our refs SPRINT off the court after the game...). Many of our most revered refs are great "game managers" which requires regular coach interaction. My questions: is there room for sarcasm, especially in a tense game? Do any of you find value in "managing" the coach in pre- and/or post-game? And, do you use their first names during games or always refer to them as coach? Other input besides answers to these questions are welcome.

Thanks.
There is a big difference between sarcasm and humor. I recommend humor. Being sarcastic with a belligerent coach will gain you nothing, you've jumped into his/her sandbox. I like to try a little humor, if it doesn't work, I'm all business as they're not in the mood for any banter. If they cross the line, you know what to do.
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Old Tue Feb 10, 2009, 05:16pm
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Sprinting off the court has nothing to do with communication with coaches. You don't want to communicate with the coaches after a ballgame in most cases.

Having said that, you have to do what fits your own personality. My communication with coaches is pretty limited. I'm not good at joking around or being sarcastic. So my communication is mostly short, one-line all-business answers.

Your mileage my vary.
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Old Tue Feb 10, 2009, 05:28pm
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Originally Posted by Scrapper1 View Post
Sprinting off the court has nothing to do with communication with coaches. You don't want to communicate with the coaches after a ballgame in most cases.

Having said that, you have to do what fits your own personality. My communication with coaches is pretty limited. I'm not good at joking around or being sarcastic. So my communication is mostly short, one-line all-business answers.

Your mileage my vary.
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Old Tue Feb 10, 2009, 05:34pm
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I've never had to sprint off the floor. I have jogged off the floor to get around the crowd storming the floor after a big win. I too don't like to see other officials "sprint" off the floor. Generally, my crew and I get together and walk off the floor.

** I have had police walk me to my vehicle after a game in St. Paul (I won't tell you the school name to be fair) because the crowd was a little rough/crazy that night.
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Old Tue Feb 10, 2009, 06:12pm
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I have absolutely no respect for officials that get sarcastic with coaches. Sarcasm has no place in the game of basketball. Officials who get sarcastic should be dealt with harshly. I would never support a partner who got sarcastic and I would never get sarcastic myself. It is the height of being unprofessional.

BTW - I'm being sarcastic.
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Old Tue Feb 10, 2009, 06:26pm
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Originally Posted by Mark Padgett View Post
I have absolutely no respect for officials that get sarcastic with coaches. Sarcasm has no place in the game of basketball. Officials who get sarcastic should be dealt with harshly. I would never support a partner who got sarcastic and I would never get sarcastic myself. It is the height of being unprofessional.


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BTW - I'm being sarcastic.
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Old Tue Feb 10, 2009, 10:46pm
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Originally Posted by lmeadski View Post
Do any of you find value in "managing" the coach in pre- and/or post-game?
I don't manage a coach in pre-game. Pre-game with coach is limited to how's the season going, are your kids ready, box is marked-please stay in it, have a good game. There is no post game unless it's by accident on the way out, and then I don't go looking for interaction but won't avoid it either, in which case it will be limited to small talk. Nothing good can come from "managing" a coach post-game.

edited: I don't sprint off court but there is no reason to hang around either. I usually hear wings and a beverage from the local establishment calling my name so no need to hang around.

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Last edited by Mregor; Tue Feb 10, 2009 at 10:48pm.
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Old Wed Feb 11, 2009, 08:04am
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Humor at the coach's expense is seldom amusing. Humor at the official's expense can work for some officials. If you're not able to pull it off routinely in your life off the court, I would not recommend it during the heat of battle. Also generally ill-advised with a new coach or for younger officials.

And: most of you mean to use 'facetious' and not 'sarcastic', unless you're out to hurt people's feelings with your irony.
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Old Wed Feb 11, 2009, 08:29am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scrapper1 View Post
You don't want to communicate with the coaches after a ballgame in most cases.

Having said that, you have to do what fits your own personality. My communication with coaches is pretty limited. I'm not good at joking around or being sarcastic. So my communication is mostly short, one-line all-business answers.
Concur with Scrapper.

I have a very short (30 sec) introduction with the coach pre-game - kids properly equipped, report subs to the table, let us know the type of time out, practice sportsmanship, good luck.

I limit my conversation during the game, but will answer questions if asked and allow them to vent a bit.

While I'm pretty good with humor, I too try to be mostly business on the court. Helps me avoid problems.

That being said, I have seen one very respected official in our Association who is very approachable on the court to the coaches who like to chat-up his ear when he is table-side - that is his method and after many yrs he is good at it. You need to do what is right for you.
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Old Wed Feb 11, 2009, 08:44am
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Originally Posted by Huntin' Ref View Post
I've never had to sprint off the floor. I have jogged off the floor to get around the crowd storming the floor after a big win. I too don't like to see other officials "sprint" off the floor. Generally, my crew and I get together and walk off the floor.

** I have had police walk me to my vehicle after a game in St. Paul (I won't tell you the school name to be fair) because the crowd was a little rough/crazy that night.
I get off the court as fast as I go up and down the floor. Why slow down in this one instance? To show you aren't in a hurry to get off? What's the point? I can say it's never a walk for me unless I'm 10 feet from the door.

As soon as the game is over, all 2 (3) officials should be heading for the door. What drives me nuts is when I'm working with a hand-shaker or ball-retriever and I'm having to wait while that guy does his thing, even though we pregamed something else.
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Old Wed Feb 11, 2009, 08:52am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lmeadski View Post
I am a more frequent reader than poster here. In many of the threads I see refs referencing their comments to/with coaches. Some of you clearly call the game with minimal interaction while others are sarcastic, especially with the belligerent coaches (and maybe it's just what you'd like to say...).

Regardless, I believe a number of our less respected refs have little or no interaction with the coaches (many of our refs SPRINT off the court after the game...). Many of our most revered refs are great "game managers" which requires regular coach interaction. My questions: is there room for sarcasm, especially in a tense game? Do any of you find value in "managing" the coach in pre- and/or post-game? And, do you use their first names during games or always refer to them as coach? Other input besides answers to these questions are welcome.

Thanks.
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Old Wed Feb 11, 2009, 01:04pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lmeadski View Post
I am a more frequent reader than poster here. In many of the threads I see refs referencing their comments to/with coaches. Some of you clearly call the game with minimal interaction while others are sarcastic, especially with the belligerent coaches (and maybe it's just what you'd like to say...).

Regardless, I believe a number of our less respected refs have little or no interaction with the coaches (many of our refs SPRINT off the court after the game...). Many of our most revered refs are great "game managers" which requires regular coach interaction. My questions: is there room for sarcasm, especially in a tense game? Do any of you find value in "managing" the coach in pre- and/or post-game? And, do you use their first names during games or always refer to them as coach? Other input besides answers to these questions are welcome.

Thanks.
I think that one of the biggest complaints coaches have about officials is, "Officials won't talk to me." This can be a slippery slope, but the officials that I have tried to emulate were the ones who were willing to admit a mistake every now and then, concede that they MAY not have had a great angle on a particular play, and were willing to give at least a brief explanation on a tight/controversial play. There can be a fine line between answer a question every once in a while and explaining call after call.

I will always address the coach as "coach" unless I am in close proximity to him/her in a situation in which they are the only one that will hear. In these cases, I will frequently use their first name. It is a little more personal.

I will joke about a play -- especially if it has to do with the officiating crew -- with a coach from time to time. Generally, you know it's pretty safe if the coach is smiling or laughing about something that just happened.

BUT, as some have already indicated, using humor should come with the warning, "PROFESSIONAL at work, use caution."
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Old Wed Feb 11, 2009, 01:05pm
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Sometimes coaches floor you with their humor. 3 person. Close ball game. 2nd half, I'm going to new lead tableside. Team B is pressing Team A in Team A's backcourt. I'm just about to the free throw line extended, helping with the press. Something happens near tableside endline in the backcourt. Coach A, who I'm right near, says that I have to call that foul. I said "Coach, I'm 75 feet away as you are. I have a partner 10 feet away from the play. I'm not going to make a call." He says " Ok.........but how about if you were 74 feet away??"

As far as sprinting off the floor, I've never sprinted...maybe a fast jog. What is there to hang around for? They are not going to stop the post game celebration to acknowledge the wonderful job done by the referees, and if the home team lost, you don't want to hang around and let the home team coach give you an earful.
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