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  #1 (permalink)  
Old Wed May 27, 2009, 10:21pm
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Looking for consistency

Here is my rant on undershirts. As a former official and now coach, I sense a lack of consistency in policing the undershirts. I know that in reading this board and conversations with officials, I know you all dislike being fashion police. My problem is the lack of consistency. My questions is, do your boards decide at the beginning of the year what is acceptable and what is not?

In my situation, we had vegas gold uniforms. Its a very hard color to come close on in undershirts. Now, I will preempt this by saying the uniforms were there before I began coaching, and I have since ordered black. But over our season, our kids were told white was ok, then then next game, its not, sometimes it was yellow, or when we had kids wearing black undershirts that were not really visible unless the kid leaned over. But over the course of the year, they are ok, not ok, and back and forth. Now I expect my problem to diminish because of new uniforms, but at what point should I expect some consistency? I can know the rules, explain them to the kids, but when a man/woman in a black and striped shirt tells the kids is ok, they look at me like I am lying.
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Old Wed May 27, 2009, 10:34pm
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The problem is not so much in the rule, but that people are idiots. Um, I mean that it can be interpreted different ways by different officials.

ART. 5 . . . Undershirts shall be a single solid color similar to the torso of the
jersey and shall be hemmed and not have frayed or ragged edges. If the
undershirt has sleeves, they shall be the same length. A visible manufacturer's
logo/trademark/reference is not permitted on the undershirt.


To me, white is "similar" enough to gold to be passable. So is yellow.

The intent of the rule was to avoid confusion -- a white or yellow undershirt with a gold jersey is not confusing.

Unfortunately, we have idiots ... I mean, some officials ... who either don't read the rule book, or have such a gross misunderstanding of the rules, that they enforce rules as they were never meant to be enforced.

These same officials, having expertly enforced the undershirt (or jersey tuck, or coaches box, or some other administrative anomaly) then come out on the court during live play and kick block/charges, call fouls on blocked shots, and in general screw up the part of the game that matters!

I'm not sure that the NFHS or state associations can do much about it though, as there will always be those that simply "Don't get it".
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Old Thu May 28, 2009, 12:48am
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You make some excellent points. The main problem is that people simply don't read what the rule says and then follow it.

I would NEVER allow a visible white undershirt with a gold jersey. It is not similar. It is a totally different color. Just as blue is different from red.
I would allow yellow under gold or vice versa. Those are just different shades of a color.

I saw a diagram on an NFHS document in the last couple of years (can't remember exactly where right now, but it may have been in the preseason guide) that clearly showed that if the undershirt was visible in the V above the neckline by shading that area in the picture, then it had to be the proper color. Prior to seeing that picture, I had not been diligent about enforcing that, but now I do. Of course, that does not mean that I consider the undershirt to be visible if it only shows when the kid bends over at the waist.

I seriously doubt that there will ever be consistency on this. Just look at the difference between the posts by Brad and me. He doesn't seem to think that having the players tuck in their jerseys or enforcing the coaching box restrictions are important. I take care of those without exception.

Does that mean that I screw up block/charge calls or can't judge blocked shots? Well, I've worked the state tournament in three of the last four years, so it seems that those aspects of my game are okay.
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Old Thu May 28, 2009, 12:55am
Whack! Get Out!!!
 
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You've proved my point better than I could have if I had written two pages.

I can't tell if you are trolling or if you are completely serious.

Bravo, sir! Bravo!
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Old Thu May 28, 2009, 01:26am
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That was a completely serious post.

We just differ on this. That's all.

I think that we are making exactly the same point. You believe that people who do it like I do are the problem, and I hold the same opinion about doing it your way.

Hence I told the coach that consistency will likely never be achieved in this area.
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Old Thu May 28, 2009, 07:04am
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Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post
But over our season, our kids were told white was ok, then then next game, its not, sometimes it was yellow, or when we had kids wearing black undershirts that were not really visible unless the kid leaned over.
What age level / type of program?

In summer, I don't care. In less-than-HS, I wouldn't care. In HS and above, I enforce it. I would not allow White or Black with VegasGold, but it needs to be visible during normal action --not when bending over, not just the over the shoulder portion of a sleeveless shirt a little bit wider than the jersey shoulder, ...
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Old Thu May 28, 2009, 10:25am
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Consistently inconsistent

Coach, I believe you are correct to rant here. We, as officials, are inconsistent enforcing this depending on your area and what you have been instructed to enforce – as you see by the replies to date. I have been in the situation, “But the last refs said it was ok,” which makes my job even more difficult. My situation is a hybrid of what you have already read:

1) We enforce the undergarment rule only at HS level (to include F and JV, not below) but also during the spring league to ensure “consistency” and to ensure the players know it is not ok at any time.

2) A differing color (white with gold for example) would be unacceptable. As Nevada points out, our Annual State Briefings have included slides with what is acceptable and what is not. Off shades of the same color that come close are usually ok. As Brad points out, I understand the intent of the rule – but, my Association doesn’t see it that way and wants it enforced – period.

3) The uniform “tuck-in rule” is a pet-peeve of ours and we have been instructed to enforce it at all times on the court and not allow players to enter the court if they are not ready.

4) I also agree with Brad that you have to be able to enforce the rules (“these same officials, having expertly enforced the undershirt (or jersey tuck, or coaches box, or some other administrative anomaly) then come out on the court during live play and kick block/charges, call fouls on blocked shots, and in general screw up the part of the game that matters!”). Credibility is important.

It certainly is problematic and apparently, "no one size fits all" is applied.
My $.02
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Old Thu May 28, 2009, 10:38am
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I have a question for coaches. Why not have your kids wear the right colors or no undershirt at all and you will not have to worry about what an official says or does not say? As a coach don't you control what your kids wear?

This is about thing 100 on my list of important things. If I see an undershirt that is illegal I will enforce the rule, but there are so many other things that are more important. I have never seen SportsCenter make an issue over the misapplication of a uniform rule.

Peace
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Old Thu May 28, 2009, 10:48am
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I've never seen SportsCenter make an issue of anything in high school games. If that was my criterion....
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Old Thu May 28, 2009, 10:59am
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Originally Posted by bob jenkins View Post
What age level / type of program?

In summer, I don't care. In less-than-HS, I wouldn't care. In HS and above, I enforce it.
Just to throw this in the mix, we enforce it in our local kids rec league at all grade levels (3rd-HS). This is a purely recreational (not competitive) league and all our players receive reversible jerseys in our local HS colors (green and white). Home teams wear white and if they are wearing an undershirt, it must be white. Visiting teams wear green and if they are wearing an undershirt, it must be a dark color (not necessarily green, because we don't want to make parents have to go out and buy another shirt). If a kid, boy or girl, is wearing the wrong color undershirt, they have the option of removing it or rolling the sleeves up and securing them with tape. Boys will usually remove the shirt and girls will usually tape the sleeves.
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Old Thu May 28, 2009, 11:01am
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Originally Posted by Snaqwells View Post
I've never seen SportsCenter make an issue of anything in high school games. If that was my criterion....
You know ESPN runs high school basketball games?

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Old Thu May 28, 2009, 11:30am
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Originally Posted by JRutledge View Post
You know ESPN runs high school basketball games?

Peace
True, but I've never seen them make an issue out of the officiating in HS games.

Other than last second shots in state tournament games.
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Old Thu May 28, 2009, 12:06pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snaqwells View Post
True, but I've never seen them make an issue out of the officiating in HS games.

Other than last second shots in state tournament games.
I guess it is all relative. I have seen them dissect a play in high school not much different than they have in other games. Or comment on if the officials got a foul right or a rule right during the highlight.

And the point was not really about SportsCenter (I could have used High School Lites, but you would not have likely known what that was), it is the fact that no one comments about uniform issues in the media.

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Old Thu May 28, 2009, 12:31pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post
Here is my rant on undershirts. As a former official and now coach, I sense a lack of consistency in policing the undershirts. I know that in reading this board and conversations with officials, I know you all dislike being fashion police. My problem is the lack of consistency. My questions is, do your boards decide at the beginning of the year what is acceptable and what is not?

In my situation, we had vegas gold uniforms. Its a very hard color to come close on in undershirts. Now, I will preempt this by saying the uniforms were there before I began coaching, and I have since ordered black. But over our season, our kids were told white was ok, then then next game, its not, sometimes it was yellow, or when we had kids wearing black undershirts that were not really visible unless the kid leaned over. But over the course of the year, they are ok, not ok, and back and forth. Now I expect my problem to diminish because of new uniforms, but at what point should I expect some consistency? I can know the rules, explain them to the kids, but when a man/woman in a black and striped shirt tells the kids is ok, they look at me like I am lying.
Why worry about something you can't control? Simply take the officials out of the equation. You'll have black uniforms next year, so don't allow anything but black t-shirts.

BTW, I agree that white is not yellow, is not vegas gold nor is it a similar color. White under a gold jersey is not even close.
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Old Thu May 28, 2009, 12:36pm
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How about navy blue under black? You know there is going to be at least one kid
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