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Old Mon Jan 25, 2010, 04:36pm
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Opinions and thoughts

In the area where I work we see the same teams, coaches, fans, game management, etc. several times a year. It comes to a point where you almost know most people on a personal level, which has it's pros and cons. Anyway, I am working a GV tournament where I am officiating team green. This is the 2nd time I have worked team green in as many days, and I have worked 5 or 6 of their games at this point in the season. I know that they have some fans that can become pretty rude if they get going, so as this game progresses, I start to hear it from some of these regular whiners. Beginning the 4th quarter a team green fan makes some pretty outrageous comments directed towards me and I have had enough. I notice that these comments came from a fan that I do not consider a regular whiner. At the next dead ball I point to him and ask him to leave. He acts quite shocked, as they all do, but leaves anyway.

At the end of the game I am "debriefing" with my partner and we are discussing the ejection. For some reason I begin to question whether I threw the right guy out. In asking my partner, he confirms my doubt and says the comments were coming from one of the regular whiners.

Fast forward three weeks and I am standing on team green's home court ready to do a conference rival regular season game. The situation described above has bothered me since it happened. As we are standing there for pregame warmups, I see the wife of the guy I ejected coming into the gym. My immediate thought was that I should find a moment before the game and apologize to him and tell him that I had ejected the wrong guy. When I don't see him immediately with his wife, I continue to keep an eye out for him so I can carry out my apology. As game time nears, he is still not around and my thoughts go from apology to "hell no, whether I got the right guy or not, it is water under the bridge". Soon the game begins, he shows up, and I officiate the game with out incident and leave the gym wondering if I did the right thing or if at some point, I need to apologize to him for my error.

Whatya think?
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Old Mon Jan 25, 2010, 04:47pm
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I think you are worried too much about what goes on outside the boundary lines.
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Old Mon Jan 25, 2010, 04:49pm
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I agree with tomegun. That's why you have game management deal with it; they can focus the attention on the fans and know the right people to toss, if necessary. And 9 times out of 10, they can address the problem without tossing anyone.

At this point, I'd let it go. This particular fan has probably already enjoyed a good laugh about the whole thing.
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Old Mon Jan 25, 2010, 04:57pm
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Even if you tossed the wrong fan, the point to "all" the fans was made. I wouldn't worry about it.

Around here, while game management is responsible for enforcing ejections, it is expected that an ejection will only happen if the official "pulls the trigger". Its unfortunate that the "culture" around here is as it is. I would dearly love to have a more aggressive game management. But with routine crowds of 800-1000 people and game management generally sitting in the corner waiting for us to bekon them, its how it works.

In my 7 years of officiating, I have ejected 5-6 high school fans (one this year). All but one have been fans of the same school. The other one was a GV parent who ran on the floor during the JV game to protest an out of bounds call. He missed watching his daughter play her final varsity game because of the ejection as she became academically ineligible before the next game.

CYO games (Catholic Yelling Organization) are a trip and I have removed countless parents over the years. There really is no game management around, so we are on our own.
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Last edited by Ignats75; Mon Jan 25, 2010 at 05:02pm.
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Old Mon Jan 25, 2010, 05:17pm
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At the next dead ball I point to him and ask him to leave. He acts quite shocked, as they all do, but leaves anyway.

I have always been told to use Game Management for fan problems, and to be honest, I didn't know officials could do that. It obviously worked for you, but what do you do when the fan says Kiss my arse?
As far as apologizing, I wouldn't worry about it, if he wasn't guilty then, he was probably guilty before or at some other game, good lesson for all fans. If I was in attendance, I sure wouldn't be chirping at you if I just watched you dump a fan.
I'm proud of you for dumping the fan even if it was the wrong one! Balls of steel!!
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Old Mon Jan 25, 2010, 07:15pm
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Semantics ...

I would never eject a fan. However, I would certainly ask the site director to eject a fan, and have done so a a few occasions.
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Old Mon Jan 25, 2010, 07:27pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 9redskin4 View Post
As we are standing there for pregame warmups, I see the wife of the guy I ejected coming into the gym.... When I don't see him immediately with his wife, I continue to keep an eye out for him so I can carry out my apology. As game time nears, he is still not around...
Hmmm. Sounds like a job for the guys on Law and Order : Criminal Intent.
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Old Mon Jan 25, 2010, 07:32pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Padgett View Post
Sounds like a job for the guys on Law and Order : Criminal Intent.
Detective Robert Goren will get to the bottom of this situation.
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Old Mon Jan 25, 2010, 07:39pm
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The road less traveled. . .

I agree with the other posters who suggest that game management should be dealing with fans who cross the line. That said, had you asked the AD to remove the fan, I suspect you'd still be having the same feelings. Were I in your position, I would make it a point to find the guy and apologize. Not to say the other posters were wrong in their suggestions; different people can have different ideas about how a certain situation should be handled. From my perspective, there are already far too many fans who believe we are blind, arrogant egomaniacs. If I have the chance to show even one fan that we are human, I'm going to do it.
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Old Mon Jan 25, 2010, 08:10pm
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I bet he never sits near that other guy again.
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Old Mon Jan 25, 2010, 11:15pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 26 Year Gap View Post
I bet he never sits near that other guy again.
Many moons ago when I was playing in high school, two of my teammates had watched their dads get booted by the officials. Knowing both of those dads, I'm certain I know which one made the comments worthy of the toss, and the other one was just sitting next to the wrong guy.
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Old Tue Jan 26, 2010, 12:49am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 9redskin4 View Post
Beginning the 4th quarter a team green fan makes some pretty outrageous comments directed towards me and I have had enough.
In order for the panel to comment intelligently on the situation, I think it would help to know what you consider "pretty outrageous."
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Old Tue Jan 26, 2010, 05:10am
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Here's an example of how GM works around here. G F/JV doubleheader. During freshman game a woman yells at my partner that he and I are racists. That we are ignoring fouls on "whitey". He wasn't sure who said it. Between games I go to the AD and tell him what happened and that if I hear it again and can ID the woman I will expect her to be removed. He laughed and said he knew immediately who it was. Did he go over and say anything to her? Did he sit near her? Nope and nope

At the same school a couple of years ago, a V official was threatened during the game. When he tried to get GM to remove the fan both the AD and the deputy sheriff at first refused. (different AD). The official threatened to forfeit the game and that finally brought action.

BTW. This is not an inner city school but an integrated one lest you get the wrong idea.
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Old Tue Jan 26, 2010, 06:51am
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Maybe the problem is having the same team 7 times before Feb...talk to your assigner and try to manage your schedule a little better.
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Old Tue Jan 26, 2010, 09:13am
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First off, thanks for all the comments and different ideas.

Second, to clear up how GM works in this area, most of you have already confirmed what happens when you get GM invovled. They usually question what you are doing, then get "scared" to carry out the ejection, and find some way to try and smooth over the situation with a fan that simply needs to be removed. So, yes after I pointed out the fan that needed to leave, GM did get involved. However, when I have weak GM that won't do as they are told, I just don't start the game. At that point both the fan and GM become embarrassed and the fan ends up leaving because everyone in the gym/field knows why the game is being held up.

Third, I really didn't want to go into details of what this particular fan was saying, but since you asked, calling me and my partner by name and yelling that we are cheaters, continually asking for fouls and violations, screaming about 3 seconds while a shot is in the air, begging for a back court call when the player is stradling the line and generally inciting the other fans around him to become boisterous. Obviously, my name and cheater in the same sentence are what caught my attention and prompted the ejection.

Finally, last year our area took a real hard stance on fan behavior and ejected quite a few fans over the course of the season. Again, as most of you have already pointed out, fan behavior improved dramatically in our area, but as this season progresses, and we don't stay vigilant with those offenders, the behavior is slipping back to the old ways. I agree that there is a fine line between a hard-a** and a push over, but I have found that coach/player/fan behavior can be handled in a professional manner without being labeled a JERK. I have also found that when you do handle people professionally, they gain a greater respect for you (or maybe it is just good old fear).
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