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Old Fri Jan 29, 2010, 10:18am
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Game management - communication to head coach

What verbal comments would you use to a head coach or player who makes senseless statements to us as officials? I would like your new/different/convincing feedback, humorous or professional, formed in quick short reply to respond to coach/player(s). The comments so irritating this year; "call it both ways", "three seconds in the key", "they are playing rough on my guys" and "you got to help your partner". I do not believe you should ignore the head coach especially if your pregame included giving coach/captain the opportunity to address us on a dead ball or time-out to discuss or present a question.
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Old Fri Jan 29, 2010, 10:24am
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Originally Posted by johnny1784 View Post
What verbal comments would you use to a head coach or player who makes senseless statements to us as officials? I would like your new/different/convincing feedback, humorous or professional, formed in quick short reply to respond to coach/player(s). The comments so irritating this year; "call it both ways", "three seconds in the key", "they are playing rough on my guys" and "you got to help your partner". I do not believe you should ignore the head coach especially if your pregame included giving coach/captain the opportunity to address us on a dead ball or time-out to discuss or present a question.
Looking at him and nodding your head often shows him you have acknowledged his comment. "OK, Coach, I heard you." Keep it as simple as possible.
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Old Fri Jan 29, 2010, 10:24am
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As we all know response are easily given when we are in the moment. As I try to think about what I would say I find it more difficult. Try suttle things like "Coach I didn't see it that way, but I will keep an eye on that" or THe call it both ways comment I may say, when it happens down here we will get that. Three second comments I usually will never respond. THe help your partner comment usually comes when partner is right on the play and you and coach are 50 ft away. I like to say coach, he got a better look at that than we did. If a partner kicks a rule or is missing something I will say I will talk to him to see what he saw. (when I can)
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Old Fri Jan 29, 2010, 10:24am
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I don't address comments unless they are one of the three P's. If you start addressing all of these comments you are in for a loooong night IMO. If I have a good relationship with a coach I might say something to let him know I hear him, but nothing more than "I'll keep an eye out coach". Be VERY careful with humor, I have seen it backfire more times than it has worked. It takes the right combination of personality and situation to pull this off and it rarely works from what I have seen.
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Old Fri Jan 29, 2010, 10:37am
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Unfortunately, BillyMac probably has to work.....

But, if he were here, this is what he might normally, traditionally, probably post when asked about this.....Keep it short (unlike this note)!

COMMUNICATION WITH COACHES

General Techniques:
Statements by coaches don’t normally need a response. Answer questions, not statements.
Let the coach ask their question first, before speaking. Be a responder, not an initiator.
Most coaches will have questions when they believe the officials have missed an obvious call.
Having the officials in closer proximity often calms down the coach.
Be in control and speak in calm, easy tones. Be aware of your body language; maintain positive and confident
body language.
Make eye contact with the coach when the situation allows.
Do not try to answer a question from an out of control coach; deal with the behavior first.
If you’ve missed a call or made a mistake; admit it. This technique can only be used sparingly, perhaps
once a game.
Don’t bluff your way through a call.
Do not ignore a coach.

Specific Communication Examples:

Coach sees the play very differently than the official:
“Coach, if that’s the way it happened/what you saw, then I must have missed it. I’ll take a closer look next
time.”
“Coach, I understand what you’re saying, however, on that play I didn’t see it that way. I’ll keep an eye for it
on both ends.”
“Coach, I had a good look at that play and here’s what I saw (short explanation).”
“Coach, I understand what you’re saying, but my angle was different than yours.”
“Coach, I had a great look at that play, but I understand your question and I’ll have the crew keep an eye on it.”
“Coach, I had that play all the way and made the call.”

Coach believes you’re missing persistent illegal acts by the other team:
“OK coach, we’ll watch for that.”
“Coach, we are watching for that on both ends of the court.”

Coach is questioning a partner’s call:
“Coach, that’s a good call, as a crew we have to make that call.”
“We’re calling it on both ends.”
“Coach, he/she was right there and had a great angle.”
“Coach, we’re not going there, I can’t let you criticize my partner.”
“Coach, he/she had a great look, but if you have a specific question, you’ll have to ask him/her, he/she’ll be
over here in just a minute.”

Coach is very animated and gesturing:
“Coach, I’m going to talk with you and answer your questions, but you must put your arms down/stop the
gesturing.”
“Coach, please put your arms down. Now, what’s your question?”

Coach is raising their voice asking the question:
“Coach, I can hear you. I’m standing right here, you don’t need to raise your voice.”
"Coach, I need you to stop raising your voice and just ask your question calmly.”

Coach is commenting on something every time down the floor:
“Coach, I need you to pick your spots, we can’t have a comment on every single call that is being made.”

Coach has a good point and might be right.
“You’ve got a good point and might be right about that play.”
“You might be right, that’s one we’ll talk about at halftime/intermission/the next time out.”
“You might be right; I may not have had the best angle on that play.”

Coach is venting, make editorial comments:
“I hear what you’re saying”
“I hear what you’re saying, but we’re moving on.”

Coach just won’t let it go:
“I’ve heard enough and that’s your warning.”

Source: Topeka (Kansas) Officials Association
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Last edited by grunewar; Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 10:39am.
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Old Fri Jan 29, 2010, 11:08am
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I normally don't say much other than "I'll keep an eye on it" mostly because I am not a quick thinker on how to make a quick response. I was told one time, and I like this technique, of how to respond to a coach who asks a question or makes a statement during a delay situation (time-out, between quarters, etc). One official told me he will ask the coach "Coach, what did you see that I may have seen differently?" He said that when you ask tis many coaches will hesitate and not really be able to answer the question. If they do answer it you then can explain quickly how you saw it differently without an argument many times.
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Old Fri Jan 29, 2010, 11:26am
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Originally Posted by johnnyrao View Post
I normally don't say much other than "I'll keep an eye on it" mostly because I am not a quick thinker on how to make a quick response. I was told one time, and I like this technique, of how to respond to a coach who asks a question or makes a statement during a delay situation (time-out, between quarters, etc). One official told me he will ask the coach "Coach, what did you see that I may have seen differently?" He said that when you ask tis many coaches will hesitate and not really be able to answer the question. If they do answer it you then can explain quickly how you saw it differently without an argument many times.
I like this.
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Old Fri Jan 29, 2010, 11:29am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnny1784 View Post
What verbal comments would you use to a head coach or player who makes senseless statements to us as officials? I would like your new/different/convincing feedback, humorous or professional, formed in quick short reply to respond to coach/player(s). The comments so irritating this year; "call it both ways", "three seconds in the key", "they are playing rough on my guys" and "you got to help your partner". I do not believe you should ignore the head coach especially if your pregame included giving coach/captain the opportunity to address us on a dead ball or time-out to discuss or present a question.
1st time) "We hear you Coach"

2nd time) "That's enough Coach"

3rd time) "Tweet"

Don't try to be cute or witty. I used to be one of those "smart" guys with coaches. My communication has been a lot more effective once I started using the above. Been quite a while since I've had to go to #3. After #1 & #2 have been employed coaches usually change their approach or just keep quiet.
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Old Fri Jan 29, 2010, 12:11pm
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I always when I hear someone suggest or ask for something witty. We are not there to be comeback artists.

I would suggest what BNR said and talk to coaches like they are...wait for it...wait for it...another adult. Would you want another adult yelling at you? I wouldn't so I ask coaches to refrain from yelling at us (communicated in pregame). I also tell coaches that we will try to answer questions, but we cannot answer comments (communicated in pregame).

I understand and love the emotion that happens as a result of a basketball game. However, unsporting behavior is where I get rubbed the wrong way. I have zero tolerance for unsporting behavior from players and a little more than that for coaches.
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Old Fri Jan 29, 2010, 12:42pm
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Why be witty? Let's face it - most coaches wouldn't understand wit anyway.
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Old Fri Jan 29, 2010, 12:45pm
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Talking

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Originally Posted by chartrusepengui View Post
Let's face it - most coaches wouldn't understand wit anyway.
They would probably understand half of the wit. Get it?
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Old Fri Jan 29, 2010, 12:46pm
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Originally Posted by johnny1784 View Post
What verbal comments would you use to a head coach or player who makes senseless statements to us as officials?
Again - I would answer this but I don't think Brad has enough space on his server. Here's just one of my favorites: "Coach - that wasn't three seconds even in dog years".
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Old Fri Jan 29, 2010, 12:51pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnny1784 View Post
What verbal comments would you use to a head coach or player who makes senseless statements to us as officials?..."call it both ways", "three seconds in the key", "they are playing rough on my guys" and "you got to help your partner".
in order, my responses would be:
1 "when it happens, we'll get it"
2 "what number? if you give me a number, then I'll watch for it..."
3 "what number? if you give me a number, then I'll watch for it..."
4 "my partner is a very good official. give him a chance to work."

the best phrases to include in any response are:
"i hear you coach"
"i understand"

as a salesman, i can tell you that the person asking questions is the person that is in control of the conversation. therefore, if YOU ask a question you will not be on the defensive (see responses #2 and #3 above...). try these next time:
"what did you see?" - listen to his response - then, "ok/i understand/i hear u"
"what's wrong?" ......
"what happened?"....
"what's your concern?"....

finally, here's my "Jedi Mind-Trick" question:
"did you see the play?" if YES, "then you know it was a good call" (said while nodding your head and smiling); if NO, "then you really can't complain about a play you didn't see, can you?" (said while shaking you head "no")
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Old Fri Jan 29, 2010, 01:14pm
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I usually ignore them, unless I think they have a valid point...best one this year, was a Varsity Girls Coach, sitting on the bench during a JV game. He began by *****ing about a perceived inbound violation{it wasn't}, then proceded to be more vocal about the no call on the next 2 trips down the floor, wanting me to answer him, all the while I kept ignoring him...then he decided to make a snide personal remark..."Bang" a "T". The JV Coach sat, never saying a world...the p*ssed off V coach, headed back to the locker room(rather than take a chance of getting the boot), and I didn't see his mug until the game was over, then he just gave me a "look"...I almost said "have a nice game coach"..but thought better of it. His once beaten Varsity team got clobbered by a visiting Toledo School, while the JV team won without him on the bench. Now that's justice!

My son happened to be doing the game with me on his break from Ohio State over the Christmas/Quarter Break....we enjoyed the post game conversation as we drove home...he had no clue as to why I "T'ed" the coach.

Last edited by hootrgibson; Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 01:17pm.
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Old Fri Jan 29, 2010, 02:02pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnny1784 View Post
What verbal comments would you use to a head coach or player who makes senseless statements to us as officials? I would like your new/different/convincing feedback, humorous or professional, formed in quick short reply to respond to coach/player(s). The comments so irritating this year; "call it both ways", "three seconds in the key", "they are playing rough on my guys" and "you got to help your partner". I do not believe you should ignore the head coach especially if your pregame included giving coach/captain the opportunity to address us on a dead ball or time-out to discuss or present a question.
I haven't read the whole thread yet, but here are my initial reactions to your post.

First of all, don't do the part in red. Coaches may ask questions, but I'm not going to "discuss" plays with them. "Coach, if you have a question about a play, we'll try to answer it within the flow of the game." Now, when the coach says something like, "they're playing rough on my guys," you can ignore it or ask him if he has a question about a specific play.

"Call it both ways." I typically ignore this, as it goes nowhere good. The one time I addressed it, I simply made a point of looking at the scoreboard, which showed the foul count at 8-8. This doesn't always work, because your count won't always be close to even. You can, if you have a moment, ask him if he really means to accuse you of cheating. Tread carefully on this one, however.

"Three seconds...." I always ignore, unless he's making a habit of it. You have a few options. 1. Ignore. 2. Let him know that while you expect he's going to disagree on a few of your choices, you can't have him officiating from the bench like that. 3. Tell him that with all of the numbers being yelled out, you keep losing count and can't seem to get to three. (Tread carefully,and I'd really only use this in rec, or with a coach with whom I'd built a very good raport.)

"You've got to help your partner" is borderline T worthy, and will get one of three responses. 1. Ignore. 2. Warn. 3. T. In that order. Anything else either throws your partner under the bus or sends you crashing down to the coach's level.
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Last edited by Adam; Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 02:07pm.
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