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Old Thu Jan 23, 2003, 05:31pm
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Over the years I have had the opportunity to train new baseball and basketball officials. This has been a wonderful way to understand many things we "old hides" forget that we once learned.

The following items are 10 valuable things that experience (called my first FED varsity game in '68) has taught me that I think are pretty solid thoughts.

I certainly don't expect them to pass this august board without critical comment but I am hopeful that they will be taken as simple teaching items and not LAW:

1. Use technical fouls judiciously. Remember, a technical foul “never” makes things better. Use “other” game management skills before resorting to the ultimate call.

2. Never be afraid to talk to a coach. Even when things get real “testy” don’t ever think it is wrong to get over near the coach (I always took the ball over, asked for a towel to wipe the ball clean of phantom moisture, and then said quietly, “Hey Coach, we aren’t trying to cheat you so get control of the person on your bench that is all over us!”) and share your feelings. IF you are discussing rulings, a court issue, or timing or correctable errors get BOTH coaches as near the center line as possible and talk to BOTH of them.

3. Pick your battles. When you see “minor violations” of technical issues handle them without flair, without controversy. Don’t fret over players that leave the court. ONLY worry if they go hide in the crowd and try to gain an advantage.

4. Talk to players during dead ball situations. Don’t always tell them “quit doing this and that” – take the time to comment on the play. Comment on the pace of play . . . the court atmosphere.

5. Please don’t call a foul on the “inside” guy when he blocks out readying to rebound. EVEN if he reaches back and touches the guy behind him please don’t call the foul. The guy is doing what he is taught, let him do his job.

6. Never take a water bottle to the scoring table UNLESS you are doing multiple games in a “rec league”. If you wear a jacket to the pre-game warm ups make sure that you take the jacket to the dressing room at half-time and leave it there. If you need a towel at the bench (which is FINE) have the home team manager place a folded towel for you and your partner at the table (also recognize that at the first time out a player will take it anyway and bow his nose on it). Each time you use it FOLD IT and place it back to the original location.

7. Take your time making calls. No one is going ANYWHERE until you finish. Hustle DURING play, be quick but don’t hurry when making your call. If you are an “off” official freeze and wait. It is hard but it does wonders for the flow of the game.

8. If you select to be an “advantage/disadvantage” type official, please, understand what that means. Take time to understand not only the big picture of basketball but get a feel early of the game your are working.

9. CALL TRAVELING VIOLATIONS. It is almost impossible for you to have clearly in your mind every time a pivot foot is established, every time a “running stop” ends in the establishment of either foot being a pivot foot, and when a player returns a pivot foot to the ground before eliminating the ball from their possession. Keep this rule in the front of your brain, “If it looks funny and you think it was a travel, it probably was . . . “ Call travel calls aggressively.

10. Hustle . . . ALWAYS HUSTLE. Work hard at getting position (and when you don’t quite get there keeping moving while completing the call so it ‘appears’ that you were right on top of the call). Don’t be afraid to work to the center when trail in two-whistle. Move from side to side when on the baseline . . . work at getting better (and sometimes just different) looks at your primary area. Never walk anywhere . . . get crispness into your stride and run end-to-end when necessary.



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Old Thu Jan 23, 2003, 05:43pm
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Great advice!!!
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Old Thu Jan 23, 2003, 06:06pm
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Lightbulb Two items.

Quote:
Originally posted by Tim C

1. Use technical fouls judiciously. Remember, a technical foul “never” makes things better. Use “other” game management skills before resorting to the ultimate call.

5. Please don’t call a foul on the “inside” guy when he blocks out readying to rebound. EVEN if he reaches back and touches the guy behind him please don’t call the foul. The guy is doing what he is taught, let him do his job.

I love the list but have take issue with these two items.

Number 1, I do not believe that T's "never" make things better. They can make things better if used properly. If they are not marginal or do not affect the game or stop further behavior, they can be used very affectively. I talked earlier on this board about a coach complaining about "the spot of a throw-in" and i ended up giving the coach a T. Well the result was the coach actually coached the rest of the game and left us alone. The T was early in the second quarter and had no affect on the outcome and was hardly noticed. In my opinion, one of the best Ts I have ever given considering everything. Even Ed Hightower said, "Call Ts to make the game better." (not and exact quote, but you get the idea)

Number 2, I have to take issue with for this reason and this reason alone, just because he was taught to do something, does not mean it is legal and just. If a player cannot do a jump stop properly, you do not hold the whistle because the coach taught it the wrong way. I agree that you have to consider some other factors, but I do not say do not ever call anything. Lots of players are taught to "back out" their opponents by causing contact and essentually pushing their opponents out of the way. This to me is always a good call and is not legal by the NF or the NCAA Rulebooks. And just because you have position, does not mean you can "back out" someone from their's.

Other than that, great list and good teaching points.

Peace
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Old Thu Jan 23, 2003, 06:26pm
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1) Never say never. As Rut posted, there are occasions when a "T" actually makes the game better. When a coach is incessantly whining for every call right out of the gate, a "T" can often shut up his pie-hole and make for a very enjoyable game. By stressing this, you might make your newbies think they have to put up with a coach verbally abusing them.

2) Never say never. Usually, yes, but there are times to not go over to a frustrated coach. Sometimes it's best to just stay away.

3) Agree.

4) OK.

5) If he blocks out legally sure. But if he roots out his opponent or is using his hands and arms to trap the person behind him, that's a holding foul. If the coach is teaching him illegal techniques, it's out job to call him on it.

6) You really think that having a towel at the scorer's table is important enough to merit a top 10 list of important things to tell a new ref? Who cares if they fold it after they use it? Why fold it if the players are just going to blow their nose in it? :-) (you said it)

7) Amen.

8) OK.

9) Disagree completely. Don't be a travel ref. Anybody can go out there and call a travel if it looks funny. Fans get all riled up several times a game over things that look like travels but aren't. Call a travel based on the rule which is about the pivot foot, not whether or not it looks funny.

10) You betcha.

Z



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Old Thu Jan 23, 2003, 06:57pm
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Hehehe,

I said I expected critical comment, didn't I.
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Old Thu Jan 23, 2003, 07:13pm
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Commenting on the aspects of play calling and technical fouls. As young officials we have to be taught to blow the whistle. If you are getting started, blow and blow and blow. It is much easier to tone someone down then it is to try an get them to simply blow the whistle.

Being a young official we sometimes have the tendancy to over analyze plays and not blow the whistle. This doesn't show anyone anything at all. As a beginning official blow if it's a violation, blow it if it is a foul. You learn more from the mistakes you make rather than the ones you don't even take a chance at.

As for technical fouls, if a player is deserving of a technical foul then give it to them. Same for the coaches and so on.... As a young official we are trying to gain respect and there are times that we need to "unleash the beast." It is not a matter of arrogance but rather a matter of gaining creditability. Sometimes it takes a "T" to get them back to ground zero. Remember these threes steps when calling a "T"

1) Does it fit the situation?
2) Is it going to be effective?
3) Can the league commissioner or assignor defend it?
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Old Thu Jan 23, 2003, 07:21pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by Tim C

8. If you select to be an “advantage/disadvantage” type official, please, understand what that means. Take time to understand not only the big picture of basketball but get a feel early of the game your are working.

Tee,could you please give a little more detailed explanation on what you consider an "advantage/disadvantage official" to be? I think that I know what you are getting at,but I'd like to be sure before I make any comment.

This one could be a thread all by itself.
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Old Thu Jan 23, 2003, 07:28pm
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I agree with some of the comments, except for the ones listed below.


1. T's have potential to make things better. But they have to be used correctly. If every trick in the book has been tried, but the jerk is still being really unsportsmanlike, than you have no choice to wahck him. It will make the games better because people will realize your not going to take that BS. It will also make the game better because he will stop his yackin'...or atleast we won't be able to hear it from the dressing room.

6. Why can't ihave a beverage at the scorers table when I'm thirsty? Is it that unacceptable? What if drinks or provided? do we have to refuse? And what is a player going to the table for during a time out(except to check in) let alone behind the table where my stuff is.

[Edited by moose69 on Jan 23rd, 2003 at 06:35 PM]
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Old Thu Jan 23, 2003, 08:00pm
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Like most, I have to disagree slightly with the T guideline. They can make the game better and, if used effectively, can go a long way to gaining respect from a coach.

Early in the season I had a coach for both games in a Fresh/JV doubleheader (Fresh coach was sick). Before the first game when we introduced ourselves the coach commented that he did not remember seeing me before. My partner said "Oh, he is new to the chapter.". Coach chirped at me the entire game. Not real bad but he ignored my request to tone it down. Early in the second game, I called a foul he didn't like (big surprise). After reporting, table signaled me over to clarify the number. The coach asked for an explanation and I gave him a quick response. He then frowns and says loadly "You better get your sh!t together"...Tweet, WHACK and say "I've got it together coach." (kicked myself hard for that jerk comment ). I have had this coach twice since then and he has been a model citizen. We have even bumped into each other at a school function (my daughter will be attending there next year) and he complimented my work...won't help him next year as I have to block that school for the next four seasons.

Sometimes they can help!
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Old Thu Jan 23, 2003, 08:19pm
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1.Use technical fouls judiciously. Remember, a technical foul “never” makes things better.

9.CALL TRAVELING VIOLATIONS. “If it looks funny and you think it was a travel, it probably was . . . “ Call travel calls aggressively.


1) I have generally given technicals not as so much a punishment, but more as a means to keep players/coaches IN the game. Most times it settles them down, and we can get on with it. So they are valuable.

9) If it looks funny and you THINK it's a travel, it probably wasn't. High dribbles and goofy out of control ball handlers usually cause crowds to ohh and ahh, but by rule, you must KNOW that it was a violation.(not just think it was)
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Old Thu Jan 23, 2003, 10:48pm
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WOW,

Thanks for some GREAT comments.

A few things I would like to expand on, not defend, just maybe write a little more clearly.

I wrote:

"a technical foul “never” makes things better."

By puting "Never" in quotes I was hoping to convey a feeling of something between "seldom" and "Never". I missed badly on that free throw.

I should have left the thought at use Technical Fouls judiciously.

One poster said:

"As a young official we are trying to gain respect and there are times that we need to "unleash the beast.""

Sorry no techincal foul will increase your respect. Not calling one may.

I wrote:

"Never be afraid to talk to a coach"

Again poor writing skills -- you also need to know when NOT to talk to a coach. Sometimes things sound better in my mind and off my tongue when teaching and really don't work in writing as well.

I mentioned not calling a foul on the inside guy in rebound position.

I knew this would be a slippery slope. It my teaching philosophy that when a player gets the inside position when rebounding he has done his job. NOW I DID NOT SAY, "let him back everyone out of the hole . . . BUT I DID SAY, "if he reaches back to locate the player behind him to keep his position don't call the foul. I have been taught this at all levels FED and above and will continue to teach it.

It is much like teaching that "what is called, or not, when a defenders hand hits a shooters hand after the ball is clearly away and there is no other contact between the two players?"

In no way did I expect anyone to assume (no matter how badly I wrote the point in the post) that I would allow him to back the defender out to the free throw line.

I am not sure if it worth talking further about towels and water bottles.

I will stand by the following story:

Clif Guftason (sp) who was the Head Baseball Coach for the Texas Longhorns for decades and who won several National Championships has stated that he can "tell which umpire I am going to have trouble with when the walk onto the field . . . it is the way they handle themselves, their deportment!"

That is where I stand with the towel and the water. You'll never see a D1 Basketball Offical taking a water bottle to the scorers table. End of story. That's the LIST! And, as pointed out on this webpage, if you drink the proper amount of water before and half of the game you really don't "need" additional water.

The towel issue is simply meant to continue a professional appearance by the team of officials. I never carried a towel but if you do I simply gave some things to think about. It is just a single point in what I teach about uniform and conformity.

Finally the famous "travel" line.

Please reread that section . . .

What I tried to convey is if you thought (past tense) it was a travel it probably was. Which means you probably missed it this time so be ready for that activity again.

Folks, officials do not call enough travel violations. Professional basketball lets them walk, so now colleges let them walk, and now we at the HS level have followed suit. Let's just work harder at calling closer to the rules as written.

Now that's what I meant to say with these issues. I probably screwed the pooch on some of the writing but I hope this is taken as an further extrapolation of what I wrote and is not taken as defensive.

Thanks for the thoughts so far.

JR:

I am working on a advantage/disadvantage thread starter.

Tee
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Old Thu Jan 23, 2003, 11:03pm
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Re: Hehehe,

Quote:
Originally posted by Tim C
I said I expected critical comment, didn't I.
And THAT last comment shows you are a true pro!

I've coached since '80 and this is my first year Officiating, and I like your list. Makes a lot of sense. I've always had a better time at games with refs who talked with us on the sidelines and took the time to explain things when we had questions.

I also believe now that every coach should have to ref a few games before he can coach.
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Old Thu Jan 23, 2003, 11:13pm
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A T should *always* make the game better

If you think it's a travel it probably isn't.
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Old Fri Jan 24, 2003, 12:39am
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Cool

You forgot the absolutely most important advice to give to a new official:

Tuck your whistle in your shirt when you take a leak.

Man, how could you forget that???????
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Old Fri Jan 24, 2003, 01:11am
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Quote:
Originally posted by Tim C



5. Please don’t call a foul on the “inside” guy when he blocks out readying to rebound. EVEN if he reaches back and touches the guy behind him please don’t call the foul. The guy is doing what he is taught, let him do his job.


.

But, this is what I see too much. A1 gets inside position, just like he has been taught. Rebound kicks out over A1's
head to B1, who jumps straight up to grab the rebound. A1
jumps backward into him and B1 picks up the foul for, that's
right, "OVER THE BACK." Another of my many pet peeves.
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