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Rufus Thu Dec 01, 2011 01:27pm

Trouble with C
 
In my third year doing varsity, 3-man, but still not exclusively as the majority of my schedule up until now was still 2-man. I am still not confident/comfortable when in "C." We always pre-game and inevitably the statement comes up "Let's have a strong C tonight" and inevitably when I rotate there I feel like a fish out of water and call the game like it. Examples:
  • In C, A1 moving to the basket and is bumped by B2 while going up for a shot right at the lane line (i.e., still in my primary). I see the bump, register that A1's shot was affected, and simply don't put air in the whistle. L comes in and cleans up my inaction and we move on.
  • In C, A1 catches a pass and shuffles their feet. I see it, register that it's a travel, and don't put air in the whistle. T calls it and we move on.
  • A1 moving across the lane and is hit on the arm. This time I put air in the whistle but late and L has an out of bounds whistle (didn't see the contact that caused the ball to go OOB). Instead of going strong with the call it was half-hearted and weak mechanic on my part leaving everyone wondering what was going on.
This is the biggest area of concentration for me right now as these issues don't crop up nearly as often (i.e., beyond the usual brain-cramp) while in T or L. What really hacks me off is in my evaluations strong mechanics are a constant theme but for some reason when in the slot they disappear. The "typical" areas of 3-man adjustments like rotations, bump and runs, and court placement during dead balls/free throws haven't really been an issue (or at least haven't come up in conversations with the crew chiefs during/after games).

This is in my head now and I'm trying to work out of it. Has anyone else struggled with this and, if so, how do you get through it? Any advice on how you ensure you're a "strong C?" I'm trying to concentrate on my primary and responsibilities there, have a running dialogue as plays develop, and at least recognize when something needs addressing as C, but am locking up on way too many plays.

Toren Thu Dec 01, 2011 01:42pm

Same Boat
 
I can't offer any advice. But I can tell you I'm in exactly the same position you are, 3rd year with the greatest part of my schedule still two man. And I can also completely relate to the experiences you are having in 3 man. I will be equally interested in how this thread goes and to hear the advice of the veterans.

mbyron Thu Dec 01, 2011 01:56pm

Being recently on the other side of this particular hump, I can tell you that it does get better. I think your connection with 2-whistle officiating is on the mark: as you developed your skills, you were used to certain looks at L and at T. You still get those looks in 3-whistle from those positions, but now you have new looks from C.

I think it takes time -- a couple of seasons. As for what you can do, go to your fundamentals: referee the defense, move to improve, see the whole play. Part of the issue is confidence, and the best way to improve your confidence is to do it the right way. Stop thinking "uh oh, I have to rotate into C now!" and start watching your off-ball matchups. If you can officiate from T and L, you can do it from C. You'll be there before you know it.

billyu2 Thu Dec 01, 2011 03:49pm

Well-said MBYRON. Rufus, initially it's possible newer officials to 3 person tend to "let down" a little when in the center position since it's most likely the ball and most of the players are away from your PCA. Actually, this is the time when the center needs to have a more aggressive mind set ( "strong C" terminology). Action from the Lead or Trail's primary quite often will be coming toward you and although may not quite reach your distinct coverage area, the Lead and Trail are depending on the C to be ready to make calls that they no longer have the best angle to see to make an intelligent call. Think of yourself as the center fielder. You have a bigger coverage area to help your partners and must be more aggressive in order to take care of it. The difficulty is you must still allow your partners to have the first shot at a call to avoid too many double whistles; but if they don't get it, be ready to pounce.

JRutledge Thu Dec 01, 2011 04:01pm

It sounds to me like you are simply thinking and stopped officiating. You are more worried about where you are rather than just calling what you see. I also do not think there is any problem with double whistles, but when you are the C and the ball is going to the lane, you just want to be careful that you do not signal to quickly as your partners will likely have a call as well.

Peace

Danvrapp Thu Dec 01, 2011 07:09pm

Quote:

Originally Posted by JRutledge (Post 801106)
It sounds to me like you are simply thinking and stopped officiating.

What he said.

You'll have that time after a few years where you no longer have to think about things like mechanics and positioning, primary area(s) of coverage, and double whistles. From a previous post above, you mention you have good 2-man mechanics, and I'll guess you don't think about mechanics and coverage areas, you just officiate when working a 2-person game.

Eventually, you'll get there with 3-person, too. When you no longer have to think about those things and they become automatic, you'll become a better 3-man official and a stronger C.

Best of luck!

refiator Fri Dec 02, 2011 11:02pm

It sounds to me like you are so used to a 2-person that you are expecting the T and L to make all the calls since that is what you are used to. Relax. KNOW YOUR PRIMARY. As C, you have a huge area as your primary...as well as a large secondary area. The more plays you see, the more you will feel comfortable making calls from this "awkward" position. The KEY is eye contact with your partners....and getting a feel for the position....Which comes with time.

I did not like 3-person the first couple of years I worked it...but now I can't imagine working 2-person with the quickness of the game today. (Hats off to you who still work 2-person crews!!)

just another ref Sat Dec 03, 2011 12:05am

I had similar feelings in my first couple of 3 man games. Felt like I was always in somebody's way. It is still somewhat of a problem and probably will always be as long as we work 25 games of 2 man for every 1 game of 3 man. Just don't let these concerns overwhelm you to the point that the game gets away from you. Much better to have a double whistle on a call than no whistle at all when one was needed.

BillyMac Sat Dec 03, 2011 01:44pm

One, Two, Buckle My Shoe, Three, Four, Shut The Door ...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by just another ref (Post 801499)
It is still somewhat of a problem is probably will always be as long as we work 25 games of 2 man for every 1 game of 3 man.

Here in my little corner of The Land Of Steady Habits, the only three person games we see in the regular season are a few games between "big city" powerhouses, and we work them only when requested by the home school. We're still using two man crews for almost all of our conference, and league, playoff games, even championship games. State tournament games before the State quarterfinals are all two person games.

Rufus Sat Dec 03, 2011 08:38pm

Thanks to all who replied. Had two games last night that went much better. When in C whenever I started thinking too much (coverage areas, match ups, etc.) I would say to myself "call the game" to get refocused. It worked and i was able to stay in the games. Had some double whistles but partners commented a couple of times on good calls coming from me, which was nice to hear.

Thanks again.

ref3808 Sun Dec 04, 2011 10:55am

First 3 Whistle Experience
 
Usually in MA everything except the tournament is 2-man. Had my first experience yesteday with 3-man in a varsity scrimmage. I can relate well to the comments about being in the C position. I also felt as though I should be switching more often, I felt I was in the C positon forever and then some.

BillyMac Sun Dec 04, 2011 11:35am

And This Is A Problem ??? Why ???
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ref3808 (Post 801744)
I felt I was in the C positon forever and then some.

Count you're blessings.

Freddy Sun Dec 04, 2011 11:57am

Get Specific
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Rufus (Post 801645)
Thanks to all who replied. Had two games last night that went much better. When in C whenever I started thinking too much (coverage areas, match ups, etc.) I would say to myself "call the game" to get refocused. It worked and i was able to stay in the games. Had some double whistles but partners commented a couple of times on good calls coming from me, which was nice to hear.
Thanks again.

Two approaches to being the C: 1) The ball's not on my side, and 2) I'm diligently checking the matchups in my PCA and looking to catch off-ball fouls.
The first is a passive mindset, and when this is the predominant thought in the mind of the C, complacency can easily set in and the comfort of "The Saddle" can mean missed calls when they occur in the C's area.
The second is an active perspective, and when this is the predominant thought in the mind of the C, it never becomes a "I feel like I've been there forever" sensation. Too much to watch for. Too much to keep tabs on.
Just a little thing, but maybe it can in some small way make the C realistically significant for you.

kwatson Tue Dec 06, 2011 11:51am

My problem is with being L. I have a real hard time holding my whistle when players are driving to the basket from either T's or C's area. Any advice on this? Said that like I have done it a lot, truth is I have my first 3 man non scrim game this Thursday, hoping to get it all straight in my brain before that.

billyu2 Tue Dec 06, 2011 12:35pm

Quote:

Originally Posted by kwatson (Post 802316)
My problem is with being L. I have a real hard time holding my whistle when players are driving to the basket from either T's or C's area. Any advice on this? Said that like I have done it a lot, truth is I have my first 3 man non scrim game this Thursday, hoping to get it all straight in my brain before that.

Don't worry so much about withholding your whistle, I mean, you've got a play coming hard right at you. Your instinct is always going to be ready to hit the whistle. What you have to be ready to withold is a preliminary signal depending on what you've discussed in your pre-game as to who is going to take the call. In our area, on a drive from the Trail we give the L the greater responsibility if he has the better look/location of the play.


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