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Old Mon Apr 09, 2012, 08:38am
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Enforcing Sportsmanship

I worked an AAU tournament this past weekend. During one of the games I ejected a coach. I have no regrets about doing so. I warned him before the first technical, and before the second I asked him to refrain from further comment since I didn't want to issue a second T and force the ejection. He was just one of those coaches who, for whatever reason, didn't want to act appropriately. My suspicion is that this "coach" was a parent who had no inkling about the rules or how to conduct himself. I would have preferred to have my partner issue the second T, but sometimes circumstances are what they are and business needs to be done.

Of course after his ejection he found the tournament director and complained, and after the game I had to rationalize and explain the ejection to my assignor who happened to be working another game in the same facility. And he, I'm quite sure, had to explain it to the tournament director. I really don't have any problem with providing reasonable explanations. Of course the coach didn't bother to explain that he had been warned (twice).

I get it, no one wants a scenario where coaches can't reasonably ask questions regarding calls and team "leaders" are removed without due cause, but I think officials are too frequently assumed to be somehow at fault for ejections involving coaches, when the reality is that there are rules that apply to their behavior and those rules should be enforced as are all other contest rules.

I guess we live in a world where we're expected to tolerate to the nth degree the boorish and unacceptable behavior of coaches.

Frankly, once this coach was gone the game was a better contest. Faced with the same scenario I'd take the same action.
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Old Mon Apr 09, 2012, 08:50am
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Thats unfortunate... for him!

Were your Ts back to back or did some time run off in between?

Any way you can elaborate on this:

I would have preferred to have my partner issue the second T, but sometimes circumstances are what they are and business needs to be done.
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Old Mon Apr 09, 2012, 08:56am
JWP JWP is offline
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Fines

More and more after-season tournaments are handing out fines for techicals. I did one this weekend -- everything from 3-4 grade to college level --that said if a player or a coach received a technical, it is an automatic $20 fine, and the player or coach is out of the game until the money is paid. We never had any problems ... except.

First game, 9 a.m. A high school kid didn't like a call, and as he walks away, I can hear what I think is an obscenity under his breath. I give him a "C'mon, 14, watch the language." At the next time out, he comes up next to me and says, "Hey, I'm sorry about that ... I just really, really need some coffee right now."
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Old Mon Apr 09, 2012, 09:02am
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He happened to earn his second T by coming off the bench in my direction arms outstetched with remarks about us not calling it "both ways" and his team having to play against 5 players and two officials. I would have preferred that our switches had resulted in my partner being the one to issue the second T, but in this case I didn't see how I could ignore the behavior.
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Old Mon Apr 09, 2012, 09:12am
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Thats pretty tough to ignore would've been a great way for your partner to join the party though. Sometimes we just gotta do what we gotta do.
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Old Mon Apr 09, 2012, 09:15am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ref3808 View Post
I guess we live in a world where we're expected to tolerate to the nth degree the boorish and unacceptable behavior of coaches.

Frankly, once this coach was gone the game was a better contest. Faced with the same scenario I'd take the same action.
ref3808 - sounds like you handled it just fine...oftentimes the game DOES get better once the problem is addressed/removed.

In addition to a general lack/decline of sportsmanship by players and coaches, it has been my experience that more and more officials lack the "people skills" to handle/diffuse situations. I see officials routinely turn to issuing a T or ejection, when there were/are plenty of other remedies that they either don't know how to use or won't use.

Of course some will disagree (and just you wait...they'll be along shortly to do so and tell me i'm wrong...). It is a "chicken or the egg"-type discussion (are the players/coaches causing the ejections or are the lack of people skills/communication skills exacerbating the problem?). IMHO, it is most certainly a little of both. While every situation doesn't call for a T or ejection, I think that officials resort to the T/ejection becuase it is the "easiest thing to do"......
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Old Mon Apr 09, 2012, 09:19am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ref3808 View Post
I worked an AAU tournament this past weekend.
You have to be somewhat expecting some coaching issues.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ref3808 View Post
I guess we live in a world where we're expected to tolerate to the nth degree the boorish and unacceptable behavior of coaches.
Not anyone that I work for, just the opposite.

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Originally Posted by ref3808 View Post
Frankly, once this coach was gone the game was a better contest. Faced with the same scenario I'd take the same action.
There you go, enough said. Good job! Hopefully, the coach will learn.
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Old Mon Apr 09, 2012, 09:21am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ref3808 View Post
He happened to earn his second T by coming off the bench in my direction arms outstetched with remarks about us not calling it "both ways" and his team having to play against 5 players and two officials. I would have preferred that our switches had resulted in my partner being the one to issue the second T, but in this case I didn't see how I could ignore the behavior.
I wouldn't think twice about this one; nor would I worry too much about having to call both. It's not like you called both in rapid succession.

Every time I call a T, I'm prepared to explain it. That's probably a function of the state association requiring a report for every T during the season. It doesn't affect how I call them, but it has affected my thought process and memory afterwards.

At $15-$18 per game during these summer games, I'm not taking much crap from the coaches. Now, that said, we get local varsity head coaches working these spring middle school leagues along side a Dad who's seen too many coach K games; so I'm not going to blow in like Buford T Justice, either.
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Old Mon Apr 09, 2012, 09:27am
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Originally Posted by twocentsworth View Post
In addition to a general lack/decline of sportsmanship by players and coaches, it has been my experience that more and more officials lack the "people skills" to handle/diffuse situations. I see officials routinely turn to issuing a T or ejection, when there were/are plenty of other remedies that they either don't know how to use or won't use.

Of course some will disagree (and just you wait...they'll be along shortly to do so and tell me i'm wrong...).
That is BS, its always the coaches/players fault! Are you a ref or a coach?
LOL

No, I agree, it is a bit of both, especially in the off-season. What I see from us locally is officials are going to the T as a first choice instead of using the tool as a last resort.
I've also noticed that its generally the same guy(s) that get caught up in the mess with Ts, player/coach/fan ejections, etc. It's usually the same players/coaches/fans too
IMO officials with exceptional people skills dont get into many off-season altercations.
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Old Mon Apr 09, 2012, 09:29am
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Originally Posted by twocentsworth View Post
ref3808 - sounds like you handled it just fine...oftentimes the game DOES get better once the problem is addressed/removed.

In addition to a general lack/decline of sportsmanship by players and coaches, it has been my experience that more and more officials lack the "people skills" to handle/diffuse situations. I see officials routinely turn to issuing a T or ejection, when there were/are plenty of other remedies that they either don't know how to use or won't use.

Of course some will disagree (and just you wait...they'll be along shortly to do so and tell me i'm wrong...). It is a "chicken or the egg"-type discussion (are the players/coaches causing the ejections or are the lack of people skills/communication skills exacerbating the problem?). IMHO, it is most certainly a little of both. While every situation doesn't call for a T or ejection, I think that officials resort to the T/ejection becuase it is the "easiest thing to do"......
I don't think you're wrong so much as incomplete.

I would just add that sometimes the problem is the officials don't know how to spot trouble before it boils over. There are usually signs, and a quick word with the coach lets him know that you're listening, so it cuts off his frustration. It also gives you a chance to let him know there are better ways to communicate with you; doing this quietly in front of his bench does it without showing him up.

I'm using my spring/summer ball this year to work on my communication with coaches. If I can work with these guys, I can work with anyone who's actually accountable to a school district.

All that said, sometimes you just have to go straight to the T because the coach doesn't give you a choice.
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Old Mon Apr 09, 2012, 09:39am
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Originally Posted by ref3808 View Post
He happened to earn his second T by coming off the bench in my direction arms outstetched with remarks about us not calling it "both ways" and his team having to play against 5 players and two officials. I would have preferred that our switches had resulted in my partner being the one to issue the second T, but in this case I didn't see how I could ignore the behavior.
Don't worry. You did what you were supposed to do. If you had to give both, that's life sometimes. I don't doubt the game went better afterwards.

I rang up a H.S. coach a few years ago four minutes into a game without a warning. He jumped off the bench and out of his box to yell about a travel I called. Since I was opposite the table while he was yelling - meaning his voice had to carry 50 feet - it was pretty easy. You know what? The game went beautifully from that point. He had to coach the game instead of worry about me and my partner.

I also adopt Snaq's theory for spring/summer games: my willingness to deal with nonsense drops a whole lot when it's $30-40/game (that's what we get in my neck of the woods).
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Old Mon Apr 09, 2012, 01:31pm
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You run into situations like this in AAU. It often requires a different strategy than you would with a coach during a regular season game.

I think any time you can dialog, it is an opportunity to practice your skills. But keep in mind that AAU guys can be knuckleheads and you won't win the war.
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Old Mon Apr 09, 2012, 01:52pm
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My suspicion is that this "coach" was a parent who had no inkling about the rules or how to conduct himself.
In an AAU game? You've got to be kidding.
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Old Mon Apr 09, 2012, 04:33pm
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Oh, That's Why . . .

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My suspicion is that this "coach" was a parent who had no inkling about the rules or how to conduct himself.
Thanks for the reminder. I forgot for a second why it is I don't do AAU games.

I do wish you the best, though! "Smooth sailing does not a seasoned sailor make."
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Old Mon Apr 09, 2012, 05:31pm
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His team having to play against 5 players and two officials.
That alone, even if whispered so that only I heard it, with no hand, or body, gestures at all, while he was in the coaching box, with no previous technical foul, with no previous warning, would have earned that coach an immediate seat on the bus. I might have even passed on the technical foul, and just told him to get the hell out of my gym.
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