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Old Sat Jan 31, 2015, 12:24am
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Can Refs Help Improve Youth Play (Videos)

I've become very frustrated with basketball officiating at the youth level. Whether we win or lose (we've won a lot more than we've lost), my first thought is how bad the officiating was. I'm going to post some videos with the hopes ya'll can help me understand what the ref is thinking.

(I've never been trained to officiate and recognize it's a hard and thankless job.)

First video. It has to be a charge/block right? (LOL).
So my thoughts. We're trying to teach 7th graders how to take a charge. They have a right to space especially with an out of control offense that lowers their shoulder. So why wouldn't a ref give the benefit of the doubt to this player:
(note: the charge/block is hard to call and even harder to execute -- I've just about given up trying to teach it -- I think that's sad)

video -1
http://youtu.be/c-4j7GOS-Pc



So maybe it was block. But why wouldn't this reach be called in video 2. In video 1 the defender is trying to play nice fundamental defense. In this video 2, he just plainly reaches into the offenses body. No foul called.

video-2
http://youtu.be/s_NVl8XBYKI



In my naive world, at the 7th grade level, as a ref --- I think I would be encouraging the defense in video 1 vs the defense in video 2. Yet it's not called that way. The sloppy way is rewarded.

Last edited by APG; Sat Jan 31, 2015 at 12:30am. Reason: sharing is caring...so is embedding
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Old Sat Jan 31, 2015, 12:39am
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Middle school ball is often the training grounds for new officials...just like it's the training grounds for many of the players. As such, you're not going to get the cream of the crop.

As to your clips, specifically the 2nd clip, I don't necessarily see a foul. Reaching in isn't a foul in of itself...if it was, then you could never steal the ball from the dribbler. Save for the four absolutes on a ball handler, the mere fact that there is contact on the dribbler isn't a foul.
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Old Sat Jan 31, 2015, 12:51am
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Thanks - I'm already learning something new. What are the 4 absolutes on a ball dribbler? It would help if I knew that.

Honestly, I'm absolutely amazed that a defender can smack a dribbler across the chest and it not be a foul (video 2). We haven't taught that but maybe we certainly will start. No more trying to get into good position.

What I'm reading is that in video 1 the offense has all the rights to his space. And in video 2, the offense doesn't have rights to his space.

I definitely have to send my parents to this thread because they would all say that video 2 is a foul. And if it's not, we are teaching our kids the wrong way and they are giving their kids the wrong feedback.

I see these same officials doing HS games.

No comment on video 1? Or too close to speculate and let it stand as called?
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Old Sat Jan 31, 2015, 01:06am
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Coach,

You have come to a good place to ask these questions.

Some officials considers themselves "teachers" and want to teach the players how to play. Other officials consider their role to just be an official.

I recommend that you find Billy Mac's list of Most Misunderstood Rules. Most officials know these rules, but some don't know them all.

I agree with your assessment on both of these plays, but I wanted to provide an explanation for why those calls might have been made.

At a 7th grade level, I suspect that the officials aren't getting paid that much money and are relatively low on the totem pole.

In the first play, the key to drawing a charge is to establish Legal Guarding Position. However, that is not what television announcers talk about when they explain the block/charge rule. Announcers spout nonsense for drawing a charge such as "he has to be set" and "he can't already be falling down when he is hit". Many listeners, including some officials, will believe this. Although not required by rule, the defender is much more likely to draw the charge if he doesn't move once he has established Legal Guarding Position.

The defender was falling down, did move laterally, and did appear to protect himself. While he is allowed to do these things, some officials won't call a charge under any of these circumstances.

Officials can also be caught off-guard. If there hasn't been a block/charge call all game, he may not have been ready for it. The official may have been closely watching the offensive player and not seen the defender establish Legal Guarding Position and didn't really notice him until just before contact..

In the second play, the official might have seen the contact and decided that the foul didn't need to be called since the ball handler maintained possession. Some officials might have considered calling that foul a "game interruptor".

From a coaching standpoint, I would teach my players not to even attempt to draw a charge if they are in foul trouble simply because there is no guarantee that it will be called a charge. If you decide to point out the foul in the second play, don't use the term "reaching" (since "reaching" without contacting the opponent is not a foul.)
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Old Sat Jan 31, 2015, 01:17am
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Thanks JeffM. Helpful stuff.

Not ever having officiated a real game, I'm at a huge disadvantage and ignorant. I'm also biased for my team. But when I review the video, I see so much contact. And when contact is called, it then seems so random. But it must not be. I must just not understand the nuances. And if I don't understand, I can't help the players.

I think we are done teaching the charge. The risk to reward is just too dang high. It seems much better to slap at the ball when the offense exposes it. That's just not called very often.

What's the correct way to say "reaching in and contacting the offense"?
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Old Sat Jan 31, 2015, 01:20am
APG APG is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ccrroo View Post
Thanks - I'm already learning something new. What are the 4 absolutes on a ball dribbler? It would help if I knew that.

Honestly, I'm absolutely amazed that a defender can smack a dribbler across the chest and it not be a foul (video 2). We haven't taught that but maybe we certainly will start. No more trying to get into good position.

What I'm reading is that in video 1 the offense has all the rights to his space. And in video 2, the offense doesn't have rights to his space.

I definitely have to send my parents to this thread because they would all say that video 2 is a foul. And if it's not, we are teaching our kids the wrong way and they are giving their kids the wrong feedback.

I see these same officials doing HS games.

No comment on video 1? Or too close to speculate and let it stand as called?
Smack is a bit dramatic...I've seen this type of play before and seen a dribbler disregard it as if the defender wasn't there. Guess my main point is that that type of play isn't an automatic foul. I still wouldn't teach your players to do what this defender did cause 1.) he's in poor position if he doesn't come up with a steal...and 2.) he puts himself at a greater chance of picking up a foul.

As to the four absolutes, strictly speaking, this type of contact is illegal on the ballhandler/dribbler:

1.) Two hands on the ball handler
2.) An extended forearm
3.) Repeating (more than once) touching with the same hand or either hand
3.) A stayed (continuous) touch on the ball handler
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Old Sat Jan 31, 2015, 01:26am
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3 more (if you like videos):

video 3:
What I saw - defender grabbed dribbler's shoulder
What did the ref see? (because it was a no call)
http://youtu.be/-zZ_SEwNWz0?list=UUZ...wLS23U8UlnYbFg



video 4:
What I saw - first defender went straight through the dribbler and hit his body;
What the ref saw? Foul on defender 2 on the grab. (maybe not the correct terminolgy)
http://youtu.be/gDyXV-z05Vs



video 5:
What I saw: first defender initates contact with offense; trips him and grabs his arm; second defender grabs his arm.
What did the ref see? (because it was a no call)
http://youtu.be/9nT8sDot2Ck


Last edited by APG; Sat Jan 31, 2015 at 01:44am. Reason: sharing is caring...so is embedding
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Old Sat Jan 31, 2015, 01:26am
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Information for parents

Coach,

I would refer the parents to the list of most misunderstood rules.

I don't think I would send them to this website unless they are especially interested. I think it is great that you want a better understanding of how the game is officiated.

I have coached a lot of youth sports (dozens of seasons of basketball, baseball, softball, and soccer).

Your parents should know that officials want to call the game fairly.

Your players should know that officials want to call the game fairly.

Your coaches should know that officials want to call the game fairly.

A lot of players would play better if they didn't worry about the officials. They get mad at the officials, lose focus and then don't play as well. Fans allow their anger at officials to take away from their enjoyment of the game, and more importantly, how they support their child.

Players and coaches use officials as an excuse to lose and then don't give maximum effort.

It might help if you consider officials to be sort of like policemen. Society wants policemen to prevent all of the murders, assaults, and robbery. But, I don't think society wants the policeman to pull over someone who is driving 57 in a 55. At a stop sign with no other cars in sight, is it ok if the driver stops a little in front of the line and doesn't come to a complete stop, but slows to 1 mph?

Another analogy is parenting. Should parents tolerate any misbehavior from their children or give a punishment for every single misbehavior? Different parents have different thresholds.

Officiating at the middle school level requires a lot of judgement.
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Old Sat Jan 31, 2015, 01:30am
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APG
Thanks for the 4 absolutes. That's helpful and I will teach those (and pass along to parents).

Can you comment on why the defender in video 2 can not be in position and create contact with the offense. And why in the video 1 the defender can't try to maintain his position as the offense runs over him?
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Old Sat Jan 31, 2015, 01:32am
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Stuff Good Players Should Know

I would still teach the charge, but not expect it to be called correctly every time.

Anything that looks like a foul could be called a foul. Reaching up looks less like a foul than slapping down.

Instead of saying "reaching", say "hitting" or "fouling" or "contacting".

If the defender is continually placing one hand on the ball handler, say "handcheck".

Instead of saying "over the back" say "displacing" (with the understanding that it is ok to reach over another player as long as there is no displacement)
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Old Sat Jan 31, 2015, 01:33am
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I officiate for me. I leave my house because I like where I am going and what I am working. I am not here to teach anyone anything but other officials, if they are receptive to my knowledge and experience. It is the coach's job to teach kids how to play and to train kids. My job is to call the game properly and use proper judgment. Middle school games are hard to work because the talent and fluidity of the players is not yet developed.

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Old Sat Jan 31, 2015, 01:34am
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Play 1: Charge

Play 2: Nothing

Play 3: Foul

Play 4: Foul on 2nd defender

Play 5: Foul on 2nd defender
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Old Sat Jan 31, 2015, 01:42am
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AremRed -
It almost seems like the dribbler isn't protected as much as the shooter? Because if that much contact is made on a shot, it seems like a foul is usually called (video 4 and 5).

Or maybe another way to ask it is. On plays 4 and 5, are you saying no foul because no harm was done (ie. the dribbler didn't lose the ball in that instance). If the defender had taken the ball, would it still be a no foul. Again, its seem like that amount of contact on a shooter would create a call.
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Old Sat Jan 31, 2015, 01:44am
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Play #1: Charge

Play #2: Nothing. I see a player reach around for the ball, but nothing that seems to affect the dribbler and his RSBQ at all.

Play #3: I see what could be a foul, but I see why it was not called. The dribbler tried to do something he was not in control to do and seemed to fall. I see the defender extend his arms, but I am not convinced he had anything to do with the control of the dribbler.

Play #4: I have a foul on the second kid after the spin.

Play #5: I do not have a foul on this play. A lot of grabbing for the ball.

Peace
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Last edited by JRutledge; Sat Jan 31, 2015 at 01:48am.
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Old Sat Jan 31, 2015, 01:45am
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JRutledge,

Do you think the talent and fluidity development can be hindered in a very physical game?

I'm just wondering if so much contact wasn't allowed, it would allow the players to develop and the game would look a lot more fluid.

Of course, the first couple of games might be painful. But the players/coaches might eventually adjust to less contact.

Just thinking out loud.
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