Protected: Game Log 11/30/10: And away we go.

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Protected: Game log 11-27-10: The more I know, the more I need to know.

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To my loyal readers

(all three or four of you…)

Now that I’m doing games, I’m writing game logs.  I don’t necessarily want all of these to be public, since I don’t want any coaches or parents with an agenda to somehow see my thoughts about potentially controversial games or plays I find myself in the center of down the line.  But anyone who fits one of the following descriptions is invited to see them:

–any referee of any sport anywhere
–any actual real-life friend of mine
–anyone else who can convince me they have a compelling reason to read the game logs

Just click on “how to view password-protected posts” above for the email.  A good part of why I do this is to have smart people help me pick apart my games, so I hope a good number of people will take the time to get the password.

Protected: Game Log 11/26/10: New season, same challenges

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On the eve of re-starting…

I’ve got a scrimmage at noon tomorrow.  Yay me.  I was remarking to my wife today that I have never in my life been this excited to start a basketball season.  Even after I took three years off for medical reasons and headed back…well, I didn’t anticipate it as much as I am anticipating this year.

So, as I find the whistles again and get set for the best year in my career (anything short of that will be a disappointment after all the time and effort I’ve put in), I will now review what I said I needed to work on for this year.

1. MENTAL FATIGUE. As it happens, the basketball season coincides with the busiest part of the year in my day job. Add a baby to the mix, and I sort of didn’t get enough sleep. I noticed, especially in December, that I was mentally less than with it on the floor sometimes. I stopped commenting about that in January and February. I don’t think it’s that I was less tired…somehow I adjusted. But, nonetheless, I need to be careful to take care of me a bit more next year–be sure I sleep enough and don’t arrive at the gym tired. It isn’t a good thing.

2. CALLING TOO MUCH AS LEAD. This continues to be an issue. I can’t seem to lay off the call across the paint when I’m lead. I’ve put this down for the past couple of years, and I still need to hold off on those whistles just a bit. This is true on drives and on some rebounds as well…I need to trust my partners on the former and be sure I have a good angle on the latter. I don’t trust the blanket statement I hear that “almost all calls should come from the C and T.” If it happens in my area, and I’m L, and I have a good angle, isn’t that what I have a whistle for? But I do get this feedback often enough that I need to re-commit to this next year.

#1 will be a challenge as long as I have a challenging day job that gets me out of bed early and keeps me operating on all cylinders through the day.  I’ve noticed that I’ve been struggling to get my workouts in as work picked up over the last month or so.  The workouts are important, but they’re also a canary-in-the-coal-mine to signal my workload is getting too great.  I’ll keep an eye out–if I’m not working out, I’ll try to re-focus at work and find stress-reducers there.

#2:  well, I’ll keep my damn eyes in my area.  I need to cross this bad boy off the list of “things to work on” this year.

You can count on hearing about it here.

And another annual event…

Clothing order.  Every year around this time, I replenish.  With my summer workouts, this year it meant (surprise!) getting new, slimmer pants.  I’m a fairly slender dude anyway, but now that I’m weighing  less than I have since sometime in the early Clinton administration, my blue jeans are sagging like a rapper.  While I’m thrilled with the beltless slacks and the internal belt (whatever that thing is called), and while a test run of the pants earlier today revealed no danger of me reffing with my pants around my ankles, I still got a new set of pants.  And a new grey shirt.  And three whistles.  And one lanyard.

Next year, it’ll likely only be one black-and-white shirt.

There’s something about the ritual of doing this every year that I love.  I can feel myself gearing up.

The Family Jewels and Elbows Too

Ref meeting this afternoon–floor mechanical.  Nothing too surprising, with one exception.  Our assignor told us to watch out as C in transition…apparently boys running upcourt in the throng have taken to punching each other in the groin.  It led me to wonder…

if I actually caught somebody attempting a groin-punch, what do I do?  What if it lands?

Seems to me that, by rule, either one is a flagrant foul and an ejection…but if the attempted groin-punch-in-transition DIDN’T  land, it’d be an awfully tough sell.  (If it lands, then it’s easy.)

Any refs have an opinion?

We were also told to watch elbows.  We’ve been getting  lax at calling the elbow violation (toot the whistle if an elbow is swung excessively, whether it lands or not).  Call it, they say.  Okay.  Also, any elbow that makes contact with a head needs to be called either intentional or flagrant.  Again, okay.

But more interesting (yet logical) was our assignor’s statement that it’s the smack-on-the-arm after a defensive rebound that causes this.  Kid gets rebound, opponent reaches in and smacks a forearm.  We’ve all passed on this in the past (I know I have) since it doesn’t affect possession or the run of play.  But assignor says we now have to make that call because, when the smack happens a few rebounds in a row, the kid gets pissed off and throws an elbow.

Not sure I’ve seen this happen, but the logic is there.  So we’re told to call that smack now, and it looks like we’ll be communicating that with coaches at scrimmages (assignor has already told the ADs about it).

No problem.  It’s my job to call what my higher-ups say needs to be called, so I will call the minor-smack-on-the-arm-that-doesn’t-affect-possession-after-a-rebound.  Consider it done.  But I’d better not see any elbows after that, since there will be no excuse, and if you make contact with the head, it’ll be an intentional or a flagrant.