Camp log day 2 (7-6-14): Blissful day, blissful day

Two games today, and both were just fantastic.  Clinicians were exceedingly complimentary.  Clinicians gave nice, targeted advice for how I can improve, but it was embedded in damn-near-effusive compliments (one called our game “nails,” which was a term for “fabulous” that I have never heard before).


First game was smooth: nice partners.  After yesterday’s tongue-lashing for reaching out of my area, I was very, very careful not to do that today; and I didn’t.  There were two slip-ups: I tooted my partner’s sideline after I had refereed a play deep in the corner as lead (forgivable, but still shouldn’t happen) and I tossed the ball to a free-throw shooter as a partner brought in subs.  (The latter was stupid and out-of-character).  But I also delayed halftime because I saw there should be two seconds left–got major game-management kudos for that.

Second game was also really good.  In some ways it was more challenging because I was probably the most experienced crew member, and these teams were challenging in that they pressed a lot.  But we called the early hand-checks and arm-bars, as both NCAA and NFHS want us to do, and they were simply removed from the game: flat-out gone.  Then the players ran a lot, and the game was quite close.  Partner had a huge player-control foul call with two minutes left, and the game was no sweat from there.  Only suggestion I got was that I need to take my eyes away from the ball in the corner when I am Trail, which is a difference between high school and college, so I can live with that error.  Also, I missed when the White coach asked for time-outs a couple of times: I’ll try to tune into that as well.

Main thing to work on:  keep my signals short and high.  I had two different clinicians tell me that today: one in the first game, and the other after looking at video of one of yesterday’s games.  I need to come up with a way to just practice doing signals every day between now and Thanksgiving.  I bet my kids would like it if I called a few fouls on them every day.  Violations too.

I actually came home totally elated.  Tough games that went well.  I was harder on myself than the clinicians were, which leads me to wonder if I should be less hard on myself in general.  Make no mistake:  an honest self-assessment is what makes me better, so I don’t want to give that up.  But when I’m saying “gee, I think I got a little ball-watchy when the going got tough” and the clinician is saying “You all were nails!  Nails!  This game was nails!  Those last few minutes were nails!” then maybe I’m too hard on myself and need to chill.  (Yeah, get in line suggesting I do that.  You’ll be well behind my wife…)

But it was an awesome day: one of those that I need to bank and remember when the bad ones inevitably come.  It was a why-I-do-this day.

THINGS I DID WELL:  Stayed in my area consistently, clock awareness
THINGS TO WORK ON:  Short, crisp, high signals on fouls, slow down at spot, resist temptation to ball-watch when the pressure is on
NEXT:  Two more tomorrow.


About Paul Hamann
I am a basketball referee in Washington State, working mostly high school games.

One Response to Camp log day 2 (7-6-14): Blissful day, blissful day

  1. MA Ref says:

    When my daughter was young, I used to pick her up from her school and we’d walk home together. As we walked, I would be calling fouls, signaling, and doing my report at the table. She would just look at me and say, “Daaaaaaad.”

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