Protected: Game Log 11/13/15: Starting off with a junior-high girls doubleheader.

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There’s a chill in the air. The season approacheth.

Howdy–I’m back.  Only a couple of ref-related controversies this off-season, so not much to think about or blog about in that regard (I couldn’t come up with anything to say about Duke/Miami, which was the biggest issue).  I’ve had my first rules meetings and I have had my first association meetings.  I am now in charge of teaching a quick class for the group of “varsity officials”–people think this is a sign that I’m moving up in the world, but I think it is a sign that I am just trusted with classes after what I’ve done the last two summers with the Rulebooks and Nachos group.  So I figured I am what I have been:  a solid playoff official.

And then my first batch of assignments came in (all girls, all non-conference early-season stuff):

#1:  State champ comes to town to visit state qualifier.
#2:  Two state qualifiers.
#3:  State runner-up comes to town to visit middle-ish program.
#4:  Routine girls’ game.
#5:  The two most storied programs in our county.

Now, I’ve had a handful of really big girls’ games in the past, especially in the non-conference part of the year.  I’ve been a part of some great crews with some amazing partners.  This year is different.  This year I am the crew chief in 4 of those 5 games, and with officials who are less experienced than I am.

I’m psyched.  Just a tiny bit nervous, but mostly psyched.  I feel like this might be a tryout for state tournament (which I don’t think I can attend this year due to work issues, but I’d be honored to be asked!).

So I’m going to think hard about my leadership skills:  pregame, coach management, unflappability.  And I’m going to double down on my Rules Guy persona.  People now believe I can’t make a rules mistake.  I am still fallible:  I can (and have) made Rules Gaffes.  But I can’t let that happen anymore.  I screwed up two this week I shouldn’t have in the Referee Magazine rules quiz.  Still kicking myself.

But I am all in.  Whatever combination of factors has brought me to this point, I am up for the challenge.