Game Logs Jan/Feb 2017: Three I missed, including two playoff games

I have been on primary child care duty while wife is back in school.   So I only was able to get out for one basketball game in the last month of the season: an uneventful boys’ freshman game on January 24th.  I do have a memory of that game:  a concussion-related memory.  There was a pileup near my partner at T while I was L,  and a player who was fouled wound up bonking his head on the floor (not a dirty play: just a hard pileup).  Partner checked on the kid and decided he was okay, but I felt like kid was still acting like his head hurt.  So I played my usual game, and, as he was lining up for his free throw, asked him “Hey, can you tell me who your opponent is today?”  He couldn’t, so I sent him out.  He wound up coming back after he was cleared by the concussion doctor, but nobody complained.  I’d want someone to do the same with my kid, so that feels good.

Then, much to my surprise, I got a small-school girls’ playoff game.  Didn’t think that would happen, since I was technically on hiatus, but one of my rare available nights brought that assignment.   It was a great, great night: two tiny schools that had passionate followings.  The quality of ball maybe wasn’t what it would be for a bigger school, but the passion was as much or more.  We called a great game: the home team kept throwing themselves into the defenders trying to draw fouls on drives, and my partners and I continued to not blow a single whistle.  It was magnificent.  I do recall that I had one I’d like back late in the game, but don’t recall what it was.  It went overtime. It went well.

So surely that was it for the year…and no, it wasn’t.  I got a more challenging playoff game thereafter, and my partners were lower on the list than playoff officials usually were.  The game was switched to our area just the night before, and I guess we were the available officials.  I did everything I could to make the night go right.  I arranged a pregame meal with my partners, so we could relax into the night and have an extended, relaxed pregame.  Proud of my efforts…

but they weren’t enough. I’m not thrilled with how the night went.  I felt like I missed some contact on an early drive where a kid got the wind knocked out of her, and I passed on a travel I shouldn’t have right after a partner had a marginal travel on the opposition.  There were other complaints from the losing coach (a great guy) that were less valid, but in the end, I did wind up telling him “Coach, I don’t feel like we had a great game for you tonight.”  For another coach I wouldn’t have made that admission, but for this guy, I did, with about 30 seconds left. He just patted me on the back and called it good.  The outcome wasn’t affected by us (it was a 25-point difference), but I still think we weren’t up to the task.

Still, I want to take the bigger picture in.  Even after nearly a month off, my assignor grabbed me for playoff games, and I appreciate that.  And while one of the games did not go well, I think my game management (and coach management) helped out.   In fact, a buddy of mine on the board says that this might be why I got that game with the playoff-virgin and the nearly-playoff-virgin: he knew I could make the best of that situation.  I still think the game should have gone better, but I guess it didn’t go completely sideways with anger, and some of that was because I’m a good guy who could handle the situation.  I can live with myself.

I won’t be back in full action until January, but was glad to get these playoff assignments.

THINGS I DID WELL:  Player/concussion management, coach management, crew consistency in middle game
THINGS TO WORK ON:  Leadership when I’m the clear boss of the crew, like calls with partners
NEXT UP;  Had some games over the summer I will write about now.


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

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