Nothing Finer than Living in North Caroliner

Nothing Finer than Living in North Caroliner
Blue Ridge Smoky Mountains

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Day 266 - The Six Minute Theory

With close to three thousand basketball games under my belt, I have this theory.  I believe that we are really "on the ball" as officials at the beginning of the game, and at the end of the game.  The first half is usually pretty well focused as well.  But it is the around the six minute mark of any last period, half or quarter of a game that "shit happens."  I believe this is due to letting our guard down because we are losing focus.  At the end of the game, it is clear why we have to keep precision focus.

I've tested this theory on stories that people tell me about games that they have officiated.  And for the most part, it is pretty valid.  We just lose focus and we have to tell ourselves to stay focused in order to do so during this time period.  If a fight breaks out, it is usually around this time marker.  What haven't we paid attention to?  I've only had one fight in one of my games and I never even saw it happen.  It happened however in front of my partner who turned around and ran away from it as did all the players.  I was left stunned because I thought I heard a whistle.  So I stopped.  Nobody else did, when I realized I had to now get caught up to the rest of the players and my partner, I saw a coach walk RIGHT INTO THE MIDDLE OF OUR GAME.

Then came the other coach, both were coming across the floor to break up a fight between their players.  The player who got punched had a concerned coach and rightfully so started yelling at my partner.  My partner in turn (or crime as the case may be) turned to him and gave him a technical.  This was a summer league game for a national title.  In college the coaches are allowed to come onto the court to prevent a fight.  I like this rule.  But by rule in this league (high school) they were assessed a technical.  So not only did we miss the fight, we added salt to the wound of the coach and gave him a penalty of awarding the other team two shots.

After the game a man came up from the team from Maryland.  He said that he was an official and asked why we didn't ask one of the parents for the video camera so that we could "review the play?"  I explained that we were following the FHSAA rules of Florida and we were not permitted to do so.  There are times when I just felt like the rules don't help officials.  That was actually a great suggestion and one I wanted to so badly to follow.  And although I was by the book on so many other things, I still ended up kicking a rule in that game.  Instead of giving the ball back to the team that was the victim of the fighter of the other team, we were "by rule" supposed to give the ball back to the team that started the fight.  This all due to my partner assessing a technical foul to that coach.

So I did the right thing in spirit and the wrong thing by rule.  It was my only fight, never had one again, I learned from that one time with six minutes left on the clock in the fourth quarter.  Always keep focused.  Don't ever let your guard down.  ESPECIALLY when you're near the end but the end is not quite in sight yet.

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