Volume 2..................................................................November 2000

Welcome from The Editor
With the basketball season just around the corner this should indeed be an exciting time for all referees. Information in the October 2000 Newsletter should have assisted your preparation phase for the upcoming season. At this point you should have an adrenaline flow, ready for the scrimmages and the final tune-up for opening night.

Consider the following:

1.The players are in full swing with pre-season conditioning or practices. Can you say, wind sprints.
2.The coaches are in tape reviews, determining offensive and defensive strategy. Can you say, up-tight.
3.Team uniforms have been ordered by the equipment manager.Will the shorts be closer to the knee or ankle this year?
4.The cheerleading teams are selected and in full practice. Maybe this year during a time out you will actually see the first 4 leveled standing pyramid stunt.
5.Athletic administrators are marketing and pre-selling tickets. The ticket lines will get longer for some as soon as the pre-season polls are announced.
6.Fans are at the malls and bookstores purchasing team apparel in preparation for the season and holiday gift shopping. Although his closet is already full of the other animal ties you gave him during the last 20 years, hurry and get Uncle Bob that tie with the tiger on it. You may as well complete the zoo.
7.And finally, the bands and dance teams are practicing this season’s routine to the song that referees are sure to hear all year long……WHO LET THE DOGS OUT? , WOOF, WOOF, WOOF, WOOF, WOOF...

Topic of the Month

Game Assignments 2000-2001.

The waiting game is on at every level for the impending assignments to cover this year’s basketball season. Pass the envelope please, and let’s take a look inside. Now for the agonizing questions that most referees ask themselves when they receive that envelope. How many games, where are the games, who are the teams playing in the games, who are my partners ( who is the “R”), are the games televised or not, and are they conference games or not? With the season’s assignments on the horizon, there can be a level of anxiety for some officials in anticipation of “the games”.

Unfortunately, this anxiety is often due to the number of games received or the perceived quality (“BIG”) of games. Since schedules are starting to be sent out I suggest that you take some time and do an internal check in an attempt to better focus on your responsibility to the assignments you receive regardless of the number of assignments or who is playing in those games. Self assess on the schedule that you have received, anticipate coming, or know to be your final schedule. Are the vibes that you are feeling more positive or negative? Are you placing blame on your assignor? Are you comparing your schedule in relation to other referee’s schedules? Are these feelings short term or do they linger on day after day?

Remember you don’t control the number of assignments you receive, but you do control how you perform in the assignments you have.

There is really only one important question you should ask yourself regarding your schedule. Ask yourself, if you are ready to take a positive approach to work each and every game with 100% focus and effort as if it were the game for the basketball championship of the world. Attitude is a choice. Being positive and taking personal responsibility for each and every assignment is a vital part of your role as an official to the players, coaches and basketball community. If you aren’t willing to do that, you should turn back the assignment. Someone else will gladly give the effort that you aren’t willing to give. And you can feel good about your honesty in not accepting the assignment.

If you accept the assignment, DO THE WORK ! .

  Getting Ready

Here are a few tips to use during the scrimmage season to help your preparation.

1.Look at the scrimmage as an opportunity, not as a chore. There is room to improve, and you need to prepare.
2.Have a good group pre-scrimmage meeting and pay close attention to new rules, new points of emphasis, and new mechanics and signals.
3.Spend a few minutes with the team and coaches to review the new rules. This is a good time to include the ENTIRE crew in the participation, not just the “R”. Set egos aside and be a good leader and partner.
4.Officiate the scrimmage with a more literal interpretation and adjudication of the rules. Do not take a “let’em play” approach. You would do all games justice by ALWAYS taking a “referees set the tempo” approach.
5.If there are several referees working the scrimmage, the group goal should be to keep the same (good) tempo regardless of which combination of officials are on the floor.
6.Pay particular attention to clock management and end of period communications with your partners.
7.Do a post scrimmage critique. Be open and honest with yourself and your partners.
8.If you bring you own VCR to the scrimmage and plug into the school’s system (if possible) you can review your tape.

 Life Tip for the Month

Highway Safety. Most officials will use automobile travel to some degree when going to and from games. I am sure that you probably have experienced some of the same annoying and dangerous situations that I have. For this season why not try to help the situation on the highway be using the following guidelines:

1. Use your turn signal before changing lanes or making turns.
2. Use the left lane(s) for passing, not sightseeing.
3. Don’t run traffic lights that you see turn RED.
4. Do not drink and drive. And by the way, meals behind the wheel aren’t a good idea either.

Question of the Month

How long should a high school official have to referee before they can work varsity basketball? - Name withheld by request.

I feel the key to advancement is readiness. There should always be the concern by an assignor of having officials on the court with the ability to manage the game. The skills needed to do that effectively include rules knowledge and application skills, some demonstrated on court experience for mechanics and signals, leadership skills, the ability to blend with partners, and having a good approach to the game of basketball (attendance and participation in regular association meetings and summer camps). That all comes quicker and easier for some individuals than others.

I have always supported giving officials the opportunity to move up the ladder as soon as they are ready. To me that can be determined by evaluation in higher level scrimmage situations and at summer camps along with a “merit mentality”. It is easy to determine an official’s readiness when you actually see them perform in a higher level game; rather than make a subjective evaluation in a game at the level they currently work. If the bar isn’t raised, how does the assignor really know? And if they really don’t know (personal comfort zone), most will rely on the “number of years” clause. Do I agree with the concept that advancement be based on number of years, NO I do not. I would, however support organizational guidelines and assignor advancement decisions based on merit regardless of years of experience. I have observed many talented young officials that become success stories and number of years in training was not the factor. Usually quality instruction and guidance works very well for the talented prospect. In a competitive avocation like basketball officiating I believe ALL OFFICIALS should be given the opportunity to advance based on MERIT and not TENURE.

In a competitive avocation like basketball officiating ALL OFFICIALS should be given the opportunity to advance based on MERIT and not TENURE.

Question of the month submitted for December: I am required (expected) to go to the summer camp run by my collegiate assignor if I am to be eligible for assignments in that conference. What do feel about that ?

 Thought for the Month

 If you give just a little
It may help just a few
But the help that you give them
May make them want to give too

And what starts as a trickle
Soon rolls like the tide
All these people reaching out
With their arms open wide

And then it comes back to you
Lifts your spirit high above
Cause you gave just a little
But got repaid with much love

If you have an opinion on the December question visit and respond. I will offer my thoughts on the question in the DECEMBER newsletter. Stay well…
Copyright 2000. Toliver All Rights Reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part of any article without permission is prohibited. The thoughts in this newsletter are the property of the writer. I will not be responsible for anything contained as it reflects my opinion. While topics may be cutting edge in content it is the intent of the newsletter to stimulate positive interaction and growth for the readers.

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