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Welcome Coaches!
The Coaches Club is designed to help us achieve a better level of consistency. When you
pose a question to an Official or Staff, there's a good chance that others may have a
similar question or concern. Instead of relying on word of mouth to "hopefully" get that
information to all Coaches, we'll share it here for all Coaches to review. 
Of course, we can only post about issues we're aware of, so please, feel free share with
us, so we can share it with others. We'll even try to make it entertaining ... when possible! 
This Weeks
Tightening Up The Calls
Each week, as we progress through the season, Referees will be tightening up on
the calls. While we always Officiate to the age & skill level of participants, we
understand the challenges Coaches face in helping players understand and apply
rules. With that in mind, we tend to be sensibly lenient with our calls. If we didn't,
the game would turn into a basketball clinic, with only 30 seconds of actual play.
That's no good! As we move forward, the calls will be tightened up appropriately.
Parental Unit Interference
We had a little tiff on one of the courts, that required an intercession to break up an
impending physical altercation. A couple of spectators were repeatedly racing to the
Scorer's Table to protest the score. They do not belong in the Team Area ... it is the
"Forbidden Zone". When the Referee addressed it, the spectator chose to get
indignant, and invited the Referee to brawl over it. Totally unacceptable!!!

Coaches are responsible for the conduct of their spectators. If spectators are
"acting up", simply stop the game (and clock), ask both Coaches to remind
spectators of the rules, particularly the one(s) being violated. If that doesn't work,
it's time for a Bench Tech, (2) shots, and possession of the ball. For some reason,
shots & points are great corrective motivators. If it persists, the Bench will receive
an additional Tech, which may result in an ejection and/or forfeiture of the game.
If these measures are not effective, eject the offending mortal. Don't forget, that
spectators are NEVER issued Techs!!!!

Remember; to correct situations and avoid potential confrontation, go to the Coach
first, and allow them the opportunity to correct the issue. They have the relationship
with the Parental Units, and the motivation to avoid enduring penalties or forfeitures.
Full Court Violations 8U & 10U
Several Coaches were a bit surprised when "Full Court Press" violations were called.
For the 8U & 10U, there is NO defending in the defensive half of the court, except for
the last (2) minutes of the 2nd and 4th quarters, and Overtimes. As soon as the
opponent gains possession of the ball, immediately scoot the kids to the front court.
The ball and both feet must cross the center line, before opponents can defend.
"Hey Coach! You're too big to play!!!" 
Ya gotta love the passion, but Coaches, try and stay off the court. I know it's easier
said than done, but it tends to get a bit excessive. Also, be aware that the Referees
are instructed to automatically, without question, issue a Technical Foul if they turn
around and find you standing on the court during live play. If you need to come onto
the court, even for an injury, you need the Referees permission.
What Free Throw Line?
As cute as it may be, watching little kids shoot free throws, they still gotta learn to
remain BEHIND the Free Throw Line ... Not on it ... Not over it, but behind it. I saw
a Coach was a little shocked when the Referee called a Lane Violation on his 10U
shooter, who apparently wasn't even aware that the Free Throw Line existed.
While some Referees are pretty lenient with the youngins, some will call it more
"by the book", especially as the season progresses, particularly with Players they've
warned & informed multiple times. Let's put a little focus time into the Free Throw
procedures and avoid Lane Violation calls. As for the older kids, no comment!
We want to keep them in line, not on or over it.
Team Bench's
Players and Coaches are the ONLY ones allowed in the Team Areas. Parental Units
and spectators are never allowed in the Team Areas during games. If they come,
shoo them out, before they get comfortable. If you're playing at the Civic Center,
ONLY teams may occupy the first row of bleachers. Spectators are not to sit in the
first row of bleachers.
T-Shirts, Compression Sleeves/Shorts & Jerseys
Ok! Ya wanna look all cool & stylish, or ya just grabbed whatever was clean...
Well, guess what! You'll be taking it off at the game!!!!
T-shirts, compression sleeves and compression shorts, by rule, are to be black,
white or skin tone, and should be uniform for the whole team. They may not be
similar in color to an opponents jerseys and may not cause confusion or distraction.
That means no necked girl figures or crazy prints. At the Officials discretion, if such
attire is deemed inappropriate, off it comes, in order to play. 
Spectators Disconcerting Free Throwers
While they think it real cute, spectators (or Players) shouting to foul up the free
throw shooter can cost you. It is spectator interference and if the Shooter misses,
it can be called as a Lane Violation, allowing the Shooter a re-try. Be proactive and
nip this in behavior in the bud. Of course, it'll stop after the Referee awards a few
re-tries, but how annoying would that be, losing by one or two points, because a
spectator couldn't resist be all cute and stuff! Booooooooo
 
Past Articles
It took me hours to write these articles ... but it only took me a second to
accidentally delete them. Fortunately, I was able to retrieve them .... cause I know
how disappointed you'd be if they weren't here.
Delusional ... Maybe ... but I'm a HAPPY Delusional!!!!
Shift & Motion commotion
There has been a bit of commotion regarding Shift & Motion. I have to own up to some of the confusion, as I goofed up in the training. With the similarities between the two, I did the “copy/paste” thing, and left the “Stop for one full second” thing in the Motion rules. Sorry Coaches … my bad! The Officials were simply following my instructions. This has been corrected, both in the training and with the Officials.
The Motion Rule allows one Offensive player to be in motion, but not towards the
opponent’s Goal Line at the snap. All other players must be stationary. The actual
excerpts from the NIRSA Rule Book are listed below for clarification.
SECTION 24. SHIFT Article 1.
A shift is the action of 1 or more offensive players who, after a huddle or after taking
set positions, move to a new set position before the ensuing snap.
SECTION 3. Article 3. Motion.
Only 1 A player may be in motion, but not in motion toward the opponent’s goal line
at the snap. Other A players must be stationary in their positions without movement
of their feet, body, head, or arms. 
Penalty: Illegal Motion, 5 yards (S20).

PLAY. After a huddle, all A players come to a stop and remain stationary for a full
second, then A 2 goes in motion legally and the ball is snapped. RULING. Legal
Kick-Offs ... Ticked Off
Kick-Offs simply don’t exist in “official” flag football. Coaches asked that we include Kick-Offs, cause it’s more real footballish and fun, so we honored that request with an exception for this league. Ordinarily, the ball is just brought to the 20 yard line to start a new series.
With that in mind, (many years back) someone realized that we needed  some
guidelines for Kick-offs. Some basic rules were drafted and included, with the
expectation that the rest would be understood. Whoops! 
As the season(s) progressed, we had to adjust.
Without Kick-Off Rules covered in NIRSA, we had to create a procedure, so we went
to the NFL Rules for guidelines. In tackle football –  NFL, on a Kick-off, the Receiving
Team is to line up 10 yards from the Kick-Off point. The ball must travel at least 10
yards … and then we had to honor NIRSA rules to fill in the rest of the blanks.
Here’s where the confusion comes in. 
Sunrise Rule: Kick-off receiving team must have at least 3 players their own 20 yd.
line for all divisions. 
Now, it doesn’t say the line of scrimmage is 10 yards from the Kick-Off line,
(though it is) so most teams naturally line up their whole team on the 20. If they
know a Kicker can kick far, they may put a few players in the back field, but as a
general rule, most kicks barely make 10 yards, so it’s not so common, and easy to
forget 
the actual procedure/rule. So how is that rule to be interpreted?  
It could easily be interpreted as at least 3 players on the 20 and the rest are behind
in the back field, or, if you assume the line of scrimmage is 10 yards from the
Kick-Off line at the 40, (which it is) then that would mean players line up on the 30,
with at least 3 on the 20.
While we do cover this in training, again, it’s rare that we even see it. So let’s clarify;
For the Kick-Offs - The Tee will be placed on the 40 yard line. A bean bag will be
placed (or thrown) on the 30 yard line for the RT Defensive Line. At least 3 Receiving
Team players must be on the 20 yard line. It is ok to place all RT players on the 20,
but that’s a choice, not a requirement. 
Hopefully that’s clearer and we can all be live happily ever after!!!!!!!!!!
I’d like to order an Official, please!
Wouldn’t it be nice to just call in an order for our favorite Official, that saw and did things our way? Not happening! Believe it or not, we’ve had teams that demanded the use of their own personal Refs, and it always resulted in partiality, rather than impartiality. You can’t have an Official, officiating a game for a relative or where his job is dependent on one of the team’s approval of the calls. By the same token, you can’t choose which Officials you like or dislike. That’s equally not fair.
Often times, I get requests (sometimes demands) to assign favored Officials, or to
“never assign that Official to my games again”. Well, you might as well be talking to
the ball, because I will not even acknowledge such requests. While you may not care
for an Official, others like that Official. (No Surveys, Please) In most cases, they’re
actually doing a good job. Thou shalt not attempt to dictate the Officials assigned to
your games, for your benefit.
If you have a problem with an Official, I will listen to and evaluate your request.
If legitimate, I will address it with Officials and take the appropriate actions.
That may very well be a decision not to assign that Official to your games, but only
if I deem it professionally necessary, not because you requested or demanded it.
City of Sunrise Rule: “Coaches shall not demand the removal or the scheduling of a
particular referee/official”.

According to every Coaches Code of Ethics and the Referee Assigner’s Code of Ethics,
a Coach may not request the assignment of, or removal of an Official, and an
Assigner shall in no way consider or honor any such request from a Coach or any
other party.
Don’t even ask me. You’re wasting your breath. I am under oath to ignore any such
request, and such requests put me in a precarious position. I WILL NOT break my
oath, period. If an Official is doing something wrong or offends you inappropriately,
feel free to share that with me and I will address it. If the Official is right and your
grievance is petty or improper, I will share that with you as well.
It is always our goal to resolve problems amicably, as opposed to throwing people
under a bus. The bus option is just too messy. Rest assured, any grievances from
Coaches about Referees, are addressed promptly, just as grievances from Referees
about Coaches are … yeah, it works both ways. 
Any issue brought to us, is taken seriously and addressed promptly. It may not
always go the way we plan, but in most cases, issues are handled properly.
Let’s respect each other, as technically, we’re on the same team … TEAM KIDS!!!!!!
You’re wrong … but it’s not your fault!
This applies to all, including Officials. We often find ourselves in little tussles over rules, and occasionally experience inconsistencies. Though we go to extreme efforts to maintain consistency, sometimes Officials get their leagues mixed up. It’s all too easy to do.
If I had a dollar for every time someone tried to convince me that their interpretation
of a rule was right, when it was wrong, I’d be quite wealthy. There’s a lot of
confusion with sports rules, for everybody, and yes, including Officials!!!!
Now we’re not even going to acknowledge the confusion professional Officials create,
by letting stuff go to make the game more exciting and attract more advertiser’s
… oops! I just did! 
Part of the problem is poor wording of rules; part is due to the poor organization of
rules in rule books. The writers knew what they meant, but failed to set the stage
properly, and you can bet they weren’t professional writers! Many rule nuances are
scattered throughout separate chapters, making it difficult to efficiently learn and
consistently implement rules properly. Looking them up and piecing them together is
often a nightmare. 
To make matters even worse, many rule books have become an income generating
device, only available for a fee. I personally believe the rules should be made openly
available to all, for free, so everyone can learn them. This makes it hard to find an
accurate copy of rules to study, without forking over dough. Careless searches on the 
internet have seriously compounded the spread of incorrect rules and interpretations,
as so many provide incorrect information/opinions. 
Coaches & Referees (with the best of intension's) “teach us” incorrectly, either
because they don’t know, don’t understand, misinterpret, or just don’t concern
themselves as to whether they’re correct. They heard it somewhere and just adopted
it into their “expertise”. As if that is not enough, every league seems to have their little 
amendments or alterations, for reasons that make sense to them, that participant’s
think are part of the actual rules. No wonder there’s so much confusion! The sad part
is, these incorrect rules spread like weeds, and once we’ve learned and accepted
these strange anomalies, it’s hard to unlearn them, especially when that’s how you 
learned it as a kid.
So, try as we may, try as we might, the odds are not exactly on our side ... in our
attempts to maintain consistency. If we all understand that and exercise a bit of
patience with each other, we’ll get it right most of the time. Remember, none of us
are perfect, but we’re on the same team when it comes to the kids. 
Let’s work together, for the sake of that worthy goal.
Past Articles
The Season’s Going Great!
You guys-n-gals are great! We’ve gotten off to a great start, with very few issues. Your contribution is noble and very much appreciated. I want to thank you Coaches that informed their Parental Units that there is to be no Spectator Coaching. It has kept the sidelines from going bezerk and inappropriately affecting play. We only have one die hard wannabe coach disregarding the rule. That’s pretty impressive. It’s a pleasure working with you and we’re looking forward to a lot of fun throughout the rest of the season.
Hot Pockets Topic
NO Pockets – NO Stripes. Please remind your Parental Units - Player’s shorts cannot have pockets or stripes. The pockets are a big safety issue, not to mention the embarrassment of a kid having their shorts dropped in public, especially if it finds its way onto YOUTUBE. (YIKES!) We’ve even had kids crying because they had to wear their shorts inside out. Who knew they’d be fashion conscious at this age! Stripes on shorts camouflage the flags, and can confuse opponents, either causing them to miss or mistakenly grab a handful of shorts, which could easily result in a foul being called. Every night, we have players coming in shorts with pockets. In many cases, we get lucky and turning them inside out remedies the situation. That delays the game, and if it doesn’t work out, can leave a player keeping the bench company for that game. Not good. Let’s remind our Parental Units and work together to eliminate this.
Hold Still so I can Grab Your blasted Flag!
Pulling the flag is to be done with minimal contact. It is not legal to “bear hug” the ball carriers waist to stop the run and then grab the flag. That is a Holding, Illegal Block, or even a potential Tackle Penalty. Pulling the Flag should never result in full contact. If the Defender steps into the Runner’s path, without leaving reasonable room to avoid contact, it is a Defensive Penalty. If the Defender leaves reasonable room, and the Runner “plows” into the Defender, it is a Charging infraction. Simple rule, grab the flag … not the player!
Restraining Lines
For safety reasons, and to avoid any type of interference, we have boundaries. Referees need to enforce these boundaries and Coaches need to remind their Parental Units to respect these boundaries. On the Spectators side, there is a line painted 6-10 feet outside the Out of Bounds line. This is to protect runners from slamming into a Spectator, to avoid injury to Players & Spectators. It is also to avoid interference, as well as put some distance between players and “wannabe” coaches interfering by instructing the players. NO Spectator should ever cross that line. Nobody belongs behind the End Zones, ever! That includes the next games teams warming up. It’s a distraction to the Players, could be an injury risk, and often becomes an irresistible opportunity to “accidentally” influence play. Bench area Coaches are to stay on their Bench Side, between the halfway line and the 40 yard marker. Nobody belongs in or behind the Team Benches (except of course, the team and Coaches), except at Flamingo Park, where the can stay on or beyond the sidewalk. Those on the sidewalk cannot coach the players in any way, and should not be “coaching” the Coaches. That’s just irritating!!!! Coaches that are not directly assigned as a Coach of the game in play are not allowed to “hang out” at the scorer’s table, even though they are badged-up. Let’s respect the boundary lines and avoid annoying or dangerous issues.
30 Seconds Coach!!!!
The 30 seconds is the total time you have to call your play, line up and snap the ball. It’s not the huddle time, plus. One Referee is timing the game, and the other is timing the 30 second limits and time outs. If the ball is not snapped within 30 seconds, it’s a Delay of Game and a 5 yard penalty. The Referees are enforcing this more, because we want you to get more time actually running plays, rather than unnecessarily running time off the clock. Remember, it’s a Running Clock!!! Let’s make it snappy! (Yes…pun absolutely intended)
Oh Sugar!!!! Wrong Line-Up or Play Call!
You come out of your huddle, confident you’ve called the perfect play and line up. Uh oh! Miscalculated! Last minute change? Careful! Once the Offensive Line is set, the “Field Coach” instantly transforms into a cheerleader. The fate of that play is totally in the hands of the players.
That rule says that: 
A team has 30 seconds to put the ball in play once the referee has marked the ball
and blown the whistle. 
No play will start until ball is marked and whistle is blown. 
Coaches on the field MAY NOT converse with their players, once the offensive line
is set until the end of the play. Penalty: 5 yds from line of scrimmage.
NOTE: We are interpreting the “Offensive Line is Set” as when the Center puts
hands on the ball to snap it.
Cheering them on is absolutely encouraged. Coaching them is discouraged with a
pretty yellow flag and 5 yards marched off. If called before the start of play, the
play will be stopped; yardage marched off and a replay of down. 
If called after the play has begun, the yardage will be marched off from the
“End of the Run” (next play) and the down will be the same as if the penalty had
never occurred, i.e. if it was 2nd down, it’ll be 3rd down, with 5 extra bonus yards
to cover.
No Flag … 1 Hand touch between Shoulders & Waist 
We ran into this several times and there seems to be some confusion. The tag must be between the shoulders & waist. Anything above or below could result in injury.
We also saw player’s flags coming off on virtually every play. While there is no
penalty for flags incidentally falling  off (it happens), if we see it frequently, especially
from a  particular player, you should expect a penalty to be called. 

Please make sure the flags are secured properly, to avoid the  penalty for Improperly
Secured Flag Belt, which is; Loss of Down on Offense, Automatic First down on
Defense.
No Two Coaches or Referees are Alike!
Just as Coaches have different ways of running their game, so do Referees. It’s the Same Game, Same Rules, just Different Styles. While the Officials know the rules, and we are all on the same page, some are naturally stricter or more lenient than others. It’s not a matter of right or wrong. It’s just a difference in style. The Officials are trained to Officiate to the skill level at hand, and when calling fouls, to weigh the impact it has on the play. If they feel it impacted the play, they’ll call it. If they feel it was inconsequential, they may opt for a “NO CALL”.
Although, in the heat of the game you may not agree with their decision, in most
cases they make the right judgement, based on the situation. You may have a
clumsy screen violation, but it didn’t even phase your star gazelle, as he raced
unscathed to the end zone. Chances are, you won’t get that call, and rightfully so. 
Referees are not here to over officiate games, or penalize every ticky-tacky incident.
That wrecks the game. Now, if this was a Travel, or Olympic league, that’s be
another story altogether. They know better and have more control.                    

We realize that you’ve had very little practice time, especially with all the rainouts.
We know it’s a little tough to get your players to focus, since they’re probably in the
middle of a major sugar overload, from the two bowls of Fruit Loops and a 32 ounce
Sunny Delight chaser, right before they’re turned over to you. We know that you’re
working with a vast array of player skill levels / knowledge of the game, from brand
new to experienced. We know that you are probably struggling with getting players
to show up for practices. All of these factors are considered in Officiating your games.
Keep in mind that; the Officials are “part of game … part of the field”. 
In the same manner as you’d adjust your strategy differently when playing on a wet
field vs a dry one, adjust your strategy to the Officials game management. If you see
that an Official is stricter or more relaxed with their calls, adjust your strategy 
accordingly. If he’s blind in one eye, don’t push your luck in view of his good one. 
(Couldn’t resist the humor opp) 
If the Ref tells you 5 times, don’t get all fussy when he drops a Flag on the sixth!
It’s all part of the game, at every level, even college and professional.
Don’t get all frustrated … get creative!!! It’s part of the game.
Tournament Excitement, Intensity & Insanity
All Games from now to the end of the season are Tournament Games. It is a Single Elimination Tournament, which means the adrenaline is at DEFCON 5 for Players, Coach’s & Spectators, especially the Parental Units. Make no mistake, they’re out to win and in the heat of the moment, you can bet that pleasantries and self-control are going to take a back seat to nuclear emotional reactions. There will be a lot of pressure to call what they think they see, rather than what the Officials see. Referees cannot allow that to influence their calls, or distract them from calling the game properly and consistently.
Referees – Stay laser focused on the game, focused on play. Remember to ACT,
rather than REACT, and keep your cool. If the game begins to spin out of control,
don’t hesitate to stop the game and ask the Coach’s to assist/intervene. If necessary,
reach into your tool box and grab your trusty Technical Foul tool. It is critical that we
keep fans and NON-PLAYERS off the courts at all times. DO NOT ALLOW ANYONE
on the court or in the Team Areas, other than the Player’s & Coach’s. 
Remember, they’re hyper excited, so you want to set your expectations early,
starting with your pregame meeting with the Coaches. Know for certain that, once
they start getting goofy, it will be ridiculously difficult to regain reasonable control. 
We want the game to be centered on the game, not riot duty. Give ‘em a great well
controlled game, so everyone can have fun.
Coaches – Please be ready to lend a hand when asked so the unbridled enthusiasm
chaos doesn’t interfere with your game plan. It is also wise to “pick your battles”
when addressing the Officials, so they can focus on making the right calls. If you’re
the center of attention, then the game is not, and that isn’t good for anybody.
Will the Officials be perfect? Probably not, but they’ll get a lot closer without
unnecessary distractions. The Officials want to give you a perfect game.
Allow them the opportunity to achieve that goal. Let ‘em focus on the game. It’ll go a
heck of a lot smoother, with a whole lot less goofy and game distracting drama.
       
Anxious or Overly Aggressive Players
Aggressive Players are a Coach’s Dream, but can just as easily be a Coach’s nightmare. The difference is in the aggressive players focus, skill level, attitude and external pressure.
On the nightmare end, it’s usually Players that are under tremendous pressure to
perform, often at unreasonable levels. That pressure is commonly exerted from
Parental Units, Coaches, and in some cases, the Players own expectation of 
themselves. Of course, there are plenty of cases where over aggressive behavior is
simply retaliation because the Player didn’t get their way. Obviously, retaliation
definitely deserves a foul, probably a T. 
There is a very common expectation from Spectators, Coaches, and even Players, for
Officials to make calls that “dummy down” aggressive Players play, to even things to
the general skill level of the division. That is something an Official should never, ever
do. Penalizing a Player for being good and taking the game seriously, would be 
irresponsible. That’d be the equivalent of telling Michael Jordan that he can’t jump,
because he’s just too good at it. Onlookers see contact and expect a foul to be called
for their Player, without regard to who or what is actually responsible for the contact,
or regard for the Rules for that matter.
Although basketball is technically not a full contact sport, the fact of the matter is,
there’s plenty of legitimate contact in basketball. Just because someone got bopped
in the nose going up for a rebound, doesn’t  constitute a foul. It’s a sea of arms and
legs, with varying skill levels, all trying to occupy the same tiny pot. Contact is 
inevitable. The time to call a Foul is when it’s “Foul Play” or irresponsible play. 
Officials need to pay special attention to overly aggressive players, and take the time
to communicate with them. Not to stop them from playing hard ball, but to caution
them that unsportsmanlike behavior won’t be tolerated. Officials also need to make
sure that when Fouls are called, it’s on the right Player. For example: An offensive 
ball handler may knock an opponent down or whack him in the mug. To the crowd,
it may appear to be an offensive foul, but if the defender bum rushed him out of
desperation, and wound up whacked, that Foul is actually on the defense. 
Officials need to analyze the play, determine who was responsible, and if it’s
determined that a penalty is deserved, then award the Foul to the appropriate party.
Officials need to be aware of where trouble is likely to start, be in a position to spot
it, and call it correctly. Just as importantly, Officials cannot let the crowd’s opinionated
chants determine the call. They must make the call based solely on THEIR
assessment of the situation.       
It’s Tournament Time
Our first Tournament games begin this week and most of the rest of the season will be Tournament games. Each Tournament game MUST have a Winner for each, even if it requires multiple Overtimes. There’s going to be a lot of excitement and an abundance of adrenalin charged emotion. Please, stay on top of your game management skills. We want this to be fun and exciting. We don’t want it to turn into an international soccer game gone wrong.
Here’s the Overtime basics you’ll need to remember:
         1) Each Overtime is 2 minutes
         2) Each Overtime is started with a real jump ball.
         3) Full Court Pressing is allowed in ALL Divisions for ALL Overtime Play
         4) One additional 30 second time out will be added to the team total for 
             the overtime period. 
         5) Substitutions are only made at the beginning of each Overtime. 
         6) Coaches may play any Player(s) they choose to. They can substitute at the
             beginning of each 
             Overtime Perion but cannot substitute once an Overtime period starts,
             except of course for an injury. 
             Their obligation to sub for equal game time has been satisfied, so they can
             “Sub to Win”, as they see fit.
Naughty Behavior – Set the Expectation Early
It’s Game Management 101. Make calls and address issues early, right from the
beginning, to set the pace appropriately for the game. Remember, if they think
they can get away with being naughty, they’re going to be naughty. Waiting until it
becomes a major problem, only serves to complicate the correcting of situations, and 
that’s where games spin out of control. Set the expectation early and let them know
that naughty behavior won’t be tolerated. Your game will run much smoother.
Everybody is out there to have fun, and we want everybody to have fun!!! There is a
difference between having fun and interfering with the game. These games are for the
kids benefit, not the parents or spectators.
Communicate with Coaches
This is an important part of an Officials job, and a Coaches right.
Now, that is not to say that an Official should stop the game to explain a call, or have a
conversation or debate with a Coach in the middle of play. We need to maintain our focus
on the game. If a Coach is respectful, communicate with him/her. It helps them to get a
better understanding of the game. If they are disrespectful or unnecessarily nagging you
to change a call to the way they saw it, then inform them that you’ve made your decision
and to please respect it.
Don’t Neglect to Eject! Automatic Ejections
While we don’t really want to eject people from the game, there are times when it must be done, and it must be notated at the Scorer’s Table, on the game sheet. Anyone who curses, MUST IMMEDIATELY be Ejected … Anyone. VIOLENT Acts or Threatening/Intimidating/ Taunting Gestures, equals IMMEDIATE Ejection. Flagrant Fouls are also an Automatic Ejection. A flagrant foul would be a foul with intent to do harm. If an Official is confronted (in an unfriendly manner) after the game, whether on the court, at the door or in the parking lot, it needs to be reported immediately. These types of incidents are dangerous and are cause for suspensions. DO IT NOW Dave must be notified immediately of these incidents, so it can be reported to the City Officials for “official action".

Replacement of Players This is easily confused, but understanding the reason for the Rule, can help in remembering the proper enforcement procedure.
Injury or Disciplinary – Opposing Coach chooses replacement player
Like most rules of this sort, a trend of tricks to circumvent Substitution Rules made it
necessary. For this Rule, the trend was; Coaches instructing less skilled or tired Player’s
to fake an injury, or pretending to discipline a Player, so they could replace them with a
“fresh set of legs” or a more skilled Player. That creates an unfair advantage for the
opposing team who is honoring the rule. Of course, we can’t just ignore injuries and there
are times when disciplinary actions are necessary. The risk factor to keep proper balance
is it is highly unlikely that the opposing Coach will make the desired choice, negating any
unearned advantage. 
Foul Out or Ejection – Coach chooses their replacement player
This is the normal procedure in every sport, and though it could be used to circumvent the
Substitution Rules, it is far less likely, as it would result in the team playing short a roster
player for the balance of the game. Besides, it’s part of the game.
Keep in mind, if an injured player recovers and becomes able to play, that player can be put
back into the game. The replacement player comes out, the original (injured) player resumes
play for the remainder of the quarter. Of course, this swap occurs at a dead ball.
Location of Spectators
Spectators should be in the Spectator Areas. Makes sense, right? They do not belong on
the court/field, behind the goals or in the Team Areas. They need to stay in the stands
and remain separated from the Playing Surface, Players, Coaches and Referees, which
includes the Inbounding Spaces in Out of Bounds territory. All paths must be kept clear
for safety and game management purposes. You should never have to worry about tripping
over a spectator. In the Civic, they absolutely need to be at least in the second level of the
bleachers. No spectators should be in the first row … only players & Coaches. 
Team Area/Side – ONLY 2 Coaches and their Players
There are NO EXCEPTIONS to this RULE. DO NOT INGNORE IT!!!!!!
This is for legal safety reasons, based on the Jessica Lunsford Act as well as for Bench
and Team Area management. Too many Coaches, causes too much confusion and chaos
for game management. Two Coaches is more than enough, and more than that, should
stick out like a sore thumb. Besides, who needs an extra Coach screaming at ya!
Nobody is allowed to be in the Team Area sideline without a Badge. 
ONLY 2 Coaches may be on that sideline. If there are more, stop the game and remind
the Head Coach to correct the situation. If they balk or ignore the request, issue a
Technical Foul to the Head Coach … 2 Shots and Ball. If you find too many Coaches
(or extra wannabe coaches) on the sideline again, it’s a Tech with shots and ball.
Of course, a friendly reminder is certainly preferred, but if ya gotta T, ya gotta T!.
All Players in the Team Area are to remain seated on the bench. If a Coach has young
children with him/her in the team area, they are to remain seated, with no involvement.
It is the Coaches responsibility to ensure this. 
Many teams have an additional Coach on their squad, giving them 3 Coaches. Although
they are Badged-Up, that doesn’t negate the 2 Coach Rule. The 3rd Coach MUST go to
the Spectator Area and MAY NOT Coach from that side. 
Coaches may rotate as Team Area Coach, and they MAY work with the Players at the
start of the game and at Half Time. As soon as the game starts or restarts, they must
go back to the Spectator Sideline, and they cannot Coach from that sideline. 
NEVER Tech a Spectator!!!!!!!!!
Verbal Reminder * Coach Assisted Reminder * Bench Tech * Bench Tech again * Ejection
If a spectator is acting inappropriately, just give them a quick, friendly verbal reminder.
If they balk, do not get into an educational moment or confrontation. Simply go back to
your game focus. If the spectator, after being reminded, continues to act inappropriately,
stop the game and ask the Coach to address it with the spectator. On the next occurrence,
you issue a Bench Tech at the table … 2 shots and ball at mid court. If it continues, issue
one more Bench Tech, 2 shots & ball at mid court. Last chance! You’ve been more than fair.
If it happens again: automatic ejection with two minutes to leave the gym or forfeit.
This also applies when a spectator comes onto the court. DO NOT get into a confrontational
debate. Walk away, over to the Scorer’s Table, and issue a Bench Tech – 2 shots and ball
at mid court. 
Keep it simple and NEVER take it or make it personal. 
PS: If they curse in front of the kids – Eject – No questions asked. 
When you engage in a debate, you empower your opponent at the expense of your authority.
Free Throw Lines at Village – 10 / 12 / 15 Feet
There seems to be a bit of confusion, as to which line is to be used for free throws for the 8U & 10U at Village. It’s understandable, because there is a mysterious additional line, closer to the basket. The logical conclusion … it must be for the 8U’s. While I haven’t been able to get an answer as to what that line is for, my most logical guess is; it’s there for the really young kids or for the Handicap Basketball League. Of course, as I didn’t anticipate that extra line being there, I told the Ref’s that the 8U’s uses the first line and 10U’s use the second … Whoops!
The rules state; 
8U’s at 10 feet - 10U’s at 12 feet - All other divisions at the normal 15 feet. 
(That first line is at 8 feet)          
To clarify, on Village “short courts”, the 10U’s shoot from the obvious
Free Throw Line and the 8U’s shoot from the line immediately in front of it.
I guess in the overall scheme of things, it really doesn’t matter that much, as long as it
was done consistently. We would however, like to get it corrected and consistent, as that’s
where Coaches are having the kids practice their Free Throw shots.
Free Throw Player Line Ups
Remember – first two lane slots are never occupied. No Lane player should ever be
directly in line with the basket. There needs to be a space. This is for safety and fairness
reasons.

Lane Players.
DOD … Department of Defense: Defender – Offensive – Defender
Lane player cannot reach outside of their boundary markers (even if they are imaginary), so there is no way they can “arm bar” and restrict their competitor to get a head start. If they reach over in front of their opponent, issue a verbal reminder, if the shot isn’t already in progress. (Example: keep your hands and arms to yourselves). If the shot is already in progress, wait to see the result. If the Offense is doing it and the shot goes in, it doesn’t count. Whether the shot goes in or not, they forfeit that shot. They don’t get a redo. If the Defense is doing it, prior to the shot being in progress, remind them verbally. If the shot is in progress, wait and see the result. If the shot is made, the shot is good. If it is not made, the Offense gets a redo shot. If both teams violate equally, ignore it, but verbally remind. If another player’s actions caused and opponent to jump the gun, treat it as that player is responsible for the violation.
Back Players – Behind the 3 Point Lines (even if they’re imaginary), not right behind the Shooter.
Back Player’s, like the Shooter, must wait for the ball to hit the rim or backboard, before going in. 
If they go in early, it’s a violation on their team.

Let’s keep an eye out for opponents fondling each other during Free Throws, and call it!!!!
Carrying the Ball
Good golly Miss Molly. Can we get a call?
This drives me nuts, as it gives a blatantly illegal and unfair advantage to the dribbler. Yeah! I know they’re just emulating pro and college players, but that’s no excuse. One of my Officials commented that; “if we call carrying the ball properly, half the players won’t be able to dribble, and we’ll call it so many times, that we won’t have a game".
Unfortunately, there’s too much truth to that statement, at all levels of play.
Player’s think it makes them look all fancy. While I don’t want to ruin the game with it,
I do want to see flagrant and perpetual violations called. 
You’d be amazed at how quickly players correct themselves, when they know they’re
going to get called on it.
Coaches, coach your players to not Carry the Ball, and Officials, call it occasionally,
especially when they look like they’re one of the Harlem Globetrotters at a charity exhibition.
That’s all I got to say about that! 
Illegal Contact
Over the Back and Reaching In.
There is a common MYTH, that Over the Back & Reaching In is a real foul. There is no such rule. It’s just a saying that, over so many years of hearing it, has become a common place misperception.
The truth is, players can legally reach in and play over an opponent’s back, provided there
is no contact. It is when contact is made (not incidental) that Impedes, disrupts or inhibits
a player’s movement. The actual correct call is a Player Contact Foul, generally Holding,
Blocking or Pushing. Of course, there are times when it could be another call like tripping
or striking a player. The term “Reaching In” or “Over the Back” is simply descriptive of how
the Foul occurred. It is not an actual rule or call.
Time-Out Throw-In Spot
Again, a lot of confusion here … thanks NBA. Half think the ball is inbounded at mid Court … NOT, and half think the ball is inbounded at the “point of interruption” …. Yeah!
Other than an NBA provision for the 17U’s, in the last two minutes (added at the Coaches request),
the ball is inbounded in the same exact manner as it would be for a Foul or Out of Bounds
Throw-In. If it’s outside the Key Area, it goes to the closet spot. If it’s in the Key Zone,
it goes to the Baseline, again at a spot closest to the point of interruption.
While the beginning of new quarters is inbounded at mid court, opposite the Scorer’s Table,
any other interruption is at the spot closest to the point of interruption. 

Why is this important? Consider this; moving the ball forward to mid court, would give the
team an unfair advantage. Moving it behind would result in a disadvantage.
Neither is desirable, or fair. 
Let’s be sure to keep it fair! Mark the spot and issue the ball at the spot.
Getting Close to Tournament Time
Expect things to get more intense and be prepared.
Act Early – it’s hard to put the toothpaste back in the tube, once it’s out!
The season is split into two distinct and separate sessions; Regular Season and Tournament. 
They are completely separate, except for the initial Tournament match-ups. The Regular
Season team records determine the Regular Season Champs. Then we start fresh with a
single elimination Tournament, to determine the Tournament Champions! This is ideal,
because when we start the season, the teams are new and start off somewhat disheveled.
They haven’t quite gelled as a team, so it takes a few games to get their legs and find 
their potential. That can affect their early stats and ultimate placement in the standings.
By the end of the season, teams should have gelled enough to play to their full potential.
We see it in the enhanced level of play. 
At this point, Coaches, Player’s & Spectators are going to become mega-competitive. 
That creates an emotionally charged environment that pretty much “chucks” common
sense and any form of reasonable courtesy out the window. This requires heightened
game management from all of us … Coaches and Referees alike. We don’t want destructive
interference to alter or determine the outcome of the games.
It is very important that we all do our part to keep the courts and sidelines clear of
“unauthorized personnel” (including at quarters and half time). We also have to be
ultra-conscious of Spectator Coaching interference, or we will have excessive confusion,
coupled with an extremely high potential for unwelcomed & unacceptable confrontations.
Let’s work together, to keep the focus on the game and the player’s experience, by setting
the expectations early in the game. 
We can’t have 30 wannabe coaches telling their kids what to do on the court, almost always
overriding the Coaches instructions. How’s a Coach supposed to implement a game strategy
with all that competing nonsense? Also, we can’t have the real Coaches jumping onto the
court to share their opinions. This all just wrecks the game.
Don’t just disregard the early stages of insanity, as it will surely escalate as the game
progresses. Set the expectations early, as emotion charged naughtiness begins.
Loitering Spectators, not associated with the League
One of the Coaches mentioned this to me and one of my Officials ran into this situation a number of times the other night in his game sets. Heck! I’ve run into it a number of times, particularly in Tournament Championship games.
While the rules in every league and competition dictate that the Coach is responsible for
the behavior of their bench, players and spectators, we can’t expect them to be responsible
for loitering spectators that are just hanging out because they are bored.
Now, most of them are respectful and are just there to enjoy a game. Cool! The problem
is there are some that are very disrespectful and just like to stir up trouble because they
have nothing better to do. They come onto the court uninvited to shoot buckets, interfere
with the games and when confronted, say, “I can do whatever I want to. What are you
going to do about it”? They have no accountability to the league and are for all intent and
purposes, they are pretty much anonymous. They’re convinced that they can do whatever
they want, with no fear of consequences.  
Part of the reason they feel entitled to act in such a manner, is that they view the gyms a
public place. Hence, they can be there if they want to. That may be true in general, but it
is no longer a public venue, when teams have basically “rented the gym”. Now it is private.        
Question is how do we deal with that element? While it’s not easy, there are a few things
we can do about it. First step is obviously a request to behave. In most cases, that’ll do it.
The second step is to stop the game and publically announce that such behavior will result
in them being ejected from the gym. Now, if that doesn’t get the job done, it’s time to
spawn a little peer pressure. Chances are they are in some way friends or acquaintances
of players. The third step is to stop the game, and publically announce that the game will
not resume until they leave. That should motivate players and spectators to reinforce your
request to knock off the nonsense. If all that nice guy stuff doesn’t achieve the desired
result, the last resort is to call the police for assistance. At this point, they are trespassing
and may be guilty of disorderly conduct. The majority will bolt before the officer appears.
Some will not, but the officer will help them find the motivation to relocate their bad attitude
… or maybe find a new addition to their bling collection ... GAUDY SILVER BRACELETS! 
It’s a shame it has to be this way, but it is what it is. For your safety, whatever you do,
DO NOT directly engage with riff raff. It’s not worth it. Simply follow the steps above.       
Please, continue to stay on top of the Spectator Coaching. Almost everybody is respecting
the rule. We only have a couple of stubborn ones and they should be penalized.

I've also received reports that some parental units are under the impression that they
can't cheer. That is not the case. We want them to cheer and encourage. It's the coaching
that needs to stop. Coaches, spectators, the City, and even kids have asked that it be
stopped. Remember how much you hated it when you were a kid? We want the players
following their coaches instructions ... not some wannabe sideline coach's, who want the
privelege of coaching but refused to take on the responsibility. It's disrespectful to our
coaches, who are trying to make things happen, and they have absolutely earned that
respect. Let's do our part to ensure they get it!!!
Taped Earrings & Glasses
No lanyard … No play. 
It’s easy to think it’s petty, as we rarely see somebody hurt by unsecured glasses.
Of course, you’d never say; “Let’s give ‘em a couple of sticks to run around the court with”!
That’s what unsecured glasses are, and if knocked loose, can easily become a literal
“stick in the eye”. Please, make sure glasses are secured firmly with a lanyard, and don’t
have a fit when we don’t allow players to play without secured glasses. We don’t want the 
kids to get hurt, and the insurance company can justifiably deny a very expensive claim,
for failure to enforce proper safety protocols. That puts the liability on us, and nobody
wants to live with the guilt of an injury that could have easily been prevented.
No game is worth such a silly risk.
Earrings (or any other bodypartring)
No! You can’t play with tape over your earrings. NO EXCEPTIONS!!!!! I know it seems
like no big deal, and it doesn’t help matters when the doctor or “piercing technician” says
“no problem, you can play sports if you tape it up”. They just don’t know any better and
don’t want to lose the business. They’d feel a whole lot differently if they’d heard the
screams of a kid whose earring got ripped out or had to pull an earring post out of a kids
head with a pair of needle nose plyers. I know cause I’ve done it, and it ain’t pretty.
That’s why I’m so strict with it, and you should be too. 
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of a vision you can’t erase!
There are three things to consider when granting a time out.
1) Dead Ball 2) Live Ball 3) Loose Ball
Dead Ball – Both teams may call for a time out
Live Ball – Only the team in possession can request a time out
Loose Ball – No one can call a time out
Also remember, Time Outs are requested & granted … NOT Automatic.
An Official should grant an appropriately requested Time Out but may deny it for a number
of reasons. Of course, the Official has to hear, or see the Time Out request in time.
For example; the defensive team may request a Time Out on a Throw-In, but the Official
has already “put the ball at the disposal of the offensive team. That negates the defenses
eligibility for a Time Out, as the ball is considered “in possession of the Offense”. 
(Newer ruling for fairness in Penalty implementation procedure) 
The question came up regarding Time Outs during Free Throws. Not for nothing, this rule
is often confused, due to the commonly used wording by Officials and the perception on
the court. We hear the defensive team call for a Time Out, and the Official says they must
wait until the second shot. This is often perceived as; they’re not allowed to call a
Time Out on the first shot, when in fact, they can. The Time Out is denied, because the ball
is at, or in the process of being put at the disposal of the shooter. Technically, this is
considered a LIVE ball play, in the  possession of the offensive team, which negates the
defenses eligibility to call a Time Out.
More clearly stated; both teams are allowed to call a Time Out during a Free Throw,
provided the ball is not in the process of being put at or is already at the disposal of the
shooter. Once the process has begun, the defensive team cannot be awarded a Time Out.
I hope that helps!
Spectators on Court
Are you kidding? NO parental unit has any business coming onto the court, unless there is
a SERIOUS injury. They certainly have NO RIGHT to confront an Official. 
Remember, ONLY the HEAD COACH may address an Official and only at a stoppage of play.
Officials are instructed to issue Bench Techs when parental units come onto the court.
That’s 2 shots and ball at mid court.
The other day, we had a parent of a kid who was playing recklessly, jump onto the court
and confront an Official. Not once … but twice. We see this all too frequently and in most
cases, it’s a completely unnecessary knee jerk reaction. It’s usually just their kid fell down,
nothing more. Believe me. If an injury is serious, the Official will call out for the calvary.
The parental unit went straight to badgering the Official, demanding a foul to be called on
the opponents, for his kid’s own actions getting him “supposedly” hurt. REALLY!!!
There was no foul. To make matters worse, when told to get off the court, the parental
unit said “what? My kid is hurt and I can’t come onto the court”? The kid said he wasn’t
hurt at all. The rather observant Official responded with; “you say you’re out here because
your kid is hurt, but you haven’t even looked at your kid. You’re just yelling at me.
Here’s your Tech”! (Of course, the Official goofed, as Tech's are never issued to spectators.
                           Teching the Bench or Ejecting the offender are the correct options)
Please, let your parental units know, they are not to come onto the court, unless they are
asked to. Using a minor injury or a kid that just fell down as an excuse to share their opinion
with a Referee, is nothing more than an unnecessary and contagious interruption of the game.
Barking at Officials – What do you really gain?
We see it on TV and think it’s a God given right to abuse an Official. Then we get ticked
off when they ignore us, give a warning or offer to T us up. While there is a lot of truth
to the concept of “it’s a Coaches job to work the Official”, stop for a moment and ask
yourself “am I strategically helping my game or am I just letting my jacked up, testosterone
enriched emotions wreck the whole game for me”??????
We tell our players “just let it go and get your head back in the game”. 
It’s really good advice! We understand that; if they are busy getting jacked up over a call,
a no call, or maybe a shot they missed, they’re not focused on the game, wind up out of
position, and exercise poor judgement. It negatively affects their playing ability and the
whole team effort. The same exact logic applies … when we as Coaches choose to be
vengeful; we lose sight of our primary objective … winning the game ... Oops, I mean
making it fun for the kids. When you’re coaching the Officials, the kids and your game
suffer, because your too busy “coaching” the Official!
Consider the reality. Let’s say you walk onto the court and find that your opponent has
a player that’s 9’3” tall. That player is an element of the game that would require an
adjustment to your strategy, right? In the same manner, the Officials are an element of
the game, for better or for worse, depending on your point of view. It doesn’t matter if
an Official is calling the game the way you think they should. They are an element of the 
game … adjust your strategy accordingly.
Also keep in mind … there’s a whole lot of insanity on any basketball court, especially in
recreational ball. Officials have to deal with all that and focus on the game at hand.
You’d be best off letting them focus on the game. Just as you have a wide range of skill
levels on your team, the same is true of Officials. Some are brand new, some are fairly
experienced, and some are seasoned. All, and I do mean all, players, coaches, spectators 
and officials, are still learning. From running an anal retentive, squeaky tight game, to
running a skill level appropriate game and everything in between, we’ll see it all.
If a coach makes themselves the focus of the game, then the where is the focus of the
Official?  The Official’s focus is redirected from the game to the coach, and that’s a recipe
for a ton of missed calls. What do you gain? A self-fulfilling prophesy of a poorly officiated 
game. Is it worth it?
One last noteworthy point: Position & Perception. We all know the importance of being in
the proper position!!!! While you are watching  the part of the game that you deem most
important, from your vantage point, the Official has to watch the whole game from a
different vantage point. Spectators have another unique vantage point, and seem to feel
entitled to “enthusiastically” share it. While you may think you see a foul from where you’re
standing, the Referee didn’t or couldn’t see it from his. You may be absolutely correct in
your call, but if the Referee didn’t see it … it didn’t happen! The Official’s view may have
been blocked by a moving player. The Referee may have seen it but, deemed it incidental
or chose not to call it, because it was a defensive foul and calling it would have robbed
you of an obvious scoring opportunity. That would be a totally appropriate “No Call”.
It’s all about Position & Perception!
Before you “Bark”, think about where it might BITE you!