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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 Articles
Surprise
We've got a lot to  cover, but it's Thanksgiving week.
You deserve a break! We're going  to make some minor changes to the Locker Room too. 
Besides, with all the festivities, you probably won't remember half of it any way. 
Have an Awesome Thanksgiving Week!!!!!!!!!
Past Articles
Handling Injury Situations 
We had a very minor injury, accompanied by an abundance of unnecessary drama.
The injury occurred in a one on one via for the ball. The Coach, from where he was standing, 
was convinced it was a foul, primarily because his player went down, so it must have been
a foul. The Referee, in the proper position to see the play clearly, knew it wasn't a foul ...
the downed Player was simply overpowered. Of course, the sidelines went wild, and the
Referee was chastised for not making a call ... which would have been absolutely wrong for
her to call. That's nothing new. 

It's when the Mom decided to get involved, that it went to foul. When the Referee helped the

Player up, the Mom retorted; Why did you touch my kid? Then she kindly informed the Ref
that; as a Certified Referee, you should know not to touch the kids. Unfortunately, in the
heated moment, the Referee spoke her mind regarding the Players acting skills, in reference
to the injury. That wasn't appropriate.                
The Mom was somewhat correct in her statement. The "recomendation" she referred to was
in regards to injuries. It states that; because we live in a highly litigeous society, it is highly
recommended that Officials do not render assistance to injured Players. That in no way applies
to giving a downed Player a helpful, courtesy hand up, especially in a Rec League. It is also
important to note that; in higher level games, there's normally official medical assistance 
available at the venue. I've never seen a Rec League with that ammenity. 
(That'd triple your league fees)

The Referees action was in no way inappropriate, and certainly didn't warrant such an attack.
While the Referee should have refrained from commenting on the Players acting skills, helping
a Player up is simply a kind act, and should not result in conflict. We Referees tie shoes, console
upset Players, help them up, assure them they are ok when they scrape their knee, and an
assortment of other courteous acts. I encourage them to do so, as it's the sportsmanlike thing
to do. (I think we stop short of wiping runny noses though) They're young and often need reassurance.

We're here for the kids. Let's not twist it into some carnal sin, especially when its just to justify
your anger, because you didn't get a call you wanted. We all work together, to do what's best
for the kids. Let's keep it family friendly!!!!
The mysterious NO CALL 
Hey Ref! Where's the Foul? You gonna make a call?
There are many times when a NO CALL is the right call. 

To start, Referees are in a far better position to make calls, with a much more focused,
impartial view and perception, to see and judge fouls than any Coach, Player, or Spectator.
I can't even count the number of times folks have gotten the call absolutely wrong, but will
argue to the death that they are right, when they weren't even close. I won't even address
the mess that comes from thinking they know a Rule, when they don't have a clue. I've been
doing this for over 20 years, as a Coach and a Referee. I've seen it from both perspectives,
and have learned the hard way ... the sideline view and the Referees view are worlds apart
in accuracy. When I'm standing next to a Coach that thinks a foul should have been called, 
I'm quick to respond with "I'm in just as crappy of a position as you are". I've even yelled at
my Refs, 100% sure I saw them miss a call, only to be given the facts, and wind up
apologizing. 

Referees, at least ours, receive intense training, that they wish they could skip. They are
trained to not only know the Rules, but to know when it's appropriate to make calls, and
when it's not. When someone comes to me with the "a Foul is a Foul", "You gotta call it" line,
my Referees, back up, and you can hear them say, oh no, wrong move! They have heard me
debunk that nonsense a million times. A Referee that gets a thrill out of always calling petty
calls, without regards to the big picture of the game, either doesn't understand their role as
an Official, or is a power hungry bully. There's no doubt that Officials are there to enforce the
Rules, but there's more to being a good Official that just rule enforcement.

Officials are there to ensure safety, keep the game moving in a competitive, yet civil manner,
and to call Fouls that actually effect play, or the demeanor of the participants. They need to
factor in the age and skill level in making their decisions. A highly competitive Travel league
Team gets a lot more and longer practices. They should know and understand the game, and
should expect to have more calls made, because of their advanced knowledge of the game,
and skill level. If they are fouling, it's usually intentional to gain an advantage. Not so true in a
Rec League! The higher up you go, the more calls you should expect. Even so, and even in
professional games, Referees let what I call "fruit loop calls" go, because they have no impact
on the game, except to choke the momentum. We get it. You want every call, because you want
that extra free advantage, but calling a NO CALL offense is much worse than missing a call that
needed to be made. If an infraction has no impact on play, expect the Referees to let you play
on, rather than choke the game with petty rule enforcements. 
NO CALL is often the RIGHT CALL!
Kids Cursing and being Disrespectful 
Although you may often find it hard to believe, the truth is, Coaches have a tremendous impact
on kids. Many of the things we teach them become a part of their character for the rest of their
lives. They observe and emulate our attitudes & behaviors. If you're respectful, positive &
supportive, they will be too, for the most part. If you're disrespectful, negative and short fused,
you can expect to see that returned in them. Remember, you are a part of shaping their young
impressionable minds and attitudes. You do MAKE A DIFFERENCE and are an important part of
their lives. 

While Referees will be handing out warnings & Cards for cursing and disrespectful behavior, it
doesn't carry nearly the same weight as your encouraging words. If you shrug it off, they feel
entitled to curse or be disrespectful. If you display your disapproval, they're much more likely to
refrain from such activity. Also, be keenly aware that; your actions as a Coach, during a game,
directly transends to the Players and your Parental Units. If you display a disrespectful or
UnSportsPersonlike attitude, so will they. Let's make a concentrated effort to display the right
example for them to follow. You have the power to Make a Difference.

Excessive - Disruptive Coaching

An excited or intense Coach is a thing of beauty however; a Coach that interferes with the game, by perpetually badgering Official(s), inciting discention from Players or Spectators, should not be allowed to continue doing so. It negatively disrupts the game and ruins it for everyone.

Don't allow it to continue and escalate into a negative experience for everyone else. Coaches that choose to implement such a strategy, should be respectfully asked to curtail such behavior. Should it continue, issue a warning. If that doesn't bring it to a reasonable level, Referees may eject the offending Coach. Coaches are bound by a code of ethics. Good SportsPersonShip is for all participants, including Coaches.

Games not over - Until We Shake Hands

Shaking hands after the game is an important sportsmanship ceremony. The game doesn't end with the final whistle ... it ends with a show of good sportsmanship ... a handshake and the acknowledgement of a game well played. One could argue that; the handshake is more important than the score. Ok! I'd probably lose that argument, but it doesn't disqualify the importance of the Good Game Handshake.

New Earrings - Can't be taken out - means can't play ... and NO, a Band-Aid won't work!

Earrings are strictly prohibited in every sport. This is one of the most emotionally difficult things to enforce by Referees. We absolutely hate it, but we also know the Rule is there for Good Reason. Earrings are a danger to the wearer and other Players. Can we say Beyonce? Unfortunately, many Referees choose to avoid the emotional conflict rather than enforce the Rule. To make matters even worse, the ear piercing people tell unsuspecting Parental Units to just cover the earrings with a band aid and they can play. Well, of course they're going to say that. They don't want your to walk away, and not get paid!!!!!!

While we're not willing to make exceptions at the expense of Players safety, we're not totally insensitive to the emotional turmoil. We get it. The kid wants to play, and the reality is, shall we say ... unpleasant. So, after a little research, in search for a for a Happier solution, we found;

The hole will not close up in an hour. Though removal is rather uncomfortable, there is a procedure that will allow the removal and replacement, with minimal discomfort, in a sanitary manner.

Do this at home - Put alcohol (no, not the drinking kind) in a container, to temporarily store the earring(s). Wash your hands thoroughly, and swab the earring with alcohol. Loosen the earring back, enough to rotate the earring (slowly). Rotate the earring as you gently slide it out. Once out, immediately place in container with alcohol and cover the piercing with a new/clean bandage. To replace it, gently reverse the process, and don't forget to swab the area with alcohol, before you turn 'em loose. It's a bit of a pain in the earring, but it let's 'em play without safety concerns, as well as avoiding hurt feelings at game time.

Don't Stop Drives on Goal at the End of Time

We all know that Time is Time in Soccer. When the clock says time is up, the whistle is blown, and play is stopped. Of course, Referees & Coaches know this, but many Parental Units do not.

Many Rec Leagues, especially where the little ones are concerned, ask that we don't end a quarter, half, or the game on a drive to goal, even though the time has expired. It simply causes a mass disruption of the game, (not to mention a flurry of agitated phone calls) from angry Parental Units that aren't aware of Soccer's Time Rules.

Let the play finish and then blow the whistle. I know it seems unfair to the the team being 
attacked, but we're all playing by the same Rule, so it's even.
Injuries - When to Stop & When to Continue
This  probably should have been included in the article below, but it's a misunderstood rule that warrants its own space. 

The Rules state that: Referees are only to stop the game for serious injuries. Well, that's a subjective term!!! It's also a very common response, to want to immediately run to the aid of a fallen Player, regardless of whether it's a serious injury or not. A swift kick to the shin is an injury, but in most cases, would not be cause to disrupt play. A broken leg would be, but an owie that'll dissipate quickly would not.

Referees are trained to recognize serious injuries vs just hurted Players, and stop play if a Player is down and in danger around the play. They are also trained NOT to stop the game, unless there is a serious injury, especially when there is a drive on goal. Imagine how ticked off you'd be, if you had a clear break away, and a wide open, guaranteed goal, and the stupid Referee blew the whistle and killed the play, just because your opponent twisted an ankle. You'd be more than a little peeved, and rightfully so. (I know first hand, because I've been that stupid Referee, on more than one occasion) Holding the whistle for a few more seconds to let the play "play out", will not have any positive or negative impact on the downed Players treatment. It can wait for a stoppage to be attended to.

We've been asked to downgrade our criteria for serious injuries, so let's be more sensitive and comply, when appropriate. If you notice genuine & significant concern, err on the side of caution and stop play for the injury.

Quirky-Incorrect Rules of the Week:

When you travel around the county, or beyond, doing games, you run into some quirky rule amendments. Some have a sensible purpose, and many are just because someone stuck it in there, usually because they really didn't know the rules that well. Some are just misinterpreted or even called wrong by Officials ... so often, that it seems like it must be the rule! It's one of the reasons we encounter so many "animated discussions". It's just natural to believe what you're brought up with. We addressed three such quirky rules this week. All were were incorrect.

Quirky-Incorrect #1 You can't Jump in front of a Player kicking the ball ... it's dangerous ... There is no such rule. Someone made it up. The only times (I can see), that it might be called - During a Throw-In or a Goalie Punting. You can't block the release of the ball in either case. Other than that, Players may jump to their heart content, unless they jump at, or into a Player. Depending on the circumstances, that'd could easily be interpreted as a request for a Foul.

Quirky-Incorrect #2 On a Kickoff, only two Offensive Players are allowed at the Center Line, Inside the Circle. There is no such rule. Someone made it up.

Although I'm not sure where this came from, if I had to guess, I suspect it came from a league that doesn't keep score, plays short - say 3 v 3 or 5 v 5, and has very inexperienced Players. The truth is, on a Kick-Off, you could put your entire Offense, in the Circle, at the Center Line. Though it's generally not recommended, there is no Rule prohibiting it. In fact, I've done it strategically, but that's a story for another venue. (I can't divulge all my secrets!)

Quirky-Incorrect #3 You can't "Play the Ball while you're on the Ground". There is no such Rule. It's a misinterpretation that I will openly blame on Referees, who've called it like that, since the first caveman started kicking a rock around.

You hear is so often, that many Referees even believe it's a actually a rule. The truth is, a Player could play the whole game sittin on their little butt, and it would be totally legal. The truth is; the only time the Referee should stop play, when a Player is "Playing the Ball on the Ground, is when the Player is in danger of being injured in doing so. Furthermore, there is NO PENALTY or Free Kick for "Playing the Ball on the Ground". It is treated in the same manner as an injury, and if called, play would restart with a Drop Ball, not an Indirect Free Kick.

Now, if we could only stop folks from screamin for a "HandBall" call, every time the ball accidentally whacks a kid on the hand or arm, and he didn't even see it coming ... nah! That's be the equivalent of peeing in a fan!

Alert 10U Girls = 8 Players Maximum on field, 6 Players Minimum In Fairness to teams that are short Players in the 10U Girls, we will be playing 8 V 8.
Sideline Safety We've had a bit of a challenge with Parental Units hanging out too close to the sidelines. This is a Safety and Interference concern, especially when they have umbrellas. The sidelines must remain clear, so you can see to make accurate calls, and also to avoid collisions with Players or LinesPersons. We don't want Spectators Interfering with play(s) or chattering commands to the Players. While it may seem harmless, there are tons of incidents where Players, Spectators and/or Referees have been severely injured by play action, because they were where they weren't supposed to be. One in particular, permanantly paralyzed a Coach. DO NOT Treat this Lightly. Keep the Parental Units BACK!!! Sidelines should have a minimum of 3 feet clearance, and if they have umberllas, they need to be at least 6 feet back, so they don't poke a Player in the eye. There is NO REASON whatsoever to be encroaching the sidelines. That buffer zone is part of the Playing Field, and should only be occupied by Players & Officials. Ask Parental Units to keep the sidelines clear. If they choose to ingnore your request(s), simply stop the game and ask the Coach to explain it to them, and to inform them that we will stop the game each time, to allow them to move back. If they refuse ... we may forfeit the game, for the Kids Safety.

No Threats - Heckling

I received several complaints that Players were Threatening Bodily Harm to opponents. I also received complaints of "Spectators" instructing Players to "take out/cause harm to" better skilled opponents. This WILL NOT BE TOLERATED, and will result in EJECTION and/or Forfeiture.

This kind of poor sportsmanship is unnacceptable in any sports venue, but especially in a Rec League like this. This is a ZERO Tolerance issue.

Coaches - Please inform your Parental Units that this will not be tolerated!!!!!!!

Referees - Enforce with ZERO Tolerance!!!!!!!! We're out here to have a FUN Competition - Let's keep it that way!!!

Gotta Play the Ball, NOT the Player

No matter what anybody tries to tell you, Soccer is a Contact Sport. There is no denying it. Although it is called Football, it's not the same as American Football.

In Soccer, the Contact is only with Players "on the ball". If a Player is banging on an opponent, but not Playing the Ball, that is a Foul all day long. Call it! Players vying for the ball may "check" as they are trying to gain or retain possession, but there is a limit. It is basically two people trying to occupy the same space, so there's going to be contact, and it can get quite intense. There's nothing wrong with that, but they can't push, shove, hold, trip or mug their opponent.

If they are banging away at an opponent, but making no attempt to play the ball, it's not only unfair and unsportspersonlike, it's gonna aggravate the bejeebers out of the ball handler, resulting in words or reactions of an unpleasant and possibly painful nature.

Let's make the calls that "Set the Tone" from the start, and avoid nuckleheaditis as we progress through the season!

DO NOT ALLOW Spectators on Field I know it's oh so tempting and fun to grab a ball and play on the field during breaks and Half-Time. While it's usually harmless, a few untamed individuals have ruined that for us all. In the past, but a little too frequently, silly mortals have abused the privilege, so we had to stop it altogether. The field is reserved for the Teams currently playing and only for those teams. We've had injuries to Players from non-participants, we've had numerous game delays, because individuals didn't respect the game and refused to promptly leave the field, plus we've even fights, instigated by disrespectful individuals who chose to take offense to being asked to move off the field. The result = No unauthorized play during breaks. Sorry ladies & gentlemen. Keep the fields clear of non-participants at all breaks.

Spectator Coaching - Prohibited

Cheering for the Players is very much desired and encouraged. It motivates Players and makes the game more FUN and Exciting. Being Coached from the bleachers ... not so much.

Remember how much you hated your parents distracting you ... telling YOU how to play YOUR Game - from the Sidelines? It was annoying and embarrassing. We won't even bring up the dreaded ride home ... oops, I just did.

I know how difficult it is to resist, and how easy it is to get a little bit too caught up in the game, and YOU WANT TO WIN! That doesn't make it any easier. Of course, we tend to do it because our Parental Units did it, so it seems normal & benign. Well, it's anything but!

There are a number of reasons we should resist that temptation, and it has to do with the kids and the game. First of all, if the Parental Unit is any good at the game, it's flat out cheating. If the Parental Unit isn't that knowledgeable, they give the opposing team an advantage. Either way, Sideline Coaching interferes with the game, so it shouldn't be done. While the Coaching Parental Unit has good intentions, in almost every case, they're telling their kid to do exactly the opposite of what their Coach instructed them to do. They want their kid to shine, so they tell him to reposition, shoot or run, when they were supposed to stay in position and/or pass the ball. Now the whole play is ruined, and the Coach is pulling out what little hair he/she has left. It's disrespectful to the Coach, and it messes up the game plan for the whole team.

The Parental Unit, talking to his/her kid, is distracting their focus from where it needs to be ... in the game. I've seen kids slammed with the ball, or just plain trucked (even injured) , because they weren't paying attention to the game, they were paying attention to their Parental Unit. You'd be amazed at how many times I've heard Parental Units instruct their kids to perform illegal procedures, because they weren't taught the correct rules/procedures when they played, or aren't aware of the Rule changes since they last played. On top of that, most of the other Parental Units, who are there to enjoy the game, wish the wannabe Coaches would just STOP.

Here's the Rule from the Rule Book

Spectator/Sideline Coaching is prohibited. Sideline Coaching is defined as; spectators attempting to influence and gain an advantage in a game through instruction, positioning or alerting players to situations they would not otherwise be aware of. This is a disruption of the game and may cause an unfair advantage. If necessary, the game may be stopped, which may result in ejection or even forfeiture of the game, at the Official’s discretion. Referees/Umpires shall have complete authority over the game, players, coaches and spectators. They may expel any player, coach or spectator for indecent language, unsportsmanlike conduct, or any infraction of rules. Refusal of expelled player, coach or spectator to leave the "playing area" within 2 minutes will constitute a forfeit. Referees are instructed to discuss matters in question ONLY with the Head Coach, NOT an assistant. No coach may address an official concerning a call except during half or games end.

UnSportsPersonLike Conduct

All Leagues - Mocking Players is rude and unnacceptable.

Referees and Coaches need to put a stop to it immediately. If we don't, it will escalate.

We had a game this weekend, with a player who was older, twice the size, strength, and speed of any other kid in the division. He easily out distanced everyone, then proceeded to stop right on the goal line and dance around, before finally entering the end zone for a touchdown. He was intentionally rubbing his superiority in. He was taunting the kids and that is just plain mean. The Officials let it slide, because, hey, kids do silly things. A few plays later, the same Player broke free again, and strutted like an untouchable peacock, all the way to the End Zone. It's demoralizing to the other Players and a perfect example of UnSportsPersonLike Conduct.

That's a well earned Penalty, in all sports, and needs to be called, every time. DON'T BE NICE and just let go. It will only escalate and end poorly. Fortunately, the Coach made it clear that it was unkind and wouldn't be tolerated. Let's nip this behavior in the bud, every time! It has no place in sports.

Soccer Referee Clinic

This Saturday 11am - 4pm

Civic Center Theatre Lobby

Spectator Coaching

Because this Flag Football program is more friendly than most other sports or leagues, I haven't seen the need to strictly enforce the NO Spectator Coaching Rule. We don't want to be unnecessarily overbearing. Sure, we have our "armchair coach" yahoos out there, and even though they almost always get it wrong or contradict the Coaches, it was relatively harmless ... with minimal impact.

Well, that benign behavior flew out the window with the first Tournament Game (real Shocker), and because it was Pee Wee (first timers in the league), it's gonna bite me in the rear, cause those Parental Units will think it's hunky dorey to Coach from the sidelines in other sports.

I tried a little experiment, to see if we were making too much of the rule. I let it just take it's course, to see if it would get out of control. BIG MISTAKE! It got out of control alright, and Once it got to the point of going bad, it was going to get ugly bringing it back to reasonable. Kids distracted and brought to the point of tears, plays getting botched from too many incorrect instructions being shouted at the Players, Parental Units crowding the sideline and running onto the field, and complaints from Parental Units, Players and even Grandmas.

Boy, did I feel like I'd dropped the ball. I won't try that again. We will enforce the Rule. Please, in a respectful manner, nip the Sideline Coaching in the bud from the git go. Before the game begins, as part of your Pre Game Meeting, ask the Coaches to remind their Spectators that there is to be no coaching from the sideline, and to stay behind the Spectator Line.

If friendly reminders don''t do the trick, stop the game and have both Coaches reiterate it to their Spectators. If further ignored, issue 10 Yard Interference Penalty's.

We don't want over exuberant, self appointed coach experts ruining the game for the kids, and I certainly don't want Grandma to yell at me again!!!! Let's keep it under control, please.

Stick Your Hands in your Pockets

Pockets & Stipes - the never ending issue.

They are prohibited for good reasons, and sometimes pockets are missed on Check-Ins. Hey, the pockets are usually black on black and hard to spot. One of our Referee's came up with a Schweeeet solution.

On Check-In ... "Stick Your Hands in Your Pockets!" They'll just do it without thinking, or they'll look at you funny, and inform you that they don't have pockets. Either way ... mission accomplished. Schweeeet!

Ball Placement Reminder

On Saturday, in the "Heat of the Moment" (yes, pun intended), it seemed that there was some varying opinions as to where the Down would start on a Touchback. I was delerious enough to have to stop & think about it for a moment. Just in case, here it is;

Touchback = 14 yard line

Out of Bounds = 30 yard line

Safety = 20 Yard Line

Tournament Games Start this week

Sunrise Flag Football OT Procedure PDF Click & Read this, so you know and can Strategize

Tournament Games must have a Winner, so in the event of a Tie, we go into Overtime. Due to the fact that this is a Single Elimination Tournament, Points are not used to Break a Tie. As a result, once a Team has Won, an Untimed Down is not necessary, to accomodate the Points Tie Breaker.

In other words, the game ends when the winner is determined. The Overtime Procedure is in the Locker Room, the Coaches Club and at the Scorer's Table. Use whatever you are most comfortable with, but make sure you go over the Procedure, prior to the start of the OverTime Period. We don't want any surprises!!!!

A Couple Safety Alerts

1) Coconuts are dropping from the trees like crazy. I guess the wind loosened 'em up. Please, keep humans away from these trees, especially the little tykes. Keep an eye out, to make sure folks aren't sitting or playing under them.

2) Saturday was so hot, I saw trees chasing dogs for a little hydration. I, personally, was getting overheated, to the point that I thought I was going to pass out. I was in trouble. I got queezy, disoriented, and concerned I'd pass out. This was quite unusual, but I figured it was the heat, my 12 cups of coffee, and dehydration that was causing it. Turns out, it was something else! It's called Hyponatremia, and it's dangerous. They say to seek medical attention immediately. Well, I'd never heard of this. After the game, as I washed my hands, I noticed they were very swollen. It was wierd enough to cause me to look into it. Many of us are concerned with too much salt in our diets. It's been beaten into our heads that we need to reduce salt intake, to avoid health risks. Well I've almost entirely cut out salt. I figure we get enough ... everything seems to have excess salt ... right? Turns out, that's not necessarily true. Hyponatremia is the result of insufficient salt, or overly diluted salt. When you get overheated, your blood vessels expand to help move the dangerous levels of heat away from your organs ... hence the chubby digits. The blood boogied away from my organs, into my paws to cool off. Of course, I attributed my symptoms to dehydration, so kept chugging water to get myself back to normal. Whooooops! Wrong move! As it turns out, I was just feeding the problem. My salt levels were already too low and far too diluted, so the additional water I was drinking, actually made it progressively worse. The moral of the story; While too much salt is bad, too little can immediately become much worse, even life threatening. Make sure you keep a healthy balance of salt intake and hydration. If water and "chilling" isn't easing the symptoms of what you think is dehydration, stop drinking water, eat something salty, and if you can't, don't be all macho and push it like I did. Sit down in a cool place and relax. You might just prevent a stroke. I'm not a Doctor. Just sharing what I've learned, so you don't have to find out the hard way!

Friendly Caution ... not related to sports

I found a new friend this weekend, while working in the back yard. With all the landscape
debris lying around, there's critters that like to hang out in it. I found one that gave me 
sudden pause ... the slithery, sneaky kind. At first glance, I wasn't sure if it was a Water Snake
or a Water Moccasin. After a closer but respectful look, well, I just couldn't be sure.

Be careful around the brush piles and fallen trees. It's hot out there, and critters favor these
types of cool little hideouts. I'm pretty sure my little friend (though not so little) was an Everglades
Racer (bites, but quite harmless), but it made me think to throw out a word of caution.

I took pictures ... see if you can identify my little, slithery friend. 

Click to see if you can Identify My Slithery Friend

Our Expert Critter Control & Exterminator, Jerry of East Coast Pest Control,
 has Identified my little buddy as a Rat Snake. It was tricky to identify, because it
was Molting, which made it resemble other snakes. Just goes to show that;
Googling doesn't always produce accurate results. If you've got Critters you'd 
like relocated or Bug pests you'd like eliminated,  there's none better or fairer than 
Jerry at East Coast Pest Control! 954-263-0823 Give him a call. You'll be HAPPY you did.

Inadvertant Whistle(s)

Ooooops! Accidentally blew the whistle! What now?

Dead Ball = Immediate Whistle - Penalty dealt with Immdiately

Live or Loose Ball = Flag - Play Continues - Penalty dealt with at the End of the Down

On an Inadvertant Whistle (an Ooooops) Offended Team gets the Choice; Accept the Play or Replay the Down. If the Offended Team Chooses to Replay, they DO NOT GET Penalty Yardage.

Pockets & Stripes

Again with the Pockets and Stripes. Both are Strictly Prohibited!!!!!!

We've received complaints from Parental Units, Coaches & Players.

Referees should not allow Players with Stripes or Pockets to Play. If they come up with a work around, it is purely an act of kindness.

Why? Well, pockets are a Safety Hazard, and flipping the shorts inside out, usually results in extra "fake" flags, dangling in the way or getting tangled up with the official flags. In the heat of Play, Stripes look like Flags (even if they're not the same color), and even the thinnest Stripes cause an optical confusion, complicating eye to hand coordination when reaching for Flag(s)

Please remind Parental Units that; If there are Stripes or Pockets, there is an unacceptably high probability that they will NOT be able to Play.

Keeping Parental Units off the SideLines

We all know that Parental Units cannot be in the Team Areas. This is not just a control issue, though that has significant value ... it's a legal issue, stemming from the Jessica Lunsford Act.

It is to protect the kids. No Badge, No Entry. I've had 6 confrontations this season, with Parental Units, that felt like it was their right to hang out there. They think we're being petty or mean, but there's good reason for it. We need to stress that; they cannot be in the Team Areas during Games. On the Spectator side, we've painted a Boundry Line for Spectators.

This is also for the Safety of the Players and the Spectators, especially when eye pokers ... I mean umbrellas are used. The line is also there to help deter Spectator Interference (10 Yard Penalty). It's all too easy to want to "become involved with play" when you're standing right on the edge of the field.

Please remind Spectators to stay behind the Boundry Line. Don't worry ... it won't interfere with Cheering the Teams on!

Tightening of Calls

We're getting quite a bit of fuss over Referees increasing their calls. This is proper and the Officials have been asked to do so.

When we started the season, we knew that everyone was new, so we went light on many of the calls, prefering to "enlighten" rather than choke the game with minor calls. As we progress, everyone should know at least the basic rules, so we make the calls.

While we're out here to have FUN, this is an Official League, and we are here to teach the kids the game, as well as other important life lessons, through sports. It's our duty. If they learn now, in a friendly setting, then they won't be lost, or playing catch up, when they get to the Travel or High School Level. Our failure here, could result in the poor kids being benched, or not making the Team at all. Though it may seem inconsequential now, it could mean the difference between a scolarship or no scolarship.

Yeah, it's just a game, but we actually look at the impact we may have on the kids future. We want them to have every opportunity to enjoy success, so we're making the appropriate calls. It's the least we can do!

MouthGuard
MouthGuards are MANDITORY in Flag Football. It is the Coaches and the Referees
responsibility to ensure that EVERY Player on the field is wearing one. 

I know that Parental Units get all aggravated when they forget the MouthGuard and their
future superstar can't play without one, but it's too important to ignore or make exceptions.
If you've been to the Dentist lately, you know that dental work costs have gone through the
roof. It's crazy expensive to repair or replace teeth. An inexpensive MouthGuard can save a
lot of pain, aggravation, time and money.

The standard answer, when caught, is; "the other Ref's let us play without one", and the
most recent I heard was ... ready for this ... "they said it was optional". (SMH)
The latter response came from a young player, so it's validity is questionable, but either excuse
is highly improbable. Nice Try, but I know my Officials, and none of them would knowingly allow
this.

Please, Remind Parental Units; MouthGuards are MANDITORY!

Now, Referees don't want to penalize the kids, for mistakes like No MouthGuard, if it wasn't
the kid that forgot. It's too important to risk, and kids need the little extra motivation to
remember, so Referees are instructed to enforce the 10 yard penalty, for playing or attempting
to play without a MouthGuard. It's NOT an Option!

Jewelry and Band-Aid - Slight of Hand

Absolutely NO Jewelry Allowed, and putting a band aid over it is strictly prohibited and clearly stated in the Rules. This is a SAFETY Issue. Watch and double check, that Players actually remove their jewelry. We've had several incidents, where Players have been told to remove jewelry, then act like they're doing it, but leave it in. Of course, I spot it immediately, and wonder why it was allowed.

Don't assume they followed instructions ... verify it!!!

Flag Alignment

Please be diligent in checking Flags. We're still seeing Flag Belts being worn improperly. There needs to be a Flag in the back, and one on each side. On several occasions, I've seen Flags in the front, and that could quickly result in a Player unexpectedly being dropped to his knees ... literally!

The Flags need to be properly aligned. It's an unfair advantage, when a Ball Carrier has no Flag on one side. The Penalty for an Improperly Secured Flag Belt is a 10 Yard loss, and an Automatic 1st/Loss of Down, respectively. If deemed "Intentional", it's also comes with a side order of Ejection. Please monitor this at each line up, and correct it before the snap, if possible.

Block & Tackle

No, not the gear for hoisting heavy objects.

We're addressing Illegal Blocks to prevent the Runner from escaping Flag Pulls.

Here comes Speedy Gonzlaez, hugging the ball, dodging and weaving, determined to get that First Down. Joe Noyadon't has other ideas. Joe steps right in front of Speedy, wraps his arms him so he can't escape, grabbing for every flag within reach. As they meet in a thunderous collision, a flag is pulled and the play ends. Now, Mr. Referee has a decision to make.

Do we have a Penalty to call, or was this incidental contact? Defensive Players must grab their opponents flag ... NOT the Opponent or their clothes. In other words, they cannot bear hug the Ball Carrier to trap him/her and stop the momentum, so they can grab a Flag. They cannot wrap their arms around the Ball Carrier, nor can they stick an arm out in the path of the Runner to slow 'em down.

In the same manner as a Legal Screen, a Defensive Player has to position themselves with enough room for an opponent to reasonably avoid contact. The Offensive Player has to make every effort to avoid contact. This is the essence of Blocking or Charge calls. If there is contact, the Referee must determine who, if anyone, was responsible for the contact. If it is determined that either Player caused contact (beyond incidental), then a 10 Yard Penalty must be accessed, either Charging or Illegal Block.

Remember, grab the Flag ... not the Ball Carrier or their clothes.

Silly Rules - Not So Silly
While some of the Rules seem silly or annoying, there are good reasons for them. 
Some are to keep the game FUN & Exciting, some to keep it fair, and many are Safety
Rules.

Just a little Football History Trivia that puts it into perspective; In 1905, American Gridiron
Football, 18 Players were killed and 159 seriously injured. There were serious attempts to
outlaw Football, but President Roosevelt wasn't having it. He personally intervened and
demanded that the rules be reformed, to make it safer. Say thank you Teddy.

Every Rule serves a purpose. They're not so silly.
Flags-Shirts-Shorts
We're getting a lot of infractions in these areas. It would be pretty comical, if it wasn't
such a pain in the shorts. It's Flag Football Football. It's hard enough to grab & pull the
flags, without adding  complications. 
Misaligned Flags = Complication. 
Stripes on Shorts = Complication. 
Pockets hanging out like Flags = Complication. 
Pockets = Safety Complication. 
Shirts Untucked, Covering/Blocking Flags = Complication. 

Flags - Flags positions need to be 1 in the back & 1 on each side, not all on one side,
          and certainly NOT one in the front ... talk about a potentially uncomfortable and
          embarrassing COMPLICATION. 
We're seeing one entire side of Ball Carriers with no Flags. That's an unfair advantage,
and by the book  ... a 10 Yard Penalty & Ejection.  Of course, we know that the kids
aren't doing it on purpose, so an ejection would be awfully mean, but a 10 Yard Penalty
would only be fair, as it definitely puts the Defense at a serious disadvantage. 

I know it's about as easy as herding cats, but please make it a point to ensure that the
Flags are positioned reasonably proper like. 

Shirts - Shirts MUST be tucked in at all times. Untucked, they inhibit fair flag access.

Shorts - NO POCKETS - NO Stripes!!!!! 
Stripes  look similar to flags and can cause optical delusions in the heat of play.
Striped shorts are NEVER allowed in Flag Football. 

Pockets - Pockets are a Safety Hazard for opponents, and a likely source of
             embarrassment for ball carriers, who may find their shorts around
             their ankles, should a Defenders hand get snagged in the pocket. 
The Referees are trying to be good sports about the pockets issue, by allowing the kids
with pockets to turn them shorts inside-out. Unfortunately, that often results in inside-out
pockets emulating "Extra Flags", or pockets getting tangled up with flags, making them
harder to grab Flags". 

Please STRESS the NO POCKETS - NO STRIPES Rule to Parental Units. 
Most likely, they're the ones that layed them out for their little ones in the first place.
Ball Set-Whistle-30 Seconds 
That Whistle, signifies the start of your 30 second huddle clock. 
For the start of the season, the Referees have been granting some breathing room on the
30 second limit, but now that you've got your legs, we'll be enforcing it more. 

The Rule - 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. 

While you have a maximum of 30 seconds, you don't have to use the full 30.
The only requirements are that you have a huddle, and don't exceed 30 seconds to snap the
ball. The "Ball Set and Whistle" portion of the Rule, ordinarily seems to have no significance,
until you're trying to run 2 consecutive plays, or your in a race against the clock in a tight
game. Then it gets all real. 

This Rule also serves to allow the Referees to get out of your way and into position, prior to
the snap of the ball. We've had situations where the Offense was in such a hurry to catch
their opponent by surprise, that the Officials interfered with the play,  couldn't see the play,
or were trampled, cause they were in the middle of setting the ball + markers and getting
into position. Guess what! They had to replay the down. 

Always wait for Ball Set & Whistle, and avoid wasting a perfectly good surprise play.
Half the Yardage LOS The Rule:
When the ball is within 5 yards of a first down or the goal line, the defensive restraining
line will be half of the distance. 
Example: If your say 4 yards from a First Down, or from the Endzone, the Markers will be
placed 2 yards apart - or half the distance. 

There are two exceptions; 
1) If you've been pushed back beyond the previous 20 yard mark, you'll have to cross that
20 yard zone, plus the next for a 1st Down. The bags will be placed 5 yards apart in this 
instance. 
(Not really an exception, as you have 20+ yards to go for a 1st, but is acts like one.)

2) If there is less that 1 yard to the the 1st Down or the End Zone, the Markers will be
    placed 1 Yard apart, even if that puts the Defense into their own End Zone. This is a
    Safety Rule, so the Players don't bash heads.
Kick-Offs & Punts Line-Up
The Kick-Off formation has always been misinterpreted by Coaches & Referees alike.
The Rule: Kick-off receiving team must have at least 3 players on their own 20-yard line
               for all divisions. 
The confusion is in the general interpretation of the Rule.
Coaches of the Kicking and Receiving team just naturally lined up on the 40, and we just
got used to that. Then the Refs told them the Receiving team had to have 3 Players on the
20 yard line. So, though not logical, they complied, and after a couple of years, the Coaches
just quit asking why. 

The confusion is actually in the perception of the Line of Scrimmage. 
Everybody assumed the LOS was the each teams 40 yard line. That is only true of the
Kicking Team. For the Receiving Team, their LOS is their 30 Yard Line. That's only 5 yards
further than the normal Line of Scrimmage, which is just enough additional space to keep
from getting nailed with the full force of the ball on the Kick-Off, and it indicates the
minimum distance a Kick-Off must travel, before the Defense can legally down the ball.

The Receiving Team lines up on the 30 Yard Line, with 3 Players on their 20, as shown in
the diagram below.
 
The Punt 
The Punt Procedure is often mixed up and confused with the Kick-Off procedure.
The procedure for each, is different, and listed below.

The Defense (Receiving Team) can line up in any formation they choose to. The only thing that
is not mentioned (or clarified) in the Rule, is that the Line of Scrimmage is the same as in normal
play ... 5 Yards. 
The Rule: The punter picks up ball at line of scrimmage, then proceeds to punt ball. No part
               of the punter's body may cross the scrimmage line when making the punt. The
               punting team must stay behind the line of scrimmage until the punt is away.
               There is no minimum number of players that need to be on the defensive
               scrimmage line when receiving a punt. The defense may not block a punt.
Center/QB Sneak - No Way Jose 
When it comes to trying to find a loophole in the Rules, this one RULES Supreme!
There is NO Center/QB Sneak allowed. There is no loophole, so give up trying already!

The only close relative is, as stated in the Rules; 
The Rule: The center may receive a hand-off, if the hand-off is completed at least 1 yd.
                behind the line of scrimmage.
Pass or Lateral
OK! Wrap your mind around this one!
A Pass, Lateral or Handoff beyond the Line of Scrimmage is Allowed!
The Rule: Only one forward pass is permitted per down, regardless of whether or not
               they are still behind the line of scrimmage.
               (This doesn't mean that you can throw a Forward Pass beyond the Line of Scrimmage. A Forward
                      Pass is any pass thrown towards (in the direction of) an opponents goal. It simply means that if
                you've thrown a Forward Pass to a Teammate, who is also behind the Line of Scrimmage, it is still
                     a Forward Pass, and the only one you're allowed during that down) 

               A pass or lateral to a teammate, who is even with or behind the ball carrier,
              is permitted, regardless if the ball is ahead of or behind the line of scrimmage.

NOTE – Any player may hand the ball forward or backward at anytime.

That should open up a few more plays for the Playbook!!!!!

Charging vs Blocking

Flag Football is designed as a non-contact sport. In reality, it is a limited contact sport, as there is no way to eliminate all contact. We call the limited contact "incidental". Charging calls are the result of the Offense being responsible for causing Contact, Blocking is the result of the Defense being responsible for causing contact. The Key phrase is "Responsible for Causing".

We'd all like to be able to just run the ball up the middle and crash our way to a 1st Down, TouchDown or Extra Point, and there's nothing wrong with that, as long as there's actually an opening to go through. Trying to squirt or bash through a couple of Defensive Players standing side by side, could quickly set you back 10 yards from your intended goal ... If there's contact ... say hello to a Charge call.

Field Coach Becomes Spectator

The Rule states: 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. (Offensive Line is considered set when Center lays hand(s) on the ball)

Once you've given them the play and line-up, it's up to your Players to execute the Play. It's their game, and they need to learn how to see plays develop and make strategic adjustments. You already know how. This is how they learn it. Now, if you can't resist chiming in with your expertise, just make sure it's worth the 5 Yard Penalty.

Flag Guarding 10 Yard Penalty

Flag Guarding is in any way "physically shielding" your Flag or Belt, to prevent an opponent from pulling it. Players can only protect from flag pulling by maneuvering beyond the reach of or by misdirecting an opponent, as in deking or spinning, without causing contact.

Blocking the belt with the ball or arm, swiping or pushing the hand, arm, or Player away are all examples of Flag Guarding. Grabbing ahold of the Flag Belt is also Flag Guarding. I see Players instinctively grabbing their Flag Belt in the middle of a run, to see if it's been pulled. While in most cases, they're not holding the belt to prevent a pull, with all that's going on, a Referee may easily mistake it for a Flag Guard.

I highly recommend the stressing "run until they hear the whistle", instead of checking their belt to see if it's been pulled. In most cases, the Players delay and sacrifice yardage anyway, so it's in your best interest to promote the "wait for the whistle" practice.

Don't tie the flag or let it get tangled up in a shirt - Illegally Secured Flag Belt - 10 Yard Penalty plus; Loss of Down on Offense, Automatic First down on Defense

SideLines & End Zones - Keep them Cleared

For the Safety of Players and Spectators alike, Spectators need to be at least 3 feet from the sideline. If you are setting up a lounge chair, set it back far enough so that your feet are 3 yards from the sideline. If you have an umbrella (eye poker), make it 6 feet.

Players are running full steam, looking on the field, to avoid Defenders. They're not paying attention to the chair, human, or umbrella they're about to trip over or slam into. Players and Spectators can get hurt if they're too close. Now, I know you're thinking, "it's ok, I'll move. Well, that dog don't hunt. We get so caught up in the game ... we forget. Let's give 'em plenty of room, and keep 'em safe. Nobody belongs on the Team Sideline, except Coaches & Players ... Period! (Refs & City Staff don't count - They're considered field equipment - how degrading)

Keep the areas clear behind the End Zone. The Teams own the field, and nobody should be back there. It's too easy to forget where you are and accidentally interfere with the game. It is also a distraction that the Players shouldn't have to deal with. I know that it's tempting to practice in behind the end zones, while waiting for a game, but please respect the Teams right to unhindered use of the field, as we will in turn ensure for you.

Referees will ensure non-authorized persons do not enter the field of play. They may stop, suspend, or terminate the match because of outside interference of any kind. We don't wanna, but will if we must.

Spectator Coaching - Prohibited

Cheering for the Players is very much desired and encouraged. It motivates Players and makes the game more FUN and Exciting. Being Coached from the bleachers ... not so much.

Remember how much you hated your parents distracting you ... telling YOU how to play YOUR Game - from the Sidelines? It was annoying and embarrassing. We won't even bring up the dreaded ride home ... oops, I just did.

I know how difficult it is to resist, and how easy it is to get a little bit too caught up in the game, and YOU WANT TO WIN! That doesn't make it any easier. Of course, we tend to do it because our Parental Units did it, so it seems normal & benign. Well, it's anything but! There are a number of reasons we should resist that temptation, and it has to do with the kids and the game.

First of all, if the Parental Unit is any good at the game, it's flat out cheating. If the Parental Unit isn't that knowledgeable, they give the opposing team an advantage. Either way, Sideline Coaching interferes with the game, so it shouldn't be done.

While the Coaching Parental Unit has good intentions, in almost every case, they're telling their kid to do exactly the opposite of what their Coach instructed them to do. They want their kid to shine, so they tell him to reposition, shoot or run, when they were supposed to stay in position and/or pass the ball. Now the whole play is ruined, and the Coach is pulling out what little hair he/she has left. It's disrespectful to the Coach, and it messes up the game plan for the whole team.

The Parental Unit, talking to his/her kid, is distracting their focus from where it needs to be ... in the game. I've seen kids slammed with the ball, or just plain trucked (even injured) , because they weren't paying attention to the game, they were paying attention to their Parental Unit. You'd be amazed at how many times I've heard Parental Units instruct their kids to perform illegal procedures, because they weren't taught the correct rules/procedures when they played, or aren't aware of the Rule changes since they last played.

On top of that, most of the other Parental Units, who are there to enjoy the game, wish the wannabe Coaches would just STOP.

Here's the Rule from the Rule Book Spectator/Sideline Coaching is prohibited. Sideline Coaching is defined as; spectators attempting to influence and gain an advantage in a game through instruction, positioning or alerting players to situations they would not otherwise be aware of. This is a disruption of the game and may cause an unfair advantage. If necessary, the game may be stopped, which may result in ejection or even forfeiture of the game, at the Official’s discretion. Referees/Umpires shall have complete authority over the game, players, coaches and spectators. They may expel any player, coach or spectator for indecent language, unsportsmanlike conduct, or any infraction of rules. Refusal of expelled player, coach or spectator to leave the "playing area" within 2 minutes will constitute a forfeit. Referees are instructed to discuss matters in question ONLY with the Head Coach, NOT an assistant. No coach may address an official concerning a call except during half or games end.

Injury's - Emergency Medical Ploy

When we have legitimate injuries, we want to stop and care for them properly.

The truth is, Real Injuries, worthy of concern, are actually pretty rare. Most often, we encounter "little boo boo" injuries. Technically, they're not injuries ... they're nothing more than little "owies", that; if we don't make a big deal of it, will be gone and forgotten inside of 15 seconds. Well, here comes the Parental Units, and/or the Coach, racing to the rescue, and now we unnecessarily delay the game.

NO SPORT allows Coaches or Parental Units to race onto the field for injuries. The Referee has to request their assistance, or as it's stated in the Rule Book; "unless beckoned by the Referee". When an injury of any significance occurs, believe me, the Referees will immediately "beckon" the Coach onto the Field/Court to handle it. Other than that, stay off the Field/Court.

Also, an injury is not an excuse for a wannabe Coach to find his way to the Team Bench and hang out there, under the pretense that they have to take care of their kid. Even more shady, is the Coach or Parental Unit that uses the "injury" as an excuse to berate the Official(s), without even paying any attention to the supposedly injured Player.

Parental Units do not belong in the Team Area, unless they're toting their kid off to receive medical attention. Do not allow them to "Hang Out" in the Team Area. If the injury is actually that serious, then allow the Parent to pick up their child and take them to receive appropriate medical care.

The Snap - Center Procedure

The ball must be placed and remain on the Line of Scrimmage, the Center must be behind the LOS, and the Center MUST Snap the ball cleanly, in a continuous motion. That's why they call it a Snap ... because it's quick or "Snappy"!

Centers are allowed to side snap the ball, but cannot straddle the ball. They must remain behind it. Any repositioning or movement of the ball, other than a continuous motion snap, can cost you 5 yards, especially if that movement causes the Offense to jump the line early. If a Center moves the ball off the Line of Scrimmage, the Referees will attempt to correct it, before the play starts, to avoid a petty penalty, but if that doesn't work, TWEET!!!! Walk it back 5 Yards!

One of the Coaches was instructing his team to rush when they heard the word "HIKE". While I get why, it's not recommended, in fact, it's risky. The word has nothing to do with when they can legally rush. It's when the ball is physically moved, or snapped, that the Offense can legally rush. I highly recommend instructing Players to Rush on the Snap.

Kick Off - Illegal "Short Kick"

We had a situation; The Kick-Off went Out of Bounds, beyond the 10 Yard Buffer Zone, which makes it a Legal Kick-Off, that would be brought to the 30 Yard Line, for a 1st Down. There was some confusion, and it was thought that the ball should be placed on the Receiving Teams 35 Yard Line. That 5 Yard gift, only applies to an Illegal Kick-Off that; doesn't travel the minimum of 10 yards, provided the RT chooses the Option to Accept the Results of the Kick.

In short, Legal Kick-Off Out of Bounds, (travels 10 or more yards) 30 Yard Line.

Illegal Kick-Off Out of Bounds, (less than 10 yards) 35 Yard Line. (If RT Accepts Result Option)

Actual Kick-Off Rule Language

Kick offs must travel a minimum of 10 yards, before the Kicking Team can "Down the Ball". A kickoff is illegal unless it travels 10 yards (or more) OR is touched by the receiving team. Once touched by the Receiving Team, the kick shall be treated as legal.
Penalty for Kicking Team "Downing the Ball" short of the 10 yards, will result in the Receiving Team having the option to accept the result of the play or a 5 yard penalty to be applied to the re-kick (Kick to be re-taken from kicking team 35 Yard Line). If the Kicking Team Illegally kicks the ball out of bounds, short of 10 yards, they will be penalized 5 yards. The Receiving Team will take possession at receiving team 35 yard line.

 
 
Referees shouldn’t have to be escorted out of the gym, 
for doing what they are supposed to!

I'd like to start, by thanking the Coaches & Parental Units who intervened on behalf
of my Official, and prevented any truly regretful escalation. I think you also saved
a guy a stint in the big house, and I ain't talkin about the White House. Now for
a slightly sarcastic, but serious reality check.

Ok Tough Guy! You want to Threaten, Shove or Swing at an Official, because you
don't like the way he/she called the game. You might want to think twice, before
you wind up a member of the "Silver Bracelets Club". Jail & Fines will be the price
you'll pay!

For starters, you have no right, unless you are a Head Coach, to question or
speak to an Official. Secondarily, it's real macho to threaten someone, who you
know is fully restricted by protocall from responding, retalliating or fighting back,
except in extreme self defense. For those who choose not to control themselves,
there are specific rules governing this kind of behavior, before, during and after
the game(s). Last, but not least, the real crime here is, the example we're setting
for the kids.

There are League Rules and State Laws with stiff penalties.
League penalties range from Immediate Ejection and a Minimum (2) Game 
Suspension, to Lifetime Suspension. 

In addition, State Law Penalties range from 1-30 Years in Prison, and/or
$1,000-$10,000 Fines, plus a 1st Degree misdemeanor to a 1st Degree Felony on
your record. If you'd like more details, click this link Jail - Fines - Felonies

                                         Remember --- Play Nice & Think Twice
Cursing & Disrespect equals Tech & Eject
We are experiencing entirely too much cursing and disrespect from
Coaches, Players & Spectators, around the kids! It has to stop!!!!!
It's really sad when Coaches come to inform me that 10 & 12 year old kids are
freely dropping F-Bombs and the like, as if it's ok. After all, they're just emulating
the grown-ups, their rapppp heros, movies & viseo games, but does that make it
ok? Certainly not!!
When I was a kid, it was just understood. If I cursed or was disrespectful, any
adult was authorized to rearrange my dental work on the spot. My parents thanked
them, and when I got home, I got it again, only worse, along with an introduction
to a bar of soap, scraped across my teeth. Somehow, courtesy and respect seems
to have become relics of the past, for many. I've even had Parental Units get mad
because their kid was T'd up for cursing, and say "so what if he cursed". When we
were kids, we learned that there were consequenses when we cursed.
Well, in sports, there are consequenses. Disrespect will earn you a Technical Foul
and Cursing is an automatic Ejection from the game. Anyone who curses or is
disrespectful after the game, is suspended from the next game.

Referees need to catch and penalize cursing, at least with a warning, but with all
the noise and confusion, they often don't hear it, and when they do, they kinda
look like Kevin Hart doing his "Who Hit Me" skit. It's hard to get the right guy or
gal. 

Let's set the right example and make a point of not cursing around the kids, and
maintaining a zero tolerance cursing policy!!!!
Domino Effect
We all know that Coaches are responsible for their Players & Spectators. We also
know that this is no simple responsibility, but there is something that you can do
to help prevent things from getting out of hand.

Imagine a row of dominoes on the court, leading from the Coaches to the Players,
to the bleachers and back. The Coaches start to get chippy and the first domino is
flicked. The chain reaction begins, as the dominoes clatter their way through the
Players and continue to the Spectators … clickety clack, back and forth, clickety,
clickety clack, and as the momentum builds, they go faster and faster.
The chippier the Coaches get, the more the rows of dominoes begin to clickety
clack out of control.
You might ask; What the heck (couldn't use the other word, or I'd be in violation of the cursing article) 
do dominoes have to do with solving the Spectator/Player Insanity????

That is the type of impact Coaches have on their Players and Spectators. 
Parental Units and Players feed off and mirror your actions. You are the example.
If you're losing your ever lovin mind, cursing up a storm, and going ballistic ...
guess what ... they'll join in. The way they see it, there must be something wrong,
and now they start looking for trouble, even where it doesn't exist. Once the
"dominoes" get going, it’s really hard to stop them, or as the saying goes
… it’s hard to put the toothpaste back in the tube.

Be intense for sure, but sensibly and respectfully. Stay in control. The majority will
follow suite ... and your anxiety medication will likely work better too.

Yes I did. I made this Black and White, just like dominoes.
Three or More Free Throws ... Huh!
There are several somewhat unusual ways to get more Free Throws than we are
accustomed to seeing. Example: A Player could possibly get 5 Free Throws, with a
3 point attempt shooting foul combined with a Tech.
We had such a situation in a game last week. The Coaches told me that the Ref lost
his mind and issued an extra shot, after amissed a shot. Why? How’s that possible? 
When I heard it, the Coach saw the perplexed look on my face, and said "exactly"!
(it was a pretty funny moment) The Coach said he had he same look on his when he saw it
happened. At the time, I was at a loss as to why the Ref would have done that, and
knowing who the Ref was, it didn’t make sense. I was concerned, but Of course, I 
spoke with the Official and found out why.
The rules for Free Throws state that it is not legal to Disconcert the Shooter. 
In layman terms, that means you can’t distract the Free Thrower, in an attempt to
cause a missed shot. I know … Shocker!!!! Everybody does it … right? The fact of the
matter is, yelling and stomping on the bleachers, etc., is actually illegal, if it disconcerts
the Shooter. It’s one of those things that generally doesn’t really affect the shooter, so
it doesn't get called very often. When we see that it goes too far and does disconcert,
the Shooter may be entitled to a literal do over, and we're obligated to issue it. That is
why he issued the additional shot.

It was so ridiculous, that my Referee’s comment was “Michael Jordan couldn’t
have made that shot”.
Looking at the bigger picture, The Players were disrespectfully egging the fans on, to
distract the Shooter and make him miss. That's blatent Unsportshumanlike Conduct and
a Technical Foul for could have, and from what I heard, should have been issued.
(that would have made 5 shots by the way) He didn't, and that's ok, as in his judgement, it wasn't
necessary.
The bottom line is, if all that rompin and stomping actually does work to Disconcert the
Shooter, it's all fer nuttin, cause the shot should be retaken, or worse yet, an additional
two shots given for a Technical  foul. While it may be fun and seem cool to mess with
the Shooter’s head, it could cost you! I highly recommend removing it from your strategy,
especially when the game is within 1 or 2 points, and the clock is about to put the
proverbial icing on the cake! Just a thought.

Referee Rotation - Why it’s Important

Every time I bring up proper Rotation in training, I get the "well, there's some debate" response. Well, there may be some debates, but there are also good reasons for the proper Rotation procedure.

Why am I burping this topic up now ... yet again. Well, we had a disasterous game this past Friday, almost entirely due to not following these procedures.

Now, we know the Lead Official needs to get his tucas to the baseline. You can't see the bump & grind, touchy feely tactics from off to the side. The Trailing Official needs toget inside the mid-court line, so he can see what's happening in that traffic jam we call the key. It looks really shotty when we've got no better view than the Coaches, plus we miss too much, or get questioned too often on calls of no calls, when out of position.

As for the Rotation on Foul Shots, there are several reasons why that is so important: We need to get to the table and give them the necessary information, so they can hear clearly and get it right. It lets the Coaches be in ear shot, which is helpful to them. It also allows the shots procedure to get under way, without delay, which allows more play, because we're not wasting valuable clock time with "what'd you say? Was that number 5 or 9?" While your at the table, your partner can get the Players lined up and the shots implemented quicker.

Every Referee has a their own unique style of officiating, and I pair Officials with that taken into consideration, to balance game management. Some are very strict, some are more "Let 'em Play and have FUN" oriented and we'll see everything in between. Have you ever heard "Call it BOTH Ways Ref"? Well, rotation is one of the ways we achieve that "Both Ways" objective, even if only in perception. The poor Coach that gets the strict Ref on his end of the court, the whole half, feels like he's getting the short end of the stick, whilst his opposing Coach is living in the lap of luxury. When we Rotate Properly, both Coaches get the best of both worlds, and the Referees don't have to endure hearing "Call it BOTH Ways" (as much anyway). Now it is Both Ways.

Last, but not least, the Ref that issued the Foul, no matter how justified, is in a compromising position, especially if Players "Object". Now, you're the target of their frustration, standing face to face with them. They'll likely feel compelled to "share their feelings or opinions". It's a polititions nightmare. When we Rotate, the target of frustration is removed, hence there's less opportunity for snippy bickering and attitudes. This is especially critical when issuing T's. The Official issuing the T, should never be the Official implementing the shots. It's just too pensive. So please, rotate properly. It's in everybodies best interest.

                                             Rotate - Be in Proper Position

Out of control - Simply Stop the Game (momentarily)

Games get exciting. Heck (see article 2), that's the point of it all. When conditions go to stupid though, sometines the best option is to stop the game and let the Coaches cool off, or diffuse the situation. Games can obviously get pretty nutty. There’s a lot of emotion and excess adrenaline, that only gains momentum as it progresses. Stopping the game, drains insanities momentum. They want to play, so you don't want to make a habit of stopping the game, but stopping the game momentarily, when it's getting out of hand, can kinda reset the emotional clock. It's a great tool.

Sure, they may get aggravated when you stop the game, but it beats trying to deal with a situation while flying by the bench and trying to focus on the game. There is also the added pier pressure motivation to avoid allowing the game to steer towards stupid.

Time Outs "I'M CALLING TIME OUT! ARE YOU DEAF?"

Well actually, yes. I'm concentrating on the game, I've got a hundred fans screaming at 180 decibles, half of which don't know the rules, but think they're a better ref than I am, and a Coach screaming at me for every call that didn't go the way he wanted, and I'm on the opposite end of the court! So yeah! I'm a little hard of hearing at the moment. Sorry dude/dudette.

Referees aren't intentionally ignoring your REQUESTS for Time Out. Yes, I emphasized REQUESTS, as Time Outs are not automatic, but GRANTED. It is rather hard to hear with all the noise, especially when 2 games are running on the same court, and Referees quickly learn to tune out general squawking.

Instead of losing your voice, hoping to be heard above the thunderous noise, and getting frustrated, have your Players signal or echo your Time Out REQUEST. That'll make it easier for everyone.

Tournament Time Sunrise ONLY

It's the start of the Tournament for 8U and on Friday, the 17U.
These are single elimination games, so expect plenty of adrenaline surges and temporary
insanity. It should be a lot of FUN!!!! In Tournament Games, a Winner MUST be determined.
That means games cannot end in a Tie. Should the game be Tied at the end of Regulation Play,
we must break that Tie in OverTime, until we have a Winner.

Each OverTime is (2) Minutes, with the following procedures;

Starts with a "Real" Jump Ball (Each OT)
(1) 30 Second Time-Out (NO Carry Overs - Use It or Lose It)

Full Court Press Allowed during entire OT Period(s), in ALL Divisions
Clock Stops for ALL Dead Ball Situations

Foul Counts Carry Over from Regulation Play, and throughout OT's

Coaches MAY play anyone they choose, but Cannot Sub again until the start of the next OT
(Substitution Rules are Waived during OT- i.e., they can choose their line up to win, rather than ensure equal playing time)
If still Tied at the End of OT, Rinse & Repeat, until a Winner is determined
Allow a Maximum of 2 Minutes between OT Periods

Good Luck to ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Coaches & Referees - Control the Perimeter
Tournament games get nutty, because they are the preverbal "money games".
It's just the nature of the game. The Players are psyched, and invite their Grandparents,
buddies, Aunts & Uncles, etc., so it gets even nuttier. Hey, it's one of lifes more exciting
moments. That enthusiasm also attracts kids that are hanging out, and have not been
exposed to the etiquette of the league. This takes nutty to a whole different level.
Combine all this with the time extension of the games that go into Overtime, and we
have a recipe for undesirable safety and interference challenges in managing the gym
and the games. We need to keep Spectators away from the sidelines, out of the Team
Areas and off the courts, througout the games. Some of the Gyms are very limited in
space, and the extra Spectators makes them even more crowded. There are a few
proactive steps we can take to control the situation.
Coaches

1) I know that between the heat and the probable rain, everyone would rather be in the
air conditioning, but please, if you arrive prior to the end of the previous game, keep
Players & Parental Units outside of the gym, until the games are completed, and the
gym begins to clear out. All the gyms have plenty of overhangs to protect you from
getting soaked. Entering the gym with your posse, leaves them jammed right up onto
the sidelines (safety issue), has them meandering onto the court in the middle of games
and crowding into the Team Areas.
2) Help to inform and re-enforce that; Parental Unitsplayers buddies, etc. cannot hang out
in the Team Areas or on that side of the gym. Ask your Players to help with that, to
make it more uniform and easier.

3) Ask your Players to help, by reminding their "buddies" that they can't jump on the court
to shoot buckets. Only Players of the current game are allowed on the court.They're
more inclined to honor such a request from their friends, especially during your warm
ups, and the offenders during stoppages are generally out there during warm-ups.
4) Once your game is done, and you've shaken paws, guide your posse out of the gym
for the after game festivities. We want to clear the gym out, as quickly as possible,
so the next game can get under way, without delay. Ya know ... Do Unto Others
Respect!

5) Inform Parental Units that you don't want them interfering with your Coaching strategy,
by Coaching "their way" from the sidelines, and that they are not to "Heckle" or distract
opponents or Officials. They are not to come onto the court ... for any reason!

Officials
Work with Coaches on these issues. Watch, and when necessary, clear the sidelines, and
stay on the court during stoppages, to enforce the Current Players Only on the court. If it
can't be controlled through curteous reminders, stop the game to get it back under control.
Get the Coaches assistance, so we can resume as quickly as possible. We all have to focus
on our game, and that makes managing this periferal nonsense a real challenge but,
working together, we can avoid or at least minimize stupid conflicts, and make this an
awesomerer experience for all! (No - Not a typo. I made that word up - for fun)

Who Picks Replacement Players?
It came up several times this past week, and the rule can be a little confusing.

Just like in regular basketball, if a Player "Fouls-Out", his Coach picks his own Replacement
Player. If there is an Injury, or Disiplinary reason for pulling a Player, the opposing Coach
chooses the Replacement Player.
Foul-Out = Choose your own
Injury or Disiplinary = Opposing Coach Chooses
The reason for this rule: Not that any Coach would ever consciously cheat ... but it has
happened, back in ancient times (last year ... but was caught and force forfeited) ... hence the rule ...

This Rule helps Coaches control the potential, primal instinct to replace a Player, by having
them fake an injury or to manufacture a disiplinary excuse to replace a Player, with a Player
deemed more uitable to their objective. Though a Coach could conceivably accomplish the
same circumvention strategy through an Intentional Foul-Out instruction, chances are, it'd
be more trouble than it's worth. Plus with a limited Roster and potential for another more
assertive Player (or two) to conceivably Foul-Out, it could lead to playing short, or even
forfeiting. The Foul-Out has it's own deterant, built in.

The Substitution Rule is in place, to ensure that each Player gets a reasonable amount of
playing time, and doesn't fall prey to "Winning" over "This is For the Kids". Players didn't
sign up to ride the pine, and Parental Units didn't pay good money to watch their kids chill
on the bench. They can do that at home ... for free. Recreational Leagues are designed
as an introduction to sports, to teach the game, develop skills, practice and it's a gateway
to identifying a childs level of interest in persuing sports to the next level, say Travel,
School Ball or possibly working towards a scholarship. If they don't get enough play time,
they lose interest, and we may lose the next Michael Jordan as a result.
This is, after all,
for the kids, much more so than a knotch in the Coaches career stats.
TMI - Maybe - But now you know!

Only the Head Coach may Address the Referee
Okeeeeedokeeee! So one of your Parental Units, with their self proclaimed, vast knowledge
of the game, feels entitled to share their feelings with the Officials, before, during, or after
the game. Who gets the Tech? The Coach. Who gets 2 shots? Your Opponent. While this
hardly seems fair, as you personally didn't do anything wrong, ultimately, Coaches are
responsible for their Spectators behavior. Spectators need to stay out of the way of the
game. They are not in a position to, or objective enough to judge calls (or no calls) with
any accuracy.

Referees cannot issue a Tech to a Spectator. Their only relative option is an ejection,
but our first course of action is to Tech the Bench, in the hopes that will resolve the
situation. We don't really want to eject or even Tech anyone for that matter, however,
they will for repeated fouls or UnSportsPersonLike conduct or Spectator interference.

Please help your Spectators, and Players for that matter, understand that Referees are
not recepticles for their emotional shrapnel, and that there are consequences. An ejection
carries over to missing the next game, and threatening an Official (which happened this
past week) can lead to gaudy silver bracelets. Though Referees would rather not have to
issue Tech's or Ejections, they will when necessary, and that could affect your games.
It's just not worth the instant gratification, and more importantly, it sets a horrible example
for the kids.

ScoreKeepers are NOT Coaches
While we understand the passionate ones overwhelming desire to participate in and
influence the game, volunteering for the Scorekeepers seat does not grant you that
priveledge. The ScoreKeeper is there to keep the score and the stats. That's it!
They are not there to teach the Coaches how to coach or to advise them. They are not
their to coach the Players, and they are certainly not there to supervise and instruct the
Officials.

Teams Own the Court - All others are Restricted 
Coaches and the City, have once again asked us to prevent Non-Players of each game,
from coming onto the court during stoppages, between quarters, before & after the
games. Keep the courts clear. It may seem petty  and harmless, and feel like we're just
being killjoys. Why not let them have some fun.The truth is, in most cases, they aren't
really doing anything bad, but there's more to it. 

For starters, it interferes with teams warming up, as they are competing for the same
baskets or goals and real estate. Teams paid for, and are entitled to uninhibited  use of
the court/field. It also presents safety hazards, as the unauthorized participants weren't
paying attention to or respecting the right of way of authorized participants. Initially, we
still allowed it, back when respect was the rule, not the exception. It began deteriorating
when we couldn't get them off the court/field to resume play. They'd push it to the limit
and ultimately had to be chased off. To much delaying of games. We still allowed it, until
they routinely started copping an attitude when being asked to clear the field/court, and
when they refused to vacate in a timely manner, they'd get cocky and wanna fight. Then
we experienced "turf" fights, and that was the end of allowing unauthorized participants
to play on courts & fields. 

The Coaches have asked us, and the Cities have always expected it of us. This is an
organized league. If they are not participants in the program, and they are not on the
teams currently playing that game, they are spectators, and have no business being
on the courts/fields. It's part of our job to ensure that they remain outside the playing
areas.

Tournament Time already?
Well, not quite, but,we're in the money games now, as we vie for Regular Season positions,
and players should have a pretty good grasp of the game. It's time to tighten up the calls,
while being careful not to choke the games. Newer Referee's are being asked to call
everything they see, while the more experienced Ref's are being asked to call the games
tighter ... so be prepared, and let's have some good, clean FUN!

Midget NBA Simulation

It was the most adorable scene ... and I didn't think to break out my camera ... dagnabbit! 8U Game - a cross between basketball & bumper cars - a frustrated Coach - and little kids working off a fruit punch rush. One of the Coaches wanted calls that would be expected in a bigger kids game, but the skill level just wasn't there to justify it. We're not there to punish the kids for stuff they don't understand yet, but it is a game with rules. How do we find the right balance ... the eternal question.

As I pondered this, empathizing with the Coaches frustration, a potential solution suddenly dawned on me. Kids generally have the desire to do what is asked of them. Their attention span is usually as short as they are, and they have a lot of information and activity to process in learning basketball. What if we gave them clear instructions at each quarter? Could this work? Only one way to find out.

At the beginning of the quarter, I asked for all the players to come have a quick chat with me. They all gathered around, and I basically said; Let's go for the ball, not the Player. Let's get into play ready stance (I imitated it), and let's keep our hands off each other and not grab onto or push each other. They said "ok coach", and off they went to play ball. It took 10 seconds. I'll be dipped! It worked! Every Player lined up in proper position, knees bent, bottom out, eyes on the ball, hands out, ready for play. They looked like NBA midgets out there. We got a full 5 minutes of real basketball, played right. Very little unnecessary contact, and some pretty good ball playing. Of course, it fell apart at the last 2 minutes of the quarter (attention span), but hey, I'll take 5 of 7 minutes any day.

I asked some of the Officials to give it a test run, and we got similar results. Is it possible that we've found the solution to 8U rugby? I don't know, but it got me pretty excited. We're going to continue to implement this and see how effective it turns out to be.

Jump Balls - Elbos Swinging

It expected of Players to "fight" for a Jump Ball, but it is not acceptable to "fight" for it with swinging elbos wildly. That is a foul, and in most cases, a Technical Foul.

When a Player comes out a Jump Ball situation overly aggressive, with elbos raised and swinging, that is unsporting behavior and Officials should call fouls on these Players immediately.

The look on a Players face and their demeanor coming out of the Jump Ball situation is a pretty accurate guage of whether its just a foul or a Technical Foul. Being aggressive is ok, but going balistic is not!!!

Parental Units DO NOT Approach Referees

Only the Head Coach is allowed to address the Officials ... in a respectful manner. We had a situation where Parental Units chose to chastise Officials. I was there, and the Parental Units absolutely read the play(s) and call(s) wrong. The Officials were correct. They were mad and wanted to make sure the Officials felt just as bad. That is uncalled for. Even if they were correct, they have no business confronting the Referees.

We all know this; Coaches, Referees, and Spectators have different perspectives, based on the angle they are viewing the game. Referees are not omnipotent gods, but they do know what they are doing, and they must call what they see, as they see it. Everything looks like hacks from the bleachers. The Referee is in the proper position to see if it is a foul. You cannot see it from the sideline, with the accuracy of the Official standing right in front of the play. Please help keep "assertive" Parental Units understand that they cannot confront the Referees to share their somewhat parcial opinions. It won't change the call, but it may very well change their plans for the next game ... as in not present, due to an ejection.

Keep Players in Check Unsportspersonlike conduct just fuels tempers. While Officials should be proactively diffusing such conduct, they can't see everything, and they don't want to be issuing T's left and right. If Officials are not handling these temperamental moments, please let me know.

Coaches share in this responsibility, just as much as Officials. You know your Players and they respect you. Encourage your Players to control their bad asselves. You know when they are bubbling over, long before the Officials. Please be proactive and avoid injury and/or ejection opportunities.

Past Articles
The Perfect Coach / Referee What do you call a Referee or Coach who says they're perfect? A delusional legend in their own mind! Referees can't always call a perfect game, and neither can Coaches (or Spectators for that matter). Much of how we view fouls and such are dependant on position, perspective and conditions. Just like an accident. You can ask 10 people for an eye witness account, and get 12 different answers. They're not lying, they just saw it from different perspectives. Over the past 20 years, I've learned that Coaches and Referees generally don't lie. They may misinterpret, misjudge or even get a call or two wrong, but they almost always call it as they saw, or believe they saw it. I often have Coaches or Spectators ask me "did you see that" or "you know he blew that call". Now, my answer is "I'm can't make that call. I'm in just as bad of a position to call it as you are", cause that's the truth of the matter. I used to yell at Referees for blowing calls that I saw from the Team area, 50 yards away! In almost every case, I turned out to be wrong. Why? Beacuse, even with my experience, I was out of position to correctly see and make the call, period. After eating crow and becoming intimately familiar with it's flavor, I now ask "what happened?" first, and then either walk away blushing, or educate when appropriate. We all work hard to be good at what we're doing. We don't always get it perfect, but let's not throw stones at each other's glass houses. We all make mistakes, so we should respect each other, and be willing forgive each others imperfunctions. Remember, we're all on the same team ... Team KIDS! Besides, it'll help keep us off of high blood pressure medication!
Good Sportsmanship Good Sportsmanship isn't just for Players, it's for everybody. Making fun of teams, competetors or even teammates is disrespectful, rude and hurtful. Let's encourage good sportspersonship and discourage poor sportsmanship. We all have off days and we can't all be Michael Jordon or Lebron James, but we can all respect each others efforts and have fun. Remember, the Golden Rule. Do unto others, as you would have others do unto you.
Phones and other Valuables One of our Officials had his phone stolen at a game. He'd hidden it well enough, or so it seemed. Unfortunately, some clown helped himself to it and boogied. Though it's ridiculous that anyone would help themselves to that which doesn't belong to them, it's nonetheless a reality we have to deal with. It got me to thinking of how we may further protect ourselves from such unscrupulous clowns. The chances of someone being tempted to steal something shiny, cool and easy to swipe, is just too high. They'd be less likely to swipe something that's in plain sight, doesn't display it's value so prominently (i.e., probably worthless), that doesn't appear worth the risk of getting caught. If it's not feasible to keep it on your person, it may be safer to keep it in plain sight, in a plain case/bag, that doesn't scream "I'm valuable". I do this at games and business meetings, and I put my keys with it, so I can't leave without it. It's worked for me. Maybe it'll work for you. Just a hopefully helpfull preventative tip.
Work with the little whippersnappers It is the responsibility of Coaches and Referees to help Players know and understand rules and procedures. Most Coaches and Officials do this well, but if you're not, please do. It doesn't have to be a full blown training clinic, just a quick explaination. If Players aren't lining up properly for Free Throws, help 'em get it right. A little, tiny bit of extra attention to these details can go a long way in eliminating momentum killing foo foo, and make the games more fun and exciting. Remember, those little whippersnapers are the reason we are here. Let's do our part to help them avoid "riding the pine" going forward.
Jewelry - $720,000 Fine That's not the DO IT NOW Fines. That's your potential portion of a denied insurance claim. Every sport has the NO Jewelry Rule, but many don't think it's such a big deal ... until it is! Checking in teams and ensuring there is NO Jewelry, is EVERY Referee's FIRST PRIORITY. Enforcing this rule is exremely important for the players safety, and just as important to protect YOU/Us. If there is an injury from jewelry, that we ignored, the insurance company could deny the claim ... and come after guess who? It was pretty funny, and then disappointing. The first game of my Saturday morning, as usual, I immediately spotted 3 players without lanyards on their glasses. Of course, I dealt with it immediately. I was informed that the league hadn't made the rule clear, and they authorized the offending Players to play for this game only, to allow them to notify the Parental Units. (the glasses were tight and not going anywhere)The Referee that addressed it, told the admin to make sure that I knew of this decision, because he didn't want us to hear "but the other Refs let us" and he didn't want"blondeeee" fining him $3.00. That was the funny part ... Now for the Disappointing part ... My next stop ... a Football Tournament. There was so much jewelry (including bandaided earrings - argggggghhhhh), that if a robber had held us up, he could have retired in Cancun, Puff Daddy style. Ladies & Gentlemen, please, ALWAYS check carefully for jewelry, and enforce this rule, like it's your own kid(s) out there. It really is that important.
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.
The Right & Wrong Way to Officiate Games While there is no excuse for under officiating a game, it is equally frustrating to endure an over officiated game. We need to seek the middle ground. The sign of a good Official, is knowing when to blow and when to let it go. Safety comes first, followed by game flow. We are absolutely there to enforce the rules, but Officials are to call the game, not be the focus of the game. If a call has no effect on the play, let 'em play. If Spankey obviously doesn't have a clue, let him play through (within reason). We can explain it to him later. Can you imagine if we blew the whistle every time a kid carried/palmed the ball? We'd have no game, and nobody'd want to play next year. Do we see the infractions? Yup! Do we want to call it? Yup! Often times it's in the best interest of the game not to. You have really good Officials, who use discression and do a great job. We're more than happy to provide explainations to the kids, Coaches and even Parental Units. So please, feel free to (respectfully) ask us any questions you may have. We're here to help. PS: My Officials would prefer you send annoyed Parental Units to DO IT NOW Dave, but it's all good ... I'm happy to chat with them.
Yikes!!!! A Compliment? I'd like to thank the Coaches & Parental Units who were kind enough to share their positive feedback, both to myself and to the Referees. The Referees were communicating with the kids, explaining the reason(s) for the whistle and sharing the proper procedure. Your praise is encouraging and appreciated. While it's easy for an Official to just do their game and scramble out of the insanity, our Referees are always encouraged to work with Coaches and the kids to improve the quality of the games, the program, and the overall experience. The better we all understand the rules/procedures, the more fun the action! While some object to us doing this, as they consider it wasting game time, your praise encourages us to do what's best for the kids, and that is appreciated. Besides ... that's the whole point... It's all about the kids! So thank you for your thank you's.
Up By More than 20 ... NO Full Court Press!!! While many have shared their opinion, considering this a silly rule, there is actually a good reason for it. I too, felt it was a real game squasher, until I ran into a situation that made it make sense. It was a Men's game, a complete blow out. The darn game went nuclear in a matter of moments ... guess where? At the baseline, while the behinder team was pressing, testosterone replaced common sense, and we had an all out bloody brawl. The behinder team was REALLY aggrivated, and their opponent was lovin every minute of it. They got dunked on and their opponent just had to rub it in. Before ya knew it, mouths were running, and fists started flying, and we went from basket ball to WWF. What's worse, is that the Official, being in the appropriate position for the play, was nowhere near the comotion, so he couldn't even attempt to break it up, before it went balistic. Not allowing Full Court Press, by either team, suddenly makes sense. Besides, it is what it is!
Close Guarding Call Option There is a 5 second "Closely Guarded" rule that we rarely call in Rec Ball. It's designed to keep play moving, so the Players, Fans, and Officials don't nod off waiting for some excitement. We're still not going to make a big deal of it, however, we almost started to implement it, when I saw a Player just hanging out with the ball, eating up the clock. The odd thing was, the team was waaaaaay behind, so the strategy was quite the mystery. Maybe the Player was waiting for the defense to nod off, hoping for an uncontested lay-up? Mystery aside, we're not going to get all strict with the Closely Guarded calls, but if we see that leniency being abused, don't act all surprised if the Referee decides to return the favor with a Closely Guarded call. Let's keep the ball/game moving. Its more FUN!
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
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!