Tuesday, April 1, 2014

My officiating conundrum!

I've been trying ever since Sunday night to think of something that interests me enough to spend some time writing about it.  Unfortunately for me, nothing has come.  I'm still wrapped up in the NCAA basketball tournaments and would much rather be a non-expert in those events than in other things right now.

For example, several times I've mentioned I really don't understand basketball rules even though college basketball is on my list of favorite sports to watch.  I watched the Notre Dame-Baylor women's game last night.  Sometimes I think the gals play a lot rougher than the guys.  There were a couple of times I wanted to yell through the TV to the officials to watch the darn game; they were missing a good one.

Let me interject right here that I honestly believe the Fighting Irish would have won the game even if I did understand the officiating.  But even the reaction of the two coaches indicated they were watching the same game I was, the one the officials were napping through. 

Just what makes a player controlled foul and what makes a blocking foul?  This is one conflict I haven't been able to resolve in my mind is why an offensive player can, for example, drive an elbow into a defensive player, knock her down, and have that whacked player charged with a foul because she didn't have her position established.

It seems to me that the real foul is committed by the player who initiates it.  But, no.  I'm dead wrong.  If that defensive player is in exact position and virtually motionless, that person is in the wrong. 

How many times do you see an offensive player, usually the center or forward, dribbling while backing up, bouncing into a defensive player shoving the defense out of the way, then turn and make a layup and having a foul called in the defensive player? 

Shucks.  I could go on and on about what appears to me to be really lousy rules on a whole host of plays, but that wouldn't change a thing, would it?  It reminds me of the days when I was a sports official.  For several years, I umpired baseball and officiated at swim meets.  I never officiated a basketball game. 

It always amazed me how different a game looks when one is up close and personal and sitting in the stands, and in the case of this missive watching on TV.  The games are very, very different when seen up close with a limited field of vision and from a distance when one can see the whole play.  I suspect my perception of a charge or defensive interference may be different in basketball if I were looking at the game up close and personal.

But since that will never happen, I'll still have to rely on instant replays offered in TV games to see what really happened.  Unfortunately, though, a lot more often than not, my initial confusion of fouling is confirmed.

And then when we can watch both...yes, both...coaches look as confused as I, I again feel my reaction was relatively accurate.  So then I find myself getting disturbed at what I had perceived as a really rotten call only to be made worse because the officials can't be wrong.

I'm glad I never made a mistake while officiating. 

Connecticut also won last night leaving both undefeated teams  with one more victory each needed to meet in the women's game of the year next week.  I let my blood pressure rise again tonight when the final two elite eight games are played to determine who will face the Irish and Huskies next weekend.


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