Saturday, January 22, 2005

The season's first high-school T

went to White's coach last night. There wasn't a single egregious explosion that caused it--it was what a soccer official would call "persistent infringement." He was giving play-by-play from hell. "THAT'S A WALK!" "THAT'S NOT A FOOUUULLL????" "COME ON!" pretty well all night, but didn't drag out any individual complaint for more than 5 seconds, so it wasn't terrible. Still, it wasn't stopping. I tried talking with him and addressing his concerns: "Coach, she was dribbling while she fell down, and I can't call a travel while she's dribbling." That didn't work. Next, I tried walking away and ignoring it, but I still felt like his bitching was inappropriate behavior. The game was fairly close late in the third quarter when it occurred to me that, if I wanted this guy to shut up (which I did), I'd have to T him up now rather than later...I wouldn't want make that call late in a close game.

So I issued him his warning after his next mini-explosion. I wandered by the bench and, facing in to the players during a dead-ball situation, said "Coach, your constant commentary is unsportsmanlike. It needs to stop." His response, "Yeah, well you need to call it the same way on both ends!" (Foul count at this moment: White 3, Blue 2.) Me: "I'll watch, coach, but still, it's unsportsmanlike. This is your warning. No more tonight." Two trips down the floor later, he chirped about a walk call I made. T. Easy as anything...sure as the sun sets in the west, if you ignore my warning, you get T'd up. Best of all, my baby (who was watching me work for the first time) reported that I remained completely calm...signaled the T just as calmly as I'd signal a simple slap on the arm.

It was a marvelous technical call. Didn't hear from him again all night. Game settled down a bit. His team won.

Scariest moment: after the game, he came into the room where my partner and I were just after I'd showered. I expected the worst, but said "Good game, coach." He was polite. "Yeah, the kids came back. Showed real character." Translation is as follows. Me: "Nothing personal, Coach." Him: "Yeah, nothing personal."

No comments: