If you can’t hustle, do something else

For the first time in several months, I worked some youth basketball games this weekend as part of the Minnesota Youth Athletic Services fall league. It was the first week of a four-week fall season. I was fortunate to work with Chuck T, a good official whom I’ve worked with several times before. He does a nice job, cares and hustles, all you want from a weekend youth basketball official.

We worked four games and literally didn’t hear a word from parents or coaches about any calls, which is always refreshing. I like working the fall league to get back in shape mentally and physically for the regular season (my first college game is less than two months away).

One of the issues I write about in BasketCases is officials who don’t hustle. Drives me crazy. Working on an adjacent court was a veteran official who has to be — at least — 100 to 120 pounds overweight. He rarely runs unless he needs to, is beaten down court consistently and when he eventually gets to one end, he “officiates” from the same spot and never moves. Now that’s a quality we can all strive for. How can you possibly get the correct angles if you never move?

My position on these types of referees, and youth basketball is littered with them, if you can’t make it up and down the court, do something else. Find a job where you don’t have to move. Sit in a chair somewhere. Because even if you make good calls, you are immediately branded as lazy based on your appearance.

Just saying. Not fair to the players, coaches, parents or your partner.


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