So the first month of my basketball season went well, nothing out of the ordinary.  My games are usually an hours drive or more from the Palatial Estates of RIPLEY INDUSTRIES.  The two other referees that I work with the most usually drive most of the way to the game after I meet them somewhere along the way.  Kim and Jerry have worked for several years in the conferences that I now find myself.  At a recent pregame coaches meeting the coach warmly greeted and joked around with both Kim and Jerry then extended her hand to me and said “I’ve never seen you before…” in a tone that was slightly weary.  No joking around followed with the handshake so I guess that I had to prove that I wasn’t a total idiot (its harder than it sounds….).

We work quite a few small school games, which is fine with me…those are the kind of schools that I played against while in high school.  Recently we were at a school and the pep band…all ten of them, were really putting on a show.  I’m dead serious, those kids played their hearts out for the benefit of those at the game.

At another game the wireless microphone died just as the announcer started with the teams starting line-ups.  The batteries went dead and none could be found quickly so he just belted out the line-ups as best as he could and it turned out fine since everyone in the small gym went silent so that he could be heard.  The young lady who sang our National Anthem (one of the three cheerleaders that night) went without the microphone as well.  Its interesting to note that everyone seemed to pull for her by singing just a little bit louder so that she wouldn’t have to sing alone.

At one hotly contested game the home team coach wasn’t happy with some of our calls (it happens…).  I called a foul on one of his players and jogged over to the scorers table to report the foul and overheard the following:

COACH…Katy, if you had used your left hand to block that shot you probably wouldn’t have fouled that girl.

KATY….But I’m right-handed.

COACH….No you’re not…you’re left-handed.

KATY…Ah, no I’m not…

COACH….Katy…you’re a lefty

KATY…NO I’M NOT.

TEAMMATE OF KATY….KATY YOU’RE A LEFTY!!!

Fun stuff these kids!!

And finally, when an official calls a foul on a player they usually stare down the player…not to intimidate but to memorize the players uniform color and number, something like “BLUE 24” so that when the official gets to the scorers table they can report the correct information.  With me I USUALLY say “BLUE 24 BLUE 24 BLUE 24 BLUE 24 BLUE 24” the entire way to the table so that I won’t lose the information.  I didn’t do that one night recently and got to the table, started to report, lost the number and had to look back over my shoulder and find the player that had committed the foul.  Fortunately the girl had easily distinguishable curly hair and was short….so finding her was easy.  I turned back around to see the official scorer (an older no-nonsense kinda gal) smiling at me since she was aware of my brain fart.  Later on in the nightcap, after the players, coaches, Kim and Jerry had taken their places on the court I turned to the scorer and said “don’t smile at me….IT THROWS ME” and she roared with laughter.  The remainder of the night whenever I had to report a foul she’d cover her mouth with her hand when I drew near but the sparkle in her eyes let me know that she was still laughing at me…which was fine with me as long as she got it right.

January promises to be a busy month.  God-willing it’ll be a good one with safe travel, no injuries and some fun along the way.  God bless and thanks for following along.

R

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