Monday, February 28, 2011

Youth Basketball: Coaches Forfeiting

Crazy Youth Sports Coach Series

In the last two weeks, I have seen two coaches forfeit games before the game was over.

Situation 1.

My son team was playing a tournament game against a team that I will call the the Hawks. We had beaten the Hawks once and lost to them once during the regular season. In fact, the lost to Hawks the last game of the regular season kept my son's team from winning the Division II title outright. The last game of the season was a very physical and both teams left the floor a bit angry.

As luck would have it, a week later, both teams would meet again in the 2nd round of a local tournament. This is the game the refs let get out of control. See Youth Sports Refs and Umps have Tough Jobs. Toward the end of the game, my son got pounded and our coach got upset. He said something that upset the scorekeeper of the Hawks team. The Hawks scorekeeper snapped at our coach and an argument ensued. Play continued after the refs calmed coach and scorekeeper down. On the next possession, there was a battle under the boards for a rebound. One of the Hawks players caught an elbow to the nose, yet the refs did not call a foul. The dad of the injured kid yelled out to his son's teammates to throw elbows on the next play. The command from the fan was loud and clear. Our coach decided to pull our kids off the court and forfeit the game. The game was lost anyway.

Situation 2

Last night the rains poured down outside and leaked on the court inside. One of our players went to defend a fast break and slipped under an opponent while she was trying to make a layup. Both girls went down and both were injured. The refs did not call a foul. The foul total was 9 against the Indiana team and only 3 against our team. The coach of the Indiana team was irate and pulled his girls off the court and forfeited the game. Our team had amassed a 14-0 lead, but the Indiana team had the momentum and closed the gap to 6 points early in the third quarter.

The facility director was called in to check the floor and arranged to move the game to the next available court. The coach of the Indiana team indicated very clearly that he did not pull his team off the court because of the wet floor, he pull his team off of the court because of biased refereeing.

The Main Point

I was OK with my son's coach pulling his team off the court. That situation was a powder keg and we all have watched enough YouTube to know where this was going. There was no way our team was going to win, so the only thing that could happen in the closing minutes was not going to be good for anyone especially the kids.

I was disappointed with the Indiana coach when he forfeiting the game just minutes into the 2nd half. He cheated his team out of a chance to advance in the league championship tournament. He taught his kids that when times get tough you just quit. He also cheated our kids out of a chance to get a legitimate win against an older team that beat us the week before. Finally, he cheated all the parents of the girls, some who drove upwards of 40 miles, out of a chance to watch their kids compete.

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