Recreational Athletics, Brinksmanship, and The Nuclear Option
An evening to go down in infamy: last night, I was coaching the grade 6-8 town basketball team-- both my kids play on the same team and my buddy John is the head coach, but he couldn't make it so I was in charge . . . and we were missing our two best players, and though we didn't have the personnel, I was trying my best to get the kids to run the overload offense against the 2-3 zone, but this South River team has some absolutely gigantic kids (and an awesome little point guard) so were taking a beating, and my son Ian -- a diminutive sixth grader-- was hacked while shooting by a giant 8th grader (the size difference at this age is nuts) and I gave the ref some lip because he didn't call a foul and he did not hesitate before issuing me a technical and Ian was holding his jammed fingers and crying, so I pointed this out to the referee and I guess he didn't like my tone because he gave me a double technical and said, "You're outta here!" which posed a problem, since I was the only coach-- and while I may have overreacted a little, I believe he overreacted a lot . . . but I followed the rules and watched the game from beside the bleachers-- luckily, a random dude that I play pick-up ball with happened to be there (we were both going to play over-30 pick-up after the game) so he took over, and I conveyed some substitutions through my friend John's wife; it must also be noted that the kids played like animals after I got ejected, and they mounted something of a comeback (though there was no way to beat a team with kids this enormous) and I'd also like to point out that I apologized to the ref after the game and explained that it was my son who was hacked and crying, his tiny sixth grade fingers swollen and jammed, and that in that moment I became more of a dad than a coach, and he said, "You were a little over the top" and I should have said, "So were you" but I took the high road and walked away and I'll be glad when it's soccer season because the field is larger and the referees can't hear me.