How complicated can basketball be? You put the ball in the hoop. 5 guys on each side. Try not to go out of bounds. Don't forget to dribble. I've gone through 37 years enjoying basketball with just that basic knowledge of the sport.
But now that I'm coaching kids, it's like everyone expects you to know everything. Backcourt violations, offensive fouls, defensive fouls, charging. Cripes people, these are eight- and nine-year-olds we're talking about. Just let them run around for 4 eight-minute quarters.
And coaches have to ref other games, which is even worse. Did you know that the fate of the entire world depends on the ref blowing the whistle on little Johnny who maliciously double-dribbled? People, unless the kid walks off to Starbucks with the ball, I'm not going to call it. He's eight. I might warn him, but take a chill pill folks. And even if God himself thought that his only begotten Son has been fouled, I'm not going to call it because I don't fully understand exactly what constitutes a foul. And I never understood why sometimes a foul results in free throws and sometimes it doesn't. And I don't want to know.
The kids mostly don't care. Some of them cry foul - literary - but they realize that I'm just as bad a ref toward both teams. They probably like that the game doesn't stop as much. Is our children learning basketball? Um, that's where I kind of feel bad, but these are really little kids so they have plenty of time to catch up on their basketball lessons after they leave my tutelage.
No, it's the parents and coaches that get on my nerves. The murmuring. ...murmur murmur murmur... that was a foul... murmur...murmur...murmur... that was out on blue. You all know I'm a clueless newbie, so cut me some slack. You're not concerned that my poor officiating is depriving your child of basketball knowledge, you're concerned about your kid's team winning. In a league where the records don't count. A "we're all winners" league.
I started out the season worried about coaching, but it's the refereeing that's killing me. Each coach is scheduled to ref four games. I've done two so far and for the other two I'm praying for snow. Lots and lots of snow. Couple of well-timed blizzards and I swear I'll never go near a basketball court again for the rest of my life.
[The title of this post is a line from what Steve Martin movie? (And no Googling)]