Sep 11, 2017
Poll: Are ‘misconduct warnings’ necessary for high school basketball?

High school basketball adopted a new rule that permits referees to stop the clock to give “misconduct warnings” to coaches and other bench personnel — an attempt to “change behavior and create a better atmosphere.” What are your thoughts about the change?

Here are the results of the poll question above, along with some responses from readers:

Absolutely (it’s necessary). One of the reasons I retired from coaching after 25 years was how rude coaches have become. I don’t think there should be any warning given. They all know better and should automatically be given a technical. Why do you think less and less officials are signing up? Lack of respect from coaches during a game.

• I am a high school varsity official, and I think it’s a positive rule in that it’s an intermediate step between the customary private “Coach, I’ve heard enough, please move on” warning and a technical foul. Essentially, it’s a T without the accompanying penalty. If a coach doesn’t get the message after the formal misconduct warning, then what happens next is on him. Coaches should be pleased.

• Like any other tool, it will be as effective as the person using it. Good officials will establish a dialogue early in the game with coaches and players and will, thru that dialogue, police those conversations during play. I can see a poor official using the “misconduct warning” at the beginning of every game just because he/she wants no feedback at all during the contest. By the way, I am beginning my 41st year as a coach and have received 2 technicals in the past ten years. I think I can professionally add to this conversation.

• Let’s play the game and get rid of the theatrics. If a coach/player displayed the disrespectful behavior in the classroom towards teachers/administration that we see in games, we would be outraged. Also, the inappropriate behavior is setting coaches/players up to have an excuse for playing poorly/losing. They must be the victim of poor officiating, so bad results are not their fault.

• I feel that too many technical are being called as is, plus too many ejections. Officials have always had the ability to talk to a coach and settle them or a player. It is another way for poor officials to “throw their weight around” without working on their craft.

• Officials, at least in my state, are out of control. They truly believe the game is about them, not the young men, women & coaches who work every day to become the best they can be. There is no accountability for officials in my state, no ratings sheet, no review process by coaches. It is all done by the state athletic association. When we attend the mandatory state meeting with the head of the officials, we are talked to like we are children, with all of the ill’s of the game being placed on us as coaches. Do not know what it is like in other states, just speaking for mine. This “rule” is just another way for officials to show their power and control over grown adults. Sad really.

• If the player/coach behavior has been a problem throughout the game, then it would be appropriate to take that course of action. The problem would be when it occurred in the game & the score. You don’t want to give an advantage to team, especially in a late game situation. The referees are going to have make a decision based on theirs professional judgement. Preventive officiating is the key.

• Hopefully, some refs will use this to deescalate situations rather than going straight to a technical foul. If a coach is warned and continues to be belligerent, he/she deserves a technical.

• A rule looking for a problem. Refs can already issue warnings & technicals if necessary. I think referees have plenty (more important) things to worry about already. This rule seems like a distraction and completely unnecessary. Not sure how it positively impacts the game.






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