One of the perks of taking photos during high school basketball games is I am usually more on the baseline or secluded than actually in the stands.
Why is that good? Because high school basketball fans are the worst.
No, of course I am not talking about you. Bounce’s readers, I have to assume, are the best of the best and the well-behaved guys and gals in the bleachers every night.
But SOME fans, well they drive other fans, and maybe an amphibian or two, crazy. So I am not calling all of you the worst, but we’ve all heard things that annoy us.
So here are five of the things that are the most irritating things said from the stands every night in a world where the IHSAA promotes sportsmanship above all else. This certainly doesn’t include any vulgar words, phrases or gestures and shame on you for those involved in such acts because Bounce’s high school basketball world has no room for it.
This one goes to the top of the list so I can speak about it first because it is perhaps the most laughable. The overrated chant lacks awareness and motivation. Why would you ever chant this at top players from other teams?
I have heard it in person three times this season:
• By the North Side band at Caleb Furst in the midst of Blackhawk Christian dropping 100-plus points on the Legends.
• By the Bishop Dwenger student section at Luke Goode around the time the Homestead junior was offered a scholarship from the then-No. 1 team in the country, the University of Louisville.
• By the Leo student section at Will Geiger literally as the Norwell senior sunk the free throws that closed out a big conference win for the Knights. This one took a Leo player coming over to the stands and telling the section to knock it off. At least he had better awareness of the moment.
Westview’s Charlie Yoder was famously quoted by The Goshen News as saying “they can have their opinion just like everyone else…It’s in the constitution,” after Lakeland’s fans dropped the chant on him before he fired back with 37 points.
I, for one, would like to point out that just because you CAN do something, constitutionally, doesn’t mean you should. The overrated chant is so comical to onlookers that the perpetrators should be ashamed.
Contrary to what seems to be popular belief, referees do know how to count to three. So that three-second violation you want is either not noticeable or possibly just your imagination getting the better of you from the stands. In fact, would you call it just as quickly on your team’s possession?
There are plenty of details of this rule you would know if you were the referee, but here is the most telling: if a shot goes up, that count ends because the offensive team is technically no longer in control of the ball. So if it comes down to offensive rebounds and anywhere from two to 37 put-back attempts, the count resets with each attempt. It is a call that requires a lot of patience on an official’s end, so please stop yelling “three seconds ref!”
“‘T’ HIM UP!”
I’ll say this now, if officials handed out technical fouls like those in attendance at games want, there are some contests Bounce has seen that would end up 2-on-2 with the kids coaching themselves. And if ejections expand beyond the realm of the court, the stands could be empty too.
This is high school basketball. We can’t just hand out technicals like Halloween candy, even on Halloween. This is key when talking about coaching behavior. It is a coach’s job to fight for his team and plead their case in certain scenarios. It is also their job to address officials and be the ambassador for their program. Just because a coach gets animated or a player hangs on the rim for a fraction too long after a dunk doesn’t mean they need a technical. Officials handing out too many technicals absolutely inserts them into the game far more than you want from your bleacher seat.
You probably won’t believe this, but referees really don’t care which team has more fouls called against them. I know, right? That guy you think has it out for your team or is making “homer calls” is actually just calling what he sees 99 percent of the time. I won’t pretend there aren’t such thing as rogue calls or makeup calls or even mistakes made. There are mistakes made.
And Referee A may despise Coach B, but c’mon, these guys don’t care if Johnny Two-Buckets gets called for five fouls in three minutes or not. Just because you despise a co-worker doesn’t mean you are going to empty raw trout into their desk drawer.
Just this week, I saw a game where the foul total stood at 10-2 at one point in the second half. Guess what, one team played better fundamental defense and one team was sloppy and slappy. Even foul calls implies balance between the two teams and if there is always that kind of balance between the knowledge or skills of teams, then we would never see lopsided scoring discrepancies either, would we?
People, there is NO RULE that fouls should be even or close to even in a game. Maybe the reason why your team has 7 fouls and the opponent has 2 fouls is because your team doesn’t play as good of defense?
Anyone who has ever successfully set a screen on a basketball court knows that this move is all about timing. Setting a screen requires razor-quick positioning and awareness. So to say one is illegal requires the same. A screen happens so fast, calling it an illegal one, unless it is egregious, is incredibly difficult. So yeah, here I am making excuses for what can sometimes be an error by the official.
But that is hardly always the case. Usually, it is just a clean screen and you don’t know the rule. The screener has to remain stationary when they make contact with the defender. They also have to allow that defensive player opportunity, within reason, to avoid the screen. Watch closer on those screens, because the referees are and Timmy Turnover set his screen just fine.
Whew…glad I could get all of that off my chest. No go behave this weekend.
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