Monday, April 27, 2009
This shit has been bothering me since the last club season, but it seems like people have either forgotten how to resolve a contested foul, or for the newer players, they were never taught how. It's unconscionable that with games observed this weekend at Central Regionals, there were still contested calls that seemed to have opening and closing arguments, with ample witnesses called to testify on both sides and cross examination before finally resolving it. Fucking brutal, whether the Hodags were doing it or any other team. Let's go over the quick, fair, efficient way of dealing with a contested call so that in the future we can spend less time with lip service and more time playing.
Step 1: A call has been made. Foul. Travel. Whatever. Dude yells out the infraction, and play stops (eventually). Elapsed time: 1s
Step 2: "Contest!" (or in the case of a dude on Luther, "FUCKING CONTEST!" It's ok to show initial disagreement, but you might only be hurting your chances). Elapsed time: 5-10s
Stp 3: Now, in all the calls I've ever witnessed (not all, but the exceptions are statistically insignificant) both parties will know within the first 30 seconds if the other is even thinking of taking their call back. You know this within thirty seconds, and even that is a generous amount of time. So, pause to assess. Take your time, as much as 20 seconds even, if you think they're unsure of their call. For those of you who, in Step 2, bitched at all, skip this step. You've already blown your chances to get the call taken back. In these 20 seconds state your case for why you called the foul, or why you're contesting. State your case clearly, and state it only once. Elapsed time: 30-45s
During this time the observers will be approaching you either knowing how they'd rule, knowing they can't rule, or making sure their ruling agrees with the each other's. They either saw what happened, and have an opinion about it, or they didn't see what happened. If it's the latter, the rules are clear: send it back and do it over. No amount of showmanship, acting, yelling, or legal proceedings here will create a different outcome: we just get to watch you make a fool of yourself bending over backwards to hear yourself talk. You're not interested in actually changing the play because you assessed, correctly so, at the beginning of Step 3, that neither party was backing down.
Step 4a: You both agree to disagree, and leave it at that. Foul: contest. Send it back, do it over, and tap the disc in.
Step 4b: This is where the observing this weekend was, excuse the pun JThib, sub-par. Once two players have gone to the observers, the observers should, if necessary, ask to clarify what infraction is being called. Not how it happened, not a request to recreate it, just make sure you're about to rule on the correct call. It should go something like this:
"Are you coming to me?"
"What call are you making?" (note: only if unclear. This is clear ~90% of the time)
"He fouled me as I tried to catch it."
"No foul, play on." Boom. Elapsed time: <99s
See how easy that is? See how two people disagreed, and the observers did what they're supposed to do, which is to cut down the arguing time and either rule or send it back?
They're not supposed to sit there and spectate thespian theatrics. They're not supposed to ask leading questions that might sqeeze another two minutes out of the argument. They're supposed to go in there, have the players defer to them, and judge instantly. Boom, game on again.
If the players are taking more than 60-90s in Step 3, the observer steps in and asks them to either agree right then, ask for his ruling, or send it back. After the observer has done this, the game should be back on within 15s. It's not too much to ask, is it?
p.s. Regarding the two disagreed calls this weekend that I felt Thib blew: I don't think he made those calls to either punish Wisco or to help Luther and CUT. I feel he made both calls as he thought they should go. He just made two mistakes. The call in the Luther game was one where his angle on the play made him see something that, when viewed from the front, wasn't actually happening. He choose to rule anyway, and i disagreed with his perspective on it. The second was a case of whether the disc was catchable based on all the player movements, and whether Kanner was going to be anywhere near the disc. Again, I thought he blew the call, but based on how utterly stupid and n00b-like Drews approached that whole scenario, I can't blame him for allowing that amateur case influence his decision to rule in CUT's favor. I was on the sidelines wishing I could gag Drews instantly.