As we have discussed over the years, we in the Tucson Basketball League are rarely plagued with the juvenile behavior that plagues other adult recreation leagues. We are not totally immune to it, but it is rare and we try to make a point of dealing with it on the spot. So it was the other day when two teams--good teams, full of good guys--started playing just a little bit too rough and talking a little bit too loosely at players on the opposite squad. Because a lot of the other refs were either out of town or had worked the morning games, I was reffing by myself and doing an average job.
Having been doing this for decades, I can honestly say that I can see this stuff coming. It's like a summer storm coming in from off in the distance. The temperature drops, the wind picks up and the darkness descends. In a game, guys start making extended eye contact with one another (and not in a good way). Rebounding becomes more contentious and tongues start wagging.
So it was the game I was reffing. I finally blew the whistle and, with the clock conspicuously continuing to run, I told both teams to cut it out or I would call the game and send them home. It mostly calmed down instantly, but two guys continued running their mouths, so we just waited. Taking away playing time in a league such as ours is a monstrous stick to wield. The final two guys shut up and play finally continued. The rest of the game was fine. After it was over, one of the two quasi-knuckleheads came up to me and apologized for his behavior. I shook his hand and suggested that he tell the members of the other team, which he did during the high five/good game ritual. And then today, I got an email from a guy on the other team that read, "To Tom and all at the TBL, My apologies for the rough play Sunday. Moreso for the trash talk to the other team. Appreciate what you do."
In Sundays's action:
--Kareem Abdul JaBallers 72, Team 706 (soon to be referred to as "The GOATs") 68 - Daniel Fajardo hit eight threes and scored 30 points for 706, but his squad fell just short. Hayden Thompson scored 28 points and grabbed five rebounds for the JaBallers.
--Shoot Your Shot 52, Just a Game 48 - This game was tight throughout, with Shoot Your Shot hitting three of four free throws down the stretch. Brandon Stout led the winners with 17 points.
--The Hurricanes 59, Bad Dream Team 57 - The Hurricanes moved to 3-1 in their first season in the TBL. Andrew Arvayo had a double-double with 22 points and 10 rebounds for the 'Canes. Bo Reilly had 26 and nine for Bad Dream.
--Flashback 59, Blue Coconuts 54 - Charlie Hintz and Aaron Anderson combined for 30 points and 13 rebounds in the win. Sean Arrington appears to have come all the way back from his torn Achilles tendon as he poured in 29 points to keep the Coconuts in the game.
IMPORTANT NOTE: On either the first or second Sunday of November (11/3 or 11/10), the TBL will be closed down for the day. This is due to the fact that on the day in question, the venue is overrun with sad parents emptying their wallets so that their daughters can play club volleyball. It's a crazy day with hundreds of people wandering through the venue, people giving speeches, and severely limited court space. It's just better that we take that day off. And NO, it's NOT a bye, it's just a day where it's best not to try to have games.