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Author Topic: Calling penalties only in your 'section'  (Read 3849 times)

Offline Mav'Ricky

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Calling penalties only in your 'section'
« on: October 15, 2015, 02:41:09 pm »
I'm looking for advice on calling penalties only in your 'section' or only pertaining to your position; e.g, OPR.

I thought any ref could call any penalty on any skater but recently attended a tournament where this was frowned upon.
For example, (as OPR) I was not to call a penalty on the jammer (that's for the JR) or on the inside line (leave it to the inside refs) but could call if, for example, the illegal action was obscured from view from the inside.

Other examples
I called a star pass violation on a jammer at the rear of the pack but I was front OPR.
I called a forearm penalty on a blocker but it was a jammer they knocked down
I called a low block on a skater on the inside middle of the pack (from memory)but should have left this to the HR

This extra thought process caused a little hesitation on calling penalties while I considered if I was the appropriate ref to make a particular call. Do I assess an OOP Block to that foremost blocker or leave it to the IPR who also has a good view of it.

We lack refs in my current league so I'm probably guilty of overstepping my duties. The kickback was there were a few occasions where I thought "not my section = not my problem."   :-)

However I don't believe this was covered in a WFTDA clinic earlier this year and nothing in the Standard Practices document alludes to this. Is it tribal knowledge?
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Offline Stray Taco

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Re: Calling penalties only in your 'section'
« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2015, 03:05:27 pm »
I'll defer the final word to more experienced refs, but that seems kind of weird to me. As long as you have a clear view of the initiation, contact, and impact, you should be able to make the call.  I know for a period there was talk (as least at the games I was a part of) about not making calls on jammers regarding gaining advantage because of point issues, but AFAIK that was all taken care of in the last ruleset, and it may have actually been a local misunderstanding.

I know that at several games and at the one tournament I reffed so far, there have been numerous occasions where another ref in another "sector" made the same call as I did. I didn't see it as a conflict or problem. Actually, it was kind of nice to have confirmation of that call (as in, YES, I have independent verification!).
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Offline Invader Jim

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Re: Calling penalties only in your 'section'
« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2015, 04:21:50 pm »
I think the problem arises when calls are made from a ref that has a far from optimal perspective from the action and there are other refs in excellent position to make a call if the action warrants a penalty.

One example I have seen is an OPR calling a cut when he is 20-30' in front of the action.  Your perspective in seeing hips in relation to other hips from that distance is much poorer than someone who is closer to the action.  Some cuts are so huge that they can be seen at distance but many come down to a judgement call of a difference of a few inches and those closest are in the best position to judge that.

In my opinion, it is more about perspective (positioning) than distance.  The front OPR is more likely to see a MPB in the middle of the pack than refs of either side (yet closer to the actual action).  The front IPR could likely have a better perspective from 20' ahead on whether that dangling jammer foot ever actually touched the floor or remained a fraction of an inch above than a JR right next to their jammer and looking down.

If you find yourself making a lot of calls that are no-calls from other refs with much better perspective you may be over-calling.  If you do a lot of practices where there are only 2-3 refs I think this can lead to widening your perspective and loosening your impact assessment to make calls whenever you think you see something somewhere on the track because there is so much to cover due to the ref shortage at those practices.   It really comes down to "I saw something happen from a far from optimal perspective and thought it was a penalty but 2-3 refs in the area with excellent  perspectives called nothing."  Who's judgement is better?  If it happens once it may be nothing to be concerned about but if it is happening frequently there may be a issue with over-calling. 

Offline Major Wood

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Re: Calling penalties only in your 'section'
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2015, 05:21:05 pm »
So, I think that there are are some conflated ideas that happened here.
If you have a really good crew, you should be able to focus on your area with minimal overlap. This is a good thing. This minimizes the times where an OPR is thinking that they might need to call a cut on the inside line.
The best way (I don't believe there is much debate on this) is that you are able to make any call that you are able to see, regardless of position. The caveat is that you need to be aware of when you are not in a proper position to fully see the action, or if someone else was in better position to see it AND was watching the action. The key is being cautious in those situations.

The only place where I have really heard head referees say to not call penalties is with OPRs calling pack definition penalties (failure to reform/return, destroying the pack). Even in those cases, it's normally followed by saying that you can if the IPRs are totally dropping the ball.
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Offline Stray Taco

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Re: Calling penalties only in your 'section'
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2015, 05:51:52 pm »
Major,

Thanks for helping clarify what I was thinking. By nature, you're focusing on your zone - there's enough to keep up with there. But of course there's some overlap (for example, a back block dead center between the lines could be picked up by the OPR or IPR, and a penalty on the jammer could easily be seen by a pack ref and the jammer ref).

What I didn't like about the situation Mavericky described is just what he said: it adds extra steps to the chain of thought before a penalty can be called, and if there's differing perspectives of where the "zone" is, it may not be called by anyone because of an assumption it's in someone else's "zone" even though the ref in that zone may not see the penalty because of intervening skaters, bad angle, etc.

So, yeah, IMHO, focus on your zone and areas you should be watching (IPR: pack definition and penalties, OPR: outside jammer track cuts, penalties on the outside half of the track), but if you see it, and know 100% it meets all the criteria for a penalty, then call it. (Which should be the criteria for ANY call, anyway.)
Mike "Stray Taco" Straw

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Offline Mav'Ricky

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Re: Calling penalties only in your 'section'
« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2015, 03:53:59 am »
So the pointers I've picked up from this thread are

1. Get my positioning right
2. Realise when I'm not in proper position
3. Consider when I have a good perspective or whether another ref may have a better perspective AND is watching

The third point was covered in our GO feedback session but I forgot it so thanks for mentioning it again.

I will say there were a lot of outstanding refs at the tourno so my bad positioning was noticed in like the first jam of the first game lol. I'm from a regional league so it's great to get that experience and then jump on ZH and get a more in depth understanding of what it all means.

I never realised the OPR position (in my case) was so full on. It's interesting because we reffed the top three Div 1 teams in the tournament in the first day - I see myself as more of a Div 2 ref so it was an awesome learning experience.

Thank you for the advice!
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Offline SeerSin

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Re: Calling penalties only in your 'section'
« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2015, 11:13:32 pm »
Staying in your zone only adds extra thought to the process while you practice it, eventually it becomes instinct. While it's true that any referee may call out any skater at any time it doesn't always mean you should. What it comes down to is the referee who has the best position should be the one making the call. If your position isn't good for that call you have a 50/50 shot at being wrong. Even though you're certain you saw the entire thing and could pass a polygraph on it, you can still be wrong because your eye was fooled by the angle.

Here are some examples that can easily result in a bad call:
- Calling direction of gameplay from in front of or behind the action(even by as little as 3 feet)
- Calling cuts from in front of or behind the action(distance is foreshortened and you could swear the hips came in ahead but you'll likely be proven wrong by a well placed video camera)
- Calling back blocks while parallel to or in front of the impacted skater(if you're parallel you can't actually see the back and can't tell the difference between a hit to the back and a hit to back of the shoulder).
- Calling apex jump misconducts while parallel to the jammer and/or too close to the line(it's much harder to get a wide enough view to see whether or not the blocker initiated).
- Calling just about anything from more than 10 feet in front of or behind the action(lateral distance is different)

These guidelines are intended for the more subtle penalties. Of course if a skater runs clockwise from the front to the back of the pack and hits someone you don't need to be exactly parallel to her to determine what direction she was going.

Real world example: I was OPR, Wood was JR. I could have sworn his jammer back blocked someone and almost made the call. But I saw him closer to the action and looking at it, I deferred to him since he had superior position. If I'd made that call I would have been wrong. The blocker had flopped, which I couldn't have seen properly from my position. So a lot of this comes down to trusting your fellow officials.



Offline Vanilla VICE

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Re: Calling penalties only in your 'section'
« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2015, 02:43:22 pm »
I agree with posts here. One additional thing I wanted to say is that if you consistently fail to defer to the best official to make the call, it can cause mistrust to grow in your crew and ruin the synergy of working well with each other.( Assuming everyone doesn't work with everyone on the crew all the time.)
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