Let’s get a few things straight when it comes to officiating on the high school level in New Jersey.
I’d say 90% (maybe a little more) of the officials who work games give an honest and forthright effort.
Is every call perfect? Of course not.
Are these officials up on every rule? Probably not.
Do they try and provide the athletes the best venue possible to enjoy the experience of competing in interscholastic athletics? Yes.
But then again, there are some who should not be anywhere near a whistle in a high school event. These men or woman are few and far between, but they’re out there. Their sole purpose is to collect a pay check. They couldn’t care less about the kids who are competing, are clueless about the game or think the game should revolve around them.
I’ve seen my share of games throughout the state, dating back to 1975. I’ve often said that the best games are the ones where you don’t even realize an official is working the contest. Such was not the case last night at the Passaic Valley-Lakeland boys basketball game at a louder-than-usual Library in Little Falls.
To say the two men who worked this game were bad is an insult to bad officials. These two clowns, in plain language, STUNK. They had no right being on that court. When fans are more consumed with the numerous non-traveling calls and lack of 5-second violation infractions than the game itself, it’s clear something needs to be done.
Passaic Valley coach Rob Carcich received a technical foul in the first half for comments he made TO HIS OWN PLAYER.
Did Carcich swear? No.
Did he direct venom to the officials? No. He was speaking to one of his players when Mr. Rabbit Ears walked by and deemed Carcich’s comments inflammatory and issued a technical.
Late in the game, Passaic Valley’s Stefan Minic hit what was clearly a 3-point basket to give his team a 36-32 lead. The official ruled it a two point field goal.
Unless Minic has a size 22 foot, there’s no way his foot hit the 3-point line.
With PV leading 35-34, a missed foul shot on the front end of a one-and-one prompted a time out by the Lakeland coach. There was 5 seconds left when the shot clanked off the rim.
“Time out,” yelled the coach.
“Time out,” the coach said again.
“Time out,” a third time.
From five seconds, the clocked ticked down to 1.5 seconds remaining. After conferring and counting on their fingers from 5, the official said the clock should be re-set to 2 seconds.
So, Lakeland gets the ball with 2 seconds left. They devise a pretty good play to launch a pass, a la Grant Hill to Christian Laettner, to its 6’8″ center in front of the basket. The pass was perfect. The center catches the ball, was then mugged in an open court, and the two officials did nothing, except run off the floor.
A perfect ending to a night of incompetency.
Gentlemen, you should be ashamed of yourselves for putting on an officials uniform last night.
You stunk, plain and simple. And when I get your names, I’ll make sure to publicize them early and often.
Will the NJSIAA do anything about it? Probably not.
For example, you had to see the clown who worked home plate in the Livingston-Hunterdon Central Group 4 softball semifinal last spring. He was awful. And when I tried to get an answer from the assigner as to how someone so bad was given a home plate assignment in a state semifinal, I was generally ignored. Most people told me this dope has been doing this garbage forever and the assigner continually protects him.
Believe me, you’ll be reading much more on the good ol’ boy system that seems to permeate high school officiating at times.
Again, most of the officials are good. Even if they have an ‘off’ game, they work hard and give a solid effort.
The two last night didn’t do that.
Again, they stunk.