Monday, January 9, 2017

Pink Whistle: January 7, 2017

By Ray Floriani (@rfloriani)

VERONA, NJ - Saturday saw a girls’ recreation game interspersed with a battle against Mother Nature. The snow kept falling on this afternoon, making the 10-mile commute somewhat treacherous. Still, the games went on. Following the boys was a grade school girls’ game.

   
Recreation gives the players not chosen for travel or school teams the opportunity to play and improve. In rec, the first and third quarters are running time, with second and fourth stopped clock on whistles. Pressing is allowed only the last two minutes of the game. In that regard, rec gets it.

Pink 25, Blue 11

Going by jersey colors for this one. The teams are usually named for college or pro teams. The pink team assistant, attired in a pink Virginia Tech shirt, told me the team was the Storm, appropriate on this day.
   
The Storm get out to a 7-0 lead. The team in blue answers with two baskets and it remains with the score unchanged for nearly a quarter (eight minutes). A few late buckets raises the Storm lead to 13-4 at halftime.
   
Rec gives you a chance to identify players who look like they are a year away from making that travel team. The Storm have a few who help open the game by running the floor and finishing transition by making layups, no easy task on this level.
    
Jewelry alert: One of our main officiating tasks on this level is to make sure the players are properly equipped. We had to remove or delay the entrance of several players for wearing earrings. Rec has well meaning coaches, but they rarely check to see if the players are in compliance from a uniform perspective.
  
Pink wins going away, 25-11. As rec teams go, they are a pretty good group. Coaches and some players stop by after the final buzzer to say ‘thank you for officiating our game.’ I doubt the crew hears that after Duke-Carolina on the men’s side.
   
The snow that was supposed to stop an hour ago is still coming down. Easily tougher driving than officiating today. So much for that winter wonderland.


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