We had good intentions, Larry and I, signing Zane up for a between soccer seasons sport. Lots of running, to keep up that conditioning that is necessary for soccer. Basketball seemed perfect. And learning a new sport would be good for Zane, we decided.
We were right about the running. Zane was all about that, and when they had the kids run to the line and then run back, my son was happy. There's something joyful about watching a kid running full tilt, the rush of air blowing their hair back. You can't help but smile, or at least I can't.
As for the rest of the season...
The kids were enthusiastic, at least, often throwing the ball in the general direction of the basket when they were nowhere near it. A few of the throws actually went into the basket, which was wonderful, but most of the time the ball sailed through the air and out of bounds. We parents did not care; we cheered loudly and clapped no matter what. Win or lose, our kids were having a blast.
Except for the referees.
Before I say another word, let me state that I completely understand that the ref is in charge of a basketball game. They call the fouls, and their word is law. I have no problem with that. I fully support their efforts.
I also firmly believe that the refs, as well as the players, need to know the rules of the game. I was at almost every practice, and not once did I see the coach talking about the rules of the sport. Not once. Consequently, at the games there was a lot of confusion on the part of our team when the whistle would blow.
And the whistle would blow for very reason that some of the refs had NO idea what the rules were for the age group. For example, some refs called back court during the games. Do you think that a six year old understands what that is? How would you even explain it? And each ref interpreted the line for back court differently. One game the line was at half court, the next it was the three point line, the next it was some random line above the three point line, and so on. Zane was called for back courting and he was so confused that he started to cry. He had no idea what he did, or why, and the fact that his parents were in the bleachers gesticulating wildly and yelling that it was "okay" did nothing to soothe him.
The refs sometimes called kids for walking, or for walking more than ten feet, or for carrying the ball all the way over to the basket. They sometimes called double dribbling, when it was obvious that none of the kids had any sort of ball control, certainly not the kind needed to run and dribble the ball in a consistent fashion. I was frustrated by this. If the kids don't know the rules, or if the rules keep changing, what are they learning?
Zane enjoyed himself, and if he wants to play next year, then that is great. However, I will ask for a copy of the rules at registration, and I will read them. If I know what is expected, I can explain it to Zane, and we can both learn something from the experience.