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Michael Leavitt Blog12/14/2018 - I had never attended a Silent Night game before. When the home team Westlake High School scored its tenth point, then a timeout would immediately be called and the students were to rush the court. A missed layup and two missed free throws delayed the storming of the court, but it finally happened... What a blast!

I witnessed this event from the stands while watching the varsity officials after my earlier two games at the same school. I was told what would happen, but I had never previously heard of a Silent Night game. After watching, I thought it was a great idea. Watch the video closely and you can see the two Saratoga Springs police officers were there ready to prevent any mishaps, riots, fights, or trouble. I am not sure what the officers were expecting, but they were there and ready.

Look even closer at the video and you can see one of the first rushers actually slips and falls at center court. This would have been sad if they had been trampled by their fellow rushers.

At halftime, Russ Carter shared that the visiting coach was mad that the officials had not assessed a technical foul for the rushing students. I asked him if the coach was serious, and he confirmed that he was. This was even after being notified of what was going to happen in the pregame meeting. Coaches still amaze me with their behavior.

SilentNight YT



And speaking of the odd behavior of coaches, in an earlier game I watched the coach shout comments in an effort to battle for his team for three quarters. His team was up by a couple dozen points and still he wanted every hold, push, brush, and travel. He stated that it was his responsibility to stand up for his team, no matter what the score. He finally backed off a bit in the fourth quarter. It was humorous because the opposing coach started to get a bit paranoid because he thought we were talking more to the winning coach than to him... Balance... We always have to remember the perception of the other coach as we address issues with one coach. Maintaining balance and an equal attention perception can be very difficult.

In yet another game, I approached the man in the Assistant Coach chair, knowing that he was the Varsity Head Coach. I told him just before the start of the second half, "Coach, I know that you are meaning well letting us know what calls we have missed, but I can't have you being so vocal." He looked at me intently as I continued, "Your behavior has a baa effect on your fans. We have a man, yes a father, down at the end of the bleachers that id mirroring your every comment and physical action, and I can't allow that to continue in the second half." He then shared, "I know, but I just have to protect my girls. I know that the talent of the other team is not on the same level as ours, but I don't want my girls to be pushed around or hurt." "We seemed to be calling a lot of fouls in the first half, Coach," I said. "I know, you guys did a lot better in the second quarter than the first," he shared. I then said, "We will continue to try and do our best Coach." The time taken to talk with him worked because he said very little the entire second half. After the final buzzer and thanked us for the good game.

Officiating sub-varsity games with varying talent levels is an art form, of which I have not yet mastered, but I am getting much better.

Make it a great game! Michael Leavitt - Orem, Utah

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