Friday, April 08, 2005

I started this thread over at opining about the effect of the "grand pronouncement". For some reason leauges have a knee-jerk reaction to playoffs, issuing fatwas about this rule or that rule.

Even worse, in the case of the NCAA an 'open letter' was sent at the beginning of the season about enforcing obstruction penalties, but I saw more than one WCHA game that utterly failed to implement this edict. Just before the Frozen Four the NCAA reiterated the command and said "The rules are the rules and we don’t change rules once we get to the post-season".

<BIG-FOAM-CLUEBAT>Here's a hint for you leauge organizers, if you find yourself defending your rules and telling everyone they've been enforced, you are delusional.</BIG-FOAM-CLUEBAT>

The temptation to issue rules 'emphasis' and other flourishes can and will backfire when your officials are set to the task of actually handling three periods. Some will listen attentively and implement your desires, most will add it to the 100-200 pages of rules they already have and continue to perform as they always have. Players will be bitten, coaches will be struggling to keep up, and spectators utterly bewildered, if not enraged - and all of that fury will land on the officials because they are the ones who seem to have made a change of character.

Engage us, find out what we think is plausible BEFORE commanding sweeping changes on a 1 page memo hung on the inside of the dressing room. Now the NCAA did try, they told everyone, loudly what they wanted the officials to do - and yet humans being fallible, it didnt really get displayed until the national championships... as a fan I'm upset about the number of marginal calls in today's game, as an official I get why it happened, the officials did as told, and from my vantage point turned a sporting event into a legal travesty - we'll never know which team had the better athletes because the rules overshadowed the play.


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