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High School basketball will look different this year

Published: Jan. 6, 2021 at 10:32 AM EST
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PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) - High School basketball practices have started and hopefully games will begin next week. The games will look very different this year with everyone in the gym wearing masks, no spectators and basketball officials looking to stay socially distanced and a big change to start the game.

Harry Orser:” There will be no jump ball we will start the game with a coin toss at the pregame conference. Whoever wins the toss gets first possession. On free throws the officials will stay probably way back to the end of the lane and bounce the ball to the shooter. Anytime we make a throw in we are going to be at least six feet away.

Everyone will have to wears masks during games and that could mean that many officials will be using a different whistle.

Orser:” Most people are going to use the electronic whistle that you saw in soccer. A little button you push and it makes a fox 40 sound. Some officials are experimenting with putting the whistle in here and when they blow it it drops out in their mask. You won’t really know until you get out on the floor.

Athletic Administrators will also have game day challenges from setting up the gym for social distancing with six feet of space

Orser:” In some gyms that might me one team on one side and another team on the other side.”

Pedro Rodriguez is the IAABO 150 Assignor and he said he will have a much smaller roster of officials to work with this year.

Pedro Rodriguez:” Last year we had 42 active working games on any given night. This year we have 24 active and I would say out of that 24 there are 18 or 19 that are varsity ready.”

Rodriguez met with the Aroostook League Athletic Directors and they agreed to limit the number of games on any given night.

Rodriguez:” The max games we can have is five which is really nice. That is going to help for me not to work those 18 or 19 every single night six days a week.”

Many of the smaller schools will also play an abbreviated JV games either prior to or after the varsity game. The same officials will also work that game. The Assignor said that he is looking at three person crews for most games

Rodriguez:” That really is the plan. It is going to be different,but the plan is to have three man officiating.”

Rodriguez stays very busy during the winter season officiating several games a week. Just like the players and coaches he can’t wait for the season to start

Rodriguez:” I think we are I think we are going to make it happen. I am really excited. I just can’t wait. Lucky for me I had a little bit of soccer so I was able to run up and down. There is something different about basketball and I am really excited.”

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