Holding in transition question

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kaminooto
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Holding in transition question

Postby kaminooto » Wed Mar 25, 2009 10:39 am

Over the course of the season it has become frustrating to see referees not calling fouls in transition. In more than one occasion this year referees have have called a captains meeting during the game to warn of holds during transitions and how the are now going to "call everything." My only question is, why aren't they "calling everything" from the beginning? My gripe is that we are a team built upon speed and fast break opportunities and the hold in transition, even without the ball, takes away our offensive advantage. Do other referees agree with this strategy of letting it go until it becomes a major problem in the second half? I know holds are a part of the game but I feel that other teams are altering the pace of the game without any reprimand from officials for half a game. Has this been a problem to others, and if so is there anything I can instruct my team to do differently (other than showing the hold)?

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Re: Holding in transition question

Postby Moderator » Wed Mar 25, 2009 10:53 am

I moved this post to the Quicker Kicker Outer (the Referee Thread) where you will have a better chance of having a referee answer this question. You probably need to let the refs know if this is a CWPA observation or WWPA-MPSF-SCIAC one as the referee training and emphasis are very different on the East Coast.

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Re: Holding in transition question

Postby Russ Thompson » Wed Mar 25, 2009 10:55 am

I have a few questions before I offer up an opinion.

What age group?
What rules?
Where are the holds taking place?
When there is a hold, what does the offense do about it? What next?

I will be happy to answer but need more information.

Thanks

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Re: Holding in transition question

Postby kaminooto » Thu Mar 26, 2009 8:46 am

Thanks Russ,

The age group is high school (14-18) using NFHS rules. They generally try and put one experienced referee with one in training (from my observations). We are on the East Coast, as well.

The holds are taking place on our defensive side and around mid-court right after a transition from missed shot/ opponent turnover. The referees have been calling a hold if it occurs on the player who is in possession of the ball but our outside wings are frequently held which takes away our man-up transition. Generally what happens from the hold is instead of a 3-2 transition opportunity we end up with a 2-2 or or even 1-1 which results in setting the ball back to point and starting a half court offense. The hold is not taking away possessions but rather, in my opinion, scoring opportunities.

Mod - Sorry for posting in the wrong section, thank you for the move.

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Re: Holding in transition question

Postby Crazy D » Thu Mar 26, 2009 2:59 pm

Players that are more interested in holding aren't swimming. Teach your players how to break through the hold and get up the pool. If you are fast, you would still have the advantage up the pool. By showing the hold, you are asking the referee to bail you out. Again, a player more interested in holding is not interested in swimming. Break the hold and swim and you burn the opposition on the transition. Read WP7.3, as there is still an opportunity to play the ball (goalie probably has it). The player being held likely doesn't have the ball, or are not playing for it.

Referees call what the rules allow them. Be careful what you ask for, calling minor fouls in transition could effect that 3 on 2 attack you have going up the pool.

Don't show the ref you are being held. Break the hold and get up the pool. If you can't break the hold, well, it might be time to hit the weight room.
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Re: Holding in transition question

Postby Moderator » Thu Mar 26, 2009 3:14 pm

Don't show the ref you are being held. Break the hold and get up the pool. If you can't break the hold, well, it might be time to hit the weight room.


You are a cold hearted dude, Crazy D...cold.

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Re: Holding in transition question

Postby Crazy D » Thu Mar 26, 2009 3:55 pm

Yeah, that was a bit harsh. Sorry.
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Re: Holding in transition question

Postby Torchbearer » Thu Mar 26, 2009 4:12 pm

In the old days, if the defender didn't have both hands up where the ref could see them, it was assumed the defender was holding underwater, and a foul was frequently called. This kept the ball and the players moving. Whatever happened to those days when water polo was fun to play, coach, and watch??? But Coach Dave is correct: the way the game is being officiated nowadays, you've gotta break the hold and go ... or get better refs ...

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Re: Holding in transition question

Postby Crazy D » Thu Mar 26, 2009 4:39 pm

OK, let's go at it this way. The rules tell the referees how to call the game. In some venues, referees are given specific instructions on how to call games, most likely behind closed doors, and the comments from which don't normally get shared with us "lay people" beyond those walls.

A referee bringing the teams to the side of the pool at half, in my opinion, is a sucker's way out of a bad situation. An ordinary foul does nothing in this case either. It doesn't send a message. It's a toot of a whistle, nothing else. Furthermore, the referee has to consider the ramifications of the call. Is there a break up the pool? Will making this call leave the attack in a worse off position than what they were in? A referee, if they were on their toes, would have to make this call immediately on the first hold. And they would have to do so before the ball leave's the goalie's hand, pending the ball is in the goalie's hand. If the ball is already up the pool, by making this call, it forces the ball back to the line of the foul. Now, your transition game is neutralized and you are forced to play man-up on whatever clock is remaining when the team gets down and sets up, maybe 10s.

I guess my point is, make sure you aren't loosing something up the pool before you go begging for a call. You could hang yourself. I maintain, break the hold and get up the pool. You'll likely still have the numbers advantage at the other end.
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Re: Holding in transition question

Postby Russ Thompson » Thu Mar 26, 2009 9:30 pm

kaminooto wrote:The holds are taking place on our defensive side and around mid-court right after a transition from missed shot/ opponent turnover. The referees have been calling a hold if it occurs on the player who is in possession of the ball but our outside wings are frequently held which takes away our man-up transition. Generally what happens from the hold is instead of a 3-2 transition opportunity we end up with a 2-2 or or even 1-1 which results in setting the ball back to point and starting a half court offense. The hold is not taking away possessions but rather, in my opinion, scoring opportunities.

Mod - Sorry for posting in the wrong section, thank you for the move.


I think I understand the situation. Generally speaking, as an instructor, I teach officials to ignore this action and let the play develop. To call a foul at mid tank away from the ball on a very early part of the transition is not correct officiating. You don't have a 3 on 2 or a 2 on 2 at this point. You have nothing at this point and the referee needs to be patient and allow the play to develop. It is a violation of 7.3 to make these mid tank calls because there is still an opportunity to play the ball and a foul at mid tank usually kills the counter and benefits the defense. This is a classic example of when NOT to blow your whistle if I understand correctly.

What the offense should do is slow down a little and kick the defender in the teeth. (Just kidding) Seriously, the offense should do what they can to make their way down the pool as Dave stated. If a threat develops (scoring) and a hold happens then the exclusion is appropriate. Otherwise teach your offense to steer clear of the holds by creating space on the counter. Sometimes the offense is held on the counter because they first held when they were on defense.

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Re: Holding in transition question

Postby gilligan » Fri Mar 27, 2009 3:00 pm

Crazy D wrote:Players that are more interested in holding aren't swimming. Teach your players how to break through the hold and get up the pool. If you are fast, you would still have the advantage up the pool. By showing the hold, you are asking the referee to bail you out. Again, a player more interested in holding is not interested in swimming. Break the hold and swim and you burn the opposition on the transition. Read WP7.3, as there is still an opportunity to play the ball (goalie probably has it). The player being held likely doesn't have the ball, or are not playing for it.

Referees call what the rules allow them. Be careful what you ask for, calling minor fouls in transition could effect that 3 on 2 attack you have going up the pool.

Don't show the ref you are being held. Break the hold and get up the pool. If you can't break the hold, well, it might be time to hit the weight room.

Yeah, I find that showing the ref that you're being held is a good way to not have it called. The referee probably had some idea you were being held already, but didn't think it was worth the call. I find that the best way to actually earn a call is to fight through the hold. You'll either get free, or you'll force the defender to make the foul much worse and much more obvious. When the referee sees you're genuinely trying to swim up the pool instead of just trying to draw attention to the foul, you'll be much more likely to get a foul called.

This can be unfortunate for a smaller/weaker player who has great speed, as it gives the bigger and slower player a way to neutralize that speed. Then again, after being held or pushed off of in transition a time or two, the faster players should eventually learn to keep their distance, so that they can't be grabbed in the first place.

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Re: Holding in transition question

Postby Newport » Fri Mar 27, 2009 4:22 pm

Under current practice in women's college WP, holding is permitted "away from the ball." But under the rules, holding is holding and a kickout should be called to return advantage to the offense. The rules don't distinguish between fouls made "away from the ball." Two specific examples: #1 -- perimeter defender holding-in-place an agile, mobile driver to neutralize the ability of that athlete to drive around the defender. Example #2 -- Before ball comes into set, defender is allowed to grab, twist, and hold the suit-back of the center to help control that athlete. Refs allow this holding for an indefinite duration as long as there is no entry pass. But if the suit isn't released immediately, and hands shown immediately as the ball is passed to the hole, then an ejection is called.

The holding rule would be a lot more understandable if it was amended to say "when the athlete being held is attempting to play the ball."

Rule 21 is the Ejection Rule:
WP 21.8 To hold, sink or pull back an opponent who is not
holding the ball.

These example holds occur throughout the duration of the contest, and make the game/rules incomprehensible for spectators. This season's new tolerance towards holding is a major factor behind the stagnation of women's college WP into a static, boring game.

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Re: Holding in transition question

Postby cmelcer » Fri Mar 27, 2009 5:01 pm

Kaminooto:

This is more of a coaching question. I ref as well, but my 2 cents relate to what tactics I believe will help exploit your team speed. My apologies if these are items you're already implementing.

1. No more talk of holding from the players at time outs, etc. That's ok for the 12 and unders, but your kids need to stay focused on their behavior and implementing the tactics you'd like them to implement.
2. Prior to the change of possession, your defenders at 2, 3, and 4 should slide into the gap between the offensive players at 2, 3, and 4. This will help separate them from the would be holders and get them in position to use your speed.
3. If those top three (at 2, 3, and 4) can break away great, but it's not going to happen often. With the ball in your goalie's hand, if they are held from behind a swift kick (to break free, not to hurt someone) or an exclusion will address the issue. Someone might get hurt but they initiated the contact and it's their fault - or more accurately their coaches' fault. But if they are being held when they have no advantage, it's not going to be called and when you think about it it's a good thing. Essentially the defender is not getting back to the strike zone, which is what you want. If your team is fast, someone else is getting burned and will be open.
4. To address what the ref's were saying about the ball being with your goalie you've got to progress it as fast as possible. If the first kid down is not open for a pass over the top they've got to square or flare and get the ball into front court. The ball should not be sitting in your goalies' hand with your team speed. Now you can use that first attacker (at the 4 most likely) to continue to try to take advantage of your speed. Everyone else should attack the strike zone and then get the hell out if they don't get the ball. Leave that strike zone open for your players that were defending 4, 5, and 6 - who should by now be free from any hold and sprinting up the center of the pool to a wide open strike zone.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that your speed should be used not just in a "counter-attack" or "break-away" but to:

- get the ball up the pool as soon as possible
- creat opportunities for transition goals (that second wave of speedsters).
- run a motion offense with no hole set

Good luck.

Chris

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Re: Holding in transition question

Postby Crazy D » Fri Mar 27, 2009 5:44 pm

Newport wrote:The holding rule would be a lot more understandable if it was amended to say "when the athlete being held is attempting to play the ball."

Rule 21 is the Ejection Rule:
WP 21.8 To hold, sink or pull back an opponent who is not
holding the ball.

These example holds occur throughout the duration of the contest, and make the game/rules incomprehensible for spectators. This season's new tolerance towards holding is a major factor behind the stagnation of women's college WP into a static, boring game.


Read WP7.3. This should open your eyes as to why there is a no call at the hole. Read WP7.3 again. A wise man once said, and I paraphrase, that in order to understand the rule book, you have to look at there being one rule, WP7.3, and all of the other sub-rules help you apply it. Read WP7.3 again. When you read the rules that way, it should become clearer. WP7.3 is the hinge pin for the just about the entire rule book.

Additionally, if there is holding on a driver, then this is an exclusion. As a coach, I have told my players who are attacking, that if they are being held, drive, because if the defender continues to prevent the free movement of the player, then we have an exclusion away from the ball. And look, you didn't even need to get the ball into the hole in order to get the exclusion.
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Re: Holding in transition question

Postby Allen Lorentzen » Fri Mar 27, 2009 6:31 pm

Crazy D wrote:...Read WP7.3, as there is still an opportunity to play the ball (goalie probably has it). The player being held likely doesn't have the ball, or are not playing for it.

Referees call what the rules allow them. Be careful what you ask for, calling minor fouls in transition could effect that 3 on 2 attack you have going up the pool.


Here's exactly what Rule 7.3 says in each of the FINA / USAWP / NCAA rule books...

"The referees shall refrain from declaring a foul if, in their opinion, such declaration would be an advantage to the offending player’s team. The referees shall not declare an ordinary foul when there is still a possibility to play the ball."

Taking Water Polo Academy courses is an excellent way to better understand the "advantage" rule and its application. Here are some things to consider...

The rules are set up so that the referees have to determine, to the best of their ability, what exactly is to the advantage of the team on offense. It should be pretty clear to anyone that if there is someone one-on-nobody-but-the-goalie and about to shoot the ball, there shouldn't be a foul called then somewhere else in the pool just because a player is being pulled back or pushed under - unless there's a brutality taking place. Hopefully we can all agree on that. Add in more players in the vicinity and/or players in transition and/or differences in skill and strength levels and the equation becomes much more complicated for the officials.

Regarding contact or holding on transition or elsewhere... Water polo is a contact sport (though not an impact sport like USA football). It's not the degree of contact that dictates the rewarding of a foul but the taking away of a player's or team's opportunity to work to put the ball in the goal by possessing, passing, or shooting it.

The original post indicates a perceived increase in holding on transition. Is there really more holding going on? It certainly may be true in the games that kaminooto has observed. Differing styles of play tend to ebb and flow from season to season.

It's a game of percentages and perspective. If the referees are intentionally ignoring this holding in favor of an offensive advantage elsewhere, the players being held should take some comfort in the fact that a teammate had an opportunity at a shot attempt - whether they were successful that trip up the pool or not. It's easy to be frustrated when we are held and our teammates don't score. We need to remember to balance that with the times we were held and our teammates had a better chance to score because no whistle was blown. It takes a certain level of awareness and maturity to recognize this. It's up to our coaches to recognize and teach it to us.

If the holding is truly beyond what is an acceptable level of physicality the referee always has the power to remove a player from the water for misconduct and/or persistent foul play - even after the opposing team has shot and scored or missed. It doesn't have to be immediate. This example might be rare but would address the conflict between unwarranted physicality and advantage. While some folks might not like referees talking with captains about settling things down, this can be a reasonable solution short of removing players from the game.

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