Slick compaints about basketball uniform dress rules

My agent I.M. Slick dropped by the other day and asked me to write a column about basketball uniform rules.

Here’s what transpired.

Joe: Why should I write how players are supposed to wear their basketball uniforms?

Slick: Why not?

Joe: First, who cares how players wear their uniforms? And secondly, who cares how players wear their uniforms?

Slick: You’re repeating yourself. But a lot of people care, or they should care. And you know who is to blame for the problem, don’t you? Your people.

Joe: My people?
Slick: You heard me. You’re a former basketball official, so yes, your people are to blame.

Joe: Seriously?
Slick: I’ve never been more serious. You weren’t consistent in enforcing how players wear their uniforms, and neither are your buddies today.

Joe: Do you realize how silly this conversation is?
Slick: Not at all. KSHSAA, which oversees high school athletics in Kansas, made it clear before the season started that players should not be allowed to enter the game illegally equipped to participate. A lot of officials could not care less, and they’re letting the players in the game anyway.

Joe: So do you want officials to essentially be the fashion police?
Slick: Don’t look at me, buddy. Talk to KSHSAA. All I know is, there are players wearing illegal T-shirts under jerseys. If T-shirts are worn, they must be the same solid color as the jersey. If tights, sleeves, or padded undershorts are worn under the shorts, if visible in a normal standing position, they must be a single solid color (black, white, beige, jersey color), and all teammates must have the same color.

Joe: This makes my head hurt.

Slick: It should, because if you had done your job as an official, maybe the officials today wouldn’t have to deal with this mess.

Joe: Any other complaints or observations?

Slick: Yes, players may roll the waistband of their shorts, but there should be no tags visible and no drawstrings visible. The tags have a manufacturer logo, so they may not be visible. This rule is in place for the safety of all players. You’d be surprised what can happen if drawstrings are exposed. Your people need to make sure the shirts are tucked in, and they are to remain tucked in during the game.

Joe: OK, I’ll grant you that as an official, I was sometimes too lax in how players wore their uniforms. But it’s unfair to pin all the blame on the officials.

Slick: How so?
Joe: Can you tell me why officials should even have to deal with this stuff? If coaches can’t instruct players on how to be legally equipped, what else won’t be taught or enforced? All of this would be a non-issue if coaches did what they are supposed to do.

Slick: Sure. Pass the buck.

Joe: OK. Tell me, Mr. Go-Strictly-By-The-Book, why coaches don’t handle the matter themselves.

Slick: Are you kidding? Why should they stir up a hornets’ nest with the parents of kids? Rather, let the officials deal with it. They’re used to being the bad guys anyway.

Joe: Did you know that a good friend of mine who still officiates high school basketball had a game this season where he sent players out of the game at least four times in the first half because of uniform issues?

Slick: And?

Joe: All it does is cause grief for officials. It’s no fun being the uniform police. But rather than support the official, coaches either roll their eyes or make snide comments.

Slick: I have no problem with that. Because you and your friends were so inept at enforcing the uniform dress code, the problem has even spread to the NBA.

Joe: Fine. Then don’t complain when officials spend more time on the players dressing properly than all other facets of the game combined!