The coaching box for high school coaches during games has been doubled in length from 14 feet to 28 for this season.
It is not a national rule as it was left up to each state and Maine decided to adopt the 28-foot coaching box.
The high school coaching box is 10 feet shorter than the college coaching box’s length of 38 feet as the college box was also changed for this year.
Another rule change in place for this season is a head coach getting one warning for all bench personnel for negative bench decorum before a technical foul is called. It does not affect players on the court.
Officials call a time-out, warn the coach and then the warning goes into the scorebook.
However, officials can still call a technical without a warning.
I never liked the coaching box rule as a coach when it was first implemented in 1989 at six feet. It went to 14 feet in 2001.
I never used the coaching box as a coach because I didn’t think I was as effective.
I seemed to focus better on the game when sitting.
Coaches who stand in the coaching box can too easily become part of the game. They are more apt to be heard by officials as they are closer to the floor while standing and moving up and down the coaching box.
An active coach in the box is also not good for fans sitting behind the bench trying to watch the game.
Coaches can also incite crowds with negative behavior as their antics are more easily seen when standing. They can’t be seen as well when they are sitting — by fans or officials.
Now, with the doubling of the coaching box’s length, coaches can run to the end line following officials, players and play.
This rule change could be a reason for the other new rule giving coaches a warning before calling a technical foul.
More warnings and more technical fouls on coaches are likely this season because of the longer coaching box.
After coaching in high school for 29 years and more than 600 games, I only received three technical fouls.
While officiating more than 10,000 games at all levels, including college and subbing for Continental Basketball Association pro games in Bangor, I didn’t call more than a half-dozen technicals because I understood what coaches went through so I probably was a little more patient with them than others.
I became a board official in 1968 and officiated college games through 1969-77 while I was coaching at Bangor High School.
Officiating taught me to be a better coach as I concentrated on coaching and not trying to officiate.
It’s too bad that many of today’s coaches, at all levels, don’t concentrate on coaching but instead try to help officials ref games.
Officials don’t try to help coaches coach, so coaches shouldn’t try to help officials officiate.