FEBRUARY 27, 2018 - The local men's league tournament is drawing near to an end with each outcome sending teams home to think about their finished season. Tempers are flaring and it has been interesting watching games go from peaceful and competitive to angry and near blows within seconds. Staying focused as an official on the court has been tedious, at best. The players are men and most are very tired by the last 10 minutes of the game. They look fine and then all the sudden lose all normal composure. This is usually because their bodies are incapable of performing as they had in earlier years.
In the following play there is a simple inbound pass, a shot, and then two big men suddenly losing their focus. As officials, we should have a zero tolerance for poor sportsmanship, and the calling official quickly has to use their judgment in making a single common foul call, a double foul call, and then whether or not to upgrade to an intentional foul. All of these have their specific use and it all comes back to game management. With multiple officials on the floor, if the calling official feels the need for partner input, then a quick huddle can take place and come out of it with the final rulings.
My recent Friday nights have been filled with great basketball games. What made this past Friday night even sweeter was officiating the game that my next door neighbor was playing. Jaxon Vanchiere is a 9th grader playing on his high school Sophomore, JV, and Varsity teams. He gets a lot of Sophomore and JV playing time and when he is in the game he ratchets up the energy of every play. Watching him develop has been incredible. As one of his past young men's leaders, I have got to play ball with him on dozens of occasions the past year and a half. Aggressive, strong, balanced, and deadly are words I would use to describe him on both offense and defense. This leads us to last Friday night's games...
The Sophomore game was being held in the small auxiliary gym and the energy was high. This play happened quickly and there was no doubt how it was going to play out. The offensive dribbler was not going to get this shot off...
BLOW YOUR WHISTLE!
The key to stopping issues on the basketball court is to blow your whistle. Last night we experienced just such a play. The game was a Sophomore rivalry between the Lone Peak High School and Pleasant Grove High School girls. These players possess good skills and show that these two programs have at least a couple of good years to look forward to as these players migrate through JV and Varsity teams.
NOTE: The following is a partner to partner evaluation of a small clip of game film. Any other individuals who see this entry, it is for informational purposes only. If you have any personal discoveries or epiphanies, then it is a bonus. We are not looking for feedback from others.
Test taking is always frustrating for me. I struggle getting the right answer and then harmonizing this with putting the answer that the test taker wants us to answer as what they feel is right. Most of the time my desires are in harmony, but there are always 4 or 5 questions out of 100 that rub me the wrong way.
Take a look at this one for the 2018-19 NFHS Part 1 basketball test...
I love taking the time to watch my fellow officials work games and witness firsthand how they deal with the situations that arise on the basketball court. It is always easier being a witness, rather than a participant. It is easy for me to watch them, second guess their actions, and then learn from their mishaps.
This post is called "From Zero To Melee In Seconds" because the game can be going along normally one moment and then all heck breaks loose the next. In this video you will see the white team player come down, pass behind his back to the shooter spotted up in the low corner behind the three point line. If this shooter had just made the shot, then there would be no blog entry. But he missed the shot...
I would hope that all officials, both new and seasoned, would take a moment and download this FREE guide from The National Association of Sports Officials (NASO) and www.Referee.com.
Hey Michael, do you know any specific stores you get I can get the UHSAA official ref jerseys ?! I think you mentioned two places last time we spoke, but I just cannot remember. Jeff
This is a great question, especially for a newer official. But don't think I have not been asked by dozens of seasoned officials as well. I took the time to respond to Jeff and documented all of the important links and information.
Should the Coach be upset? That is the question.
Up by 14 points with 45.3 seconds to go in the game, you would think the Coach would be overjoyed with the looming win. Nope, he went a little extreme as he felt my partner made the over and back call erroneously using the wrong line. In an auxiliary gym setting the lines can get very confusing. Why? Because these gyms are used for all kinds of sports and the lines are going everywhere.
I am currently enjoying the book, "Say What? How to respond to players and coaches." I recently added this to my ever growing library and I love to read and glean the finer tips and pointers to help improve my officiating. I purchased it through Referee Magazine and NASO.
For some reason, this one jumped out at me...
Consistency? My conclusion is that there is very little consistency with throw-in inbounding procedures among the officials that I have been observing here in Utah in the past few weeks. Each official seems to do it a bit differently, and many do not follow the guidelines set forth in the 2017-19 NFHS Basketball Officials Manual.
Giving the ball to the inbound thrower involves several steps. For seasoned officials, it is routine, but for newer officials it can be very confusing. It reminds me of kids learning to simultaneously rub their bellies and tap their heads. In this case, it involves using both hands and sometimes blowing a whistle. It seems easy, but there is pointing to the inbound spot, blowing the whistle (when appropriate), bouncing or handing the ball to the thrower, giving a five count, and chopping the clock. Yes, there are a lot of responsibilities.
12/14/2018 - I had never attended a Silent Night game before. When the home team Westlake High School scored its tenth point, then a timeout would immediately be called and the students were to rush the court. A missed layup and two missed free throws delayed the storming of the court, but it finally happened... What a blast!
I witnessed this event from the stands while watching the varsity officials after my earlier two games at the same school. I was told what would happen, but I had never previously heard of a Silent Night game. After watching, I thought it was a great idea. Watch the video closely and you can see the two Saratoga Springs police officers were there ready to prevent any mishaps, riots, fights, or trouble. I am not sure what the officers were expecting, but they were there and ready.
I have been working with some new officials that are going through the overwhelmed stage in their early careers. I stress the importance that they learn to do their mechanics the right way and this will avoid the need to break bad habits later. I wish that was the way I had done it. Instead, I am still purging little things I have been doing wrong for years. Let's address one of these in this entry...
As the Trail official in a 2-man crew, what should we be doing during the administration of free throws? Where should we stand. What signals should we be making? How should they be made? And where should I be looking to find the information?
On December 7, 2018 the Wasatch Academy from Mount Pleasant, Utah played the Richland Bombers from Southeast Washington State. I was a fan in the stands watching this game and thoroughly enjoyed what turned out to be a blowout game. I posted this video on Facebook the following day with the following description...
The Wasatch Academy dominated the Redmond Bombers at the 2019 Vivent Great Western Shootout in Orem, Utah. The turnover dunk by 6'9" #44 Mady Sissoko followed by the steal and bucket by 6'6" #23 Leonardo Colimerio was penalized with a "T" as the muscle-flexing pose directed at the cheering Wasatch student section was deemed as unsportsmanlike conduct. This did not slow them down a bit in their 97-62 victory.
I follow several online referee social media groups and I found this recent thread that is filled with good advice. I have removed any last names to protect the innocent...
Lucas - First year official.... I've had a few games so far. When I call a foul it feels like I "black out" everything happens so fast. Whistle,get number run to report. I'm sure with exposure things will slow down. I try to remember if I raised my hand and have no idea, I need to get my hands on one of the tapes I ref'd but other than that any ideas on how to slow things down in your mind. I hope that made sense
In a JV game last night, the game got away from my partner and I for a few minutes just before half time. We made it through the half, but the technical foul on the assistant coach gave us some fits from the administration perspective and we took about twice as much time as we should have to administer the foul, the shot, and to get the clock adjusted so the game could continue. It made for temporary chaos, and we could have handled it a lot better. The fun part (tongue firmly in cheek) was knowing that we had the three good varsity officials in the stands watching.
What would these officials have to share with us at half time? Sometimes they say nothing. Sometimes they weren't even really watching. But lucky for us, they were watching and taking lots of mental notes on how we handled the situation.
In a recent game, the ball went out of bounds with .2 seconds on the clock. I realized that I did not know the rule book well enough, and fantasized over the possibilities as the inbounder was set to put the ball into play. Yes, I was spared having my ignorance exposed as no shot attempt was made as the buzzer sounded. As I left the court, I was really looking forward to getting into the rules book and seeing what it had to say.
NFHS BASKETBALL RULES BOOK 2018-19
- 5 - SCORING AND TIMING REGULATIONS
- 2 - SCORING
- ARTICLE 5 - When play is resumed with a throw-in or free throw and three-tenths (.3) of a second or less remains on the clock, a player may not gain control of the ball and try for a field goal. In this situation only a tap could score.
- NOTE: This rule does not apply if the clock does not display tenths of a second.
KEY TO OFFICIAL'S SUCCESS
.3 seconds is the key in these end of quarters scenarios. With that ,3 or less, only a tap is allowed. A traditional shot is NOT allowed. It does not matter when the horn goes off.
The ball goes out in the corner of the court and the dilemma arises as to where and how the ball should be inbounded. Too many times we see the official place the inbounding player at the corner of the court and then have them try to inbound the ball. More often than not the play develops into a turnover for the other team. Why? Not only do they have a defender in front of them, but the end lines and side lines unfairly become defenders by severely limiting the inbounder’s ability to get a pass to an open teammate.
"NOT THE BEST" MECHANICS
Place the inbounder at the exact corner location where the ball went out of play. This also will draw complaints from coaches that watch their team become disadvantaged by the inconsiderate or unknowing official. If you do this and they complain, then own it... You blew it with poorly thought out inbounding mechanics. Please consider the following...