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Thom Roylance - 2:34 Seconds of Fun!


Michael Leavitt Blog 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.

Thom 02


NOTE: In this short 2:34 second clip that includes a 30 second timeout, there are a couple dozen different responsibilities. Fans, coaches, and players have no clue. You are a good official and a good partner. With that said, let's dissect this bit of film and see if there are items that can be cleaned up. After all, with each sub-varsity game they are paying us $51 to perfect our mechanics. Take these comments at face value and see if there is any merit. If so, then incorporate the little changes. I think you are worth every bit of investment of my time...


Thom YT


0:00-02 - Good ten count finish.

0:06-08 - This play came from the Trail side and the foul was up on the arm. It should easily have been Trail's call, but notice your position when the whistle is blown. You are still way up towards the division line even though the activity dropped down low. It was just as well that you did not blow your whistle because you were not in a credible Trail position to make this call (too far away).

0:10 - As you jog to administer the free throw, did you verbalize to the lead that the basket was made/missed? Trail is usually the one watching for a made basket on post play.

0:13 - You appear to be signaling that the ball is coming in down on the end line, yet it looks like you and I were clear that it was two shots.

Up to 20 seconds - Good job getting everybody lined up and notifying them that there would be one shot.

0:30 - You set the ball on the free throw line to indicate that there would be free throws. The book says this is okay, but every senior official out there in Utah condemns this practice. War stories are told about retired officials stealing the ball off the floor during games and when the official returns to get the ball it is gone. I used to do exactly what you have done here.... But no more.

1:13 - After giving the shooter the ball via the bounce pass you line up on the court below the low block - See the Officials Manual Page 39 #5.


1:22 - You point straight at the shooter and then bounce the ball to him. Is this your signal for 1 shot? Remember, the signal (verbal and physical) is given so that the players, the coaches, and the fans know what is happening.

1:27 - You are well back from the key, but only ABOUT 18"-24" off the end line. The book says 4' from the nearer line and well off the end line. I do not know the exact definition of "Well Off"... But it is something to consider. I would also watch your non-verbal posture throughout the shot. You do not appear fully engaged (yet I know you are).

1:31 - You are using your right hand to chop the clock. It should be the arm farther away from the inbounder to be consistent with the inbounding guidelines shared on page 35 of the Officials Manual.
1:48 - Look at your on court positioning. You are above the 3 point arc. Consider working down to the free throw line on more than just the rare occasion.

1:50 - When there was a whistle and jump ball you made no movement towards the action. Consider coming in closer in case all heck breaks loose after the whistle. You lean forward, yet your feet do not move. Movement of your feet will make you appear more fully engaged.

1:51 - Good job signaling the direction the ball should be going after the jump.

2:14 - Good looking at the players as you go from trail to lead.

2:25 Good movement out wide.

2:29 - You are leaning again instead of moving. You might have considered at 2:27 to have pinched down low to the key to get the view you really needed. The drive was coming from trail side across the key, but the secondary defender #3 red could have hit him on the arm... Maybe not. These plays happen so fast, we have to identify our tendencies. You prefer to lean, and this should be a give-away to move your feet and see what you know you want to see without leaning.

Make it a great game! Michael Leavitt - Orem, Utah


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