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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

 Michael Leavitt BlogAndre - My first year I was given this jewel. When you blow your whistle count to three and while counting tell yourself,
Then proceed to the table
I still use this method now 10 yrs later

Camron - We call it CNNC...


Get them can't leave out consequeance. Your partner (and players) need to know what is happening next (OOB? 2-shots? etc.)

Practice, Practice, Practice.

 Andre - Camron, I'll have to add the last C. I like that

Brian - Practice in front of a mirror, remember no matter how fast or slow the pace of a game is, they cannot start without you and your partner in position.

James - Lucas, those first to comments are the best. Just remember when you’re starting out at anything, you are nervous and tend to rush things. The mirror trick works well. It will come to you. I started when I was 15 and 57 years later I still love. I’m not on the court now, but I love help newcomers. Don’t panic, you’ll get it. GOOD LUCK!

 Brady - The mirror is your friend or even video tape yourself

Steven - Lucas, relax...When I first started and i'm sure most others will tell you we blew the whistle but didn't put our hand up. For me, every time I didn't put my hand up I would smack it hard. Let me tell you that didn't last long. Its now like breathing, its comes natural....As one of my interpreters said it best and James Guise was the other great interpreter, pretend your a cop at a scene. Don't leave the scene until you get all the information. Get the color and number know what your going to say before reporting. there's nothing in the rule book that states you have to report what you got in 10 seconds! relax!!!! nothing more embarrassing then leaving the scene and forgetting the number. Relax, get the info.

Maurice - Steven, good analogy. I will remember this!

James - Steven, thanks for the kind of words!

Josh - One thing to do in the game - when you call the foul - GO NOWHERE! Communicate everything you’re going to tell the table. Color, number, signal. Do all three and attempt to do them perfectly. Then go to the table and repeat.

Chris - The game moves at one speed and the officiating is moving at another speed!!

Oscar - When you blow your whistle, given that you are the center of attention, take your time.

Justin - Take a half second after you blow your whistle to know if it is a foul or violation and raise your hand accordingly. Stay there for a second to gather your color and number and what your call is like for a foul for example if it is a hit, hold, block, push, or hand check then “fake hustle” (jog/walk fast there is no reason to run to report a foul) to your reporting area, or where you have a clear visual of the table personnel and they can see you. Make eye contact with them then report your foul. Remember slow is smooth, smooth is fast. You’ll become more efficient with time but take your time right now and at the end of the day get the call right. A mirror works wonders too like others have mentioned.

Joseph - All the advices above are good. Every referee would have had these problems at the start of their career.

Slow down your actions deliberately. This will give you the 'half - a second' needed, to collect your thoughts. Lock your eyes on the player who committed the foul and tell yourself the nature of foul (ex. - shooting foul). Look at the ball also, to see if it goes into the basket.

Confiding in your partners on the field, will help, so they can be ready to assist.?

Brian - The more games you work, at any level, the better you’ll become. Slow down. It is your game. You are in control. You do not need to "rush" for anyone or anything.

Jeff - Great comments and I agree with you all. My suggestion is pertaining to going to the table. Hustle but don't run. And yes eye contact with your partners to make sure everyone is on the same page.

Sean - Excellent advice above. Just a variation of the same advice: intentionally slow down. Don't worry, you are still moving fast enough even if you think you are moving slow.

Blow your whistle with your hand up (mirror practice will make this a habit). Keep your hand up and STARE at the scene of the problem and pause to take 1-2 breaths. Now repeat in a commanding voice (but not an emotional voice) what you just saw: "White 23 2-handed push on Black 13 while shooting. Black 13 is shooting 2 free throws." If we are reversing direction, say that and point in the other direction. This lets your partner(s) know what to do and it lets the players move to the their next spots. Now jog over to the table reporting area, stop, take another long breath, and repeat the same but this time use your proper mechanics to tell the table so everyone can see what the problem was. If you are only doing an infraction (travel, double dribble, etc.) the same cadence still works. Take a breath or two after blowing with your hand still up, then do crisp mechanics, point to OOB spot and point to direction. That breath will seem like a long time for a delay but it won't be and you will look more professional and smoother. More experience and you can eliminate the breath but you still will not be hurried. When you are new, that breath will allow you to relax and communicate clearly.

Mike - Take a deep breath then do what youve been trained to do

Dave - In a fast-paced game, I try to be more deliberate in my calls and reporting. Gives me and my partner a chance to communicate and catch our breath. :) At 57, I need all the chances I can get!

Mike - I'm 60.....I tend to do the

Dennis - Make sure to do a prelim. This initial form of communication can help with your issue. It communicates to the players your partner and set in your mind what you will report officially.

Lucas - Thanks guys, next game is tomorrow I will try to put some of these thoughts in practice.

I enjoyed reading the advice given in this one thread. If you would like to join the Facebook group I referenced, it is called "Basketball Referees" and the members are quite civil with one another.  Not all groups have the same feeling when posting and responding. Consider joining the group.



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