Welcome from The Editor
Late November and early December means the
arrival of the basketball season is near. The time to compete
(except girl's high school in Virginia, North Dakota, South Dakota,
Michigan, and Montana who play basketball in the fall ) is finally
here. Let the games begin! Your physical preparation and mental
study will soon be put to the test (October Newsletter). The
scrimmages you worked have offered the opportunity to sharpen
your play recall , your signals and your floor mechanics (November
Newsletter). Hopefully you are ready to hit the hardwood and
DO THE WORK.
The Technical Foul and the Smile
This is a true story.
Here is the end of the story.
It was early in the third period of a recent basketball game
when the coach of team A began to chirp loudly about
contact caused by Team B on several plays. It seemed inevitable
that a technical foul would soon have to be assessed. On the
next play where there was some contact and no call , a technical
foul was assessed to the coach of Team A . As the referees walked
to the far end of the gym to shoot the free throws for the technical
foul there was a smile of satisfaction on the face of Team As
And here is the beginning of the story.
With six second remaining in the second period player A-3 received
an outlet pass off of a rebound. Player A-3 started a dribble,
and was knocked to the floor by player B-3 in the back court
at the free throw line extended with 1.6 seconds on the clock.
Team A would have been awarded a 1 and 1 free throw for the foul,
however, there was no whistle on the play and time expired ending
During the halftime and prior to the beginning of the 3rd period,
the coach asked the referees in a non-confrontational manner
about the play, and here is the dialogue that took place in that
Coach: Do you remember the play just before the half when
Referee 1: (interrupting and arrogant),oh yeah, you mean
when the player got fouled? Well, I saw the foul but didnt
call it because time was running out and I wasnt going
to walk all the way down there (pointing to the far end of the
gym) just to shoot the free throws with time running out.
Now that explains coach As satisfied
smile as he watched the walk to the far end of the gym.
There are lessons to be learned from this
story. Here are a few.
Referees are expected to manage the game
from the time they arrive on the court until the game has ended
with an approved final score. That includes all plays during
the game. The message to A-3 could be that knock-downs (rough
play)are going to be allowed in this game. And, what if A-3 decides
to retaliate against B-3? If you see a foul you have a responsibility
to call the foul.
There is no section in the rules that give
the referees a different set of guidelines to officiate the game
differently at the end of periods. A player that is held, blocked,
pushed, or hit has been fouled. A referee should not make a player
become a SUPERPERSON who has to perform a superhuman feat (have
to absorb greater contact) in order to finish off a play at the
end of the period. Dont close your eyes to illegal contact
at the end of a period. A player attempting to score at the end
of a period should have the same opportunity to score and under
the same conditions that existed at any other time of the game.
By the way, this also applies to a defender who has established
a legal guarding position and is then run over by an offensive
player. Ask yourself if you are guilty of treating contact at
the end of a period differently, and if so why? Keep in mind
that points scored at the end of early periods DO factor into
the final outcome. Remember that all points throughout the game
add up to a final total in the end.
A referee should understand and have player
empathy (feel). Scoring is FUN. Players like to score, parents
and friends like to see the scoring. A fouled player should be
given the opportunity to shoot the merited penalty. Player A-3
may not have scored a point in the game (or in the last two games,
or in the last week, or in the last month) and really should
not have been deprived of the opportunity to shoot the merited
free throws. Period ending situations ARE important which is
why coaches usually get the ball to their BEST PLAYERS in order
to have a good opportunity to score.
CHOOSE YOUR WORDS WISELY. In the story
the answer the referee gave to the coach did nothing to make
the situation anything but worse. A better response to the situation
in question would have been, Coach, I didnt put air
in the whistle on that play and I realize that it was a mistake
on my part not to have done so.
Topic of the Month
You have an obligation to PROPERLY PREPARE
yourself to do the job to the best of your ability for each and
every assignment that you accept. Be prepared mentally and physically
to DO THE WORK.
You have an obligation to the game itself. Understand
the contribution you make to the basketball community. The constant
you should have is that the game you are about to referee should
always be approached as the most important basketball game of
your life. Be assured that the players, coaches, and schools
participating in the game deem it as important. Dont make
a particular game greater or lesser than other game assignments.
Each game needs the best officiating effort that you can offer.
Your mentality should be effort/reward for quality service, and
not time/pay check received.
You have an obligation to protect the integrity of the game.
See the play, make the decision (whistle or no whistle). Call
the game within the context of the rules. The winner of the game
should be the team that utilized the best skills and played the
best basketball in that game. It should not be based on who was
the strongest or most physical team.
Too often I hear officials speak of, or
hang calls on a philosophy that they either have
or heard. BEWARE of philosophy. There are a lot of philosophical
thoughts out there and all with varying degrees of differences.
Philosophies float around in a very gray area (which leads to
inconsistency), and play calling and game management should be
interpreted in a more defined black and white area. A good referee
will rely on the tools (the basics) that give a sequence for
the task at hand in preparing and working each game. Here are
a few basics to follow:
Have a meaningful pre-game conference.
BE MENTALLY PREPARED TO MANAGE THE GAME.
Move for and with a purpose. THERE ARE NO MAGIC SPOTS ON THE
Relocate to get good angles in order to see the play. REFEREE
Call the obvious. Officiate post play, hand checking, screening,
cutters, and shooters in the context of the written rules. THEY
WILL PLAY AS YOU ALLOW THEM TO PLAY.
Dont guess. YOU ARE A PART OF A TEAM. WORK TOGETHER AND
TRUST YOUR PARTNERS.
Referee the game from the beginning to the end with a high level
of concentration. THE CREW SHOULD SET THE TEMPO OF THE GAME.
THE GAME SHOULD BE FREE FLOWING, AND NOT TERRITORIAL. Athletic
ability within the rules should determine the outcome of the
game, not brute strength.
Referee your primary, ASSIST in secondary areas. DONT BE
A BALL WATCHER.
Communicate with your partners, the players and the coaches WHEN
NECESSARY. Communication when needed is not a sign of weakness,
it is a sign of humanity.
Life Tip for the Month
Eat to live, dont live to eat. Your
physical appearance is a correlation of what you consume. Use
discipline with your choices in diet and nutrition decisions.
Now is the time (before the holiday season) to set some standards
for your nutrition. The mirrors in your house arent
just for you to use when shaving or putting on make-up (and working
on your basketball signals). Stand before a full length mirror
and take inventory. Your image should fit vertically and horizontally
in the mirror. Evaluate honestly what you see. Self assess on
whether the image looking back at you is the best that you can
be. Healthy living is a choice too. Please choose wisely.
Question of the Month
Each summer I am required (expected) to
go to the camp which is run by my collegiate supervisor if I
am to be eligible for assignments in that conference. What do
feel about that? Name withheld by request.
It is my hope that a request to return
to camp by a supervisor would include the supervisors interest
in your improvement as a referee. This is not a request that
in and of itself lacks merit. At least not the first request
to return to the camp. This also is assuming the supervisor provides
hands-on guidance at the camp to insure that you leave with an
improved package by the end of the camp. I do not believe any
situation where a supervisor expects a staff member
to continue to attend their camp or not receive assignments is
at all healthy or would be condoned by the governing body.
All supervisors need to be sensitive to
and consider a few realities:
Most referees do not have the finances to attend multiple camps
each summer without hardship. Attending a camp means taking time
off from work and incurring some degree of personal financial
sacrifice. There are not many referees that can take off an unlimited
number of days in order to attend several camps. (By the way,
your vacation days should be used for your vacation). Check out
the dictionary for the definition of vacation.
A referee that attends any quality camp should be encouraged
rather than penalized with that attendance. For example, if referee
A is a member of Conference A, and that referee wants to attend
a camp held by Supervisor B, that referee should NOT BE PENALIZED
for attending Supervisor Bs camp.
If the requirement to mandate attendance has anything to do with
an agreement the supervisor has made with a basketball camp to
provide referees, and the referees are really serving as a primary
function of that agreement, then that is wrong !
I would suggest that any referee that feels exploited by this
rule should feel comfortable in writing a letter
requesting a meeting and then having a discussion with the supervisor
about the situation. You either have the ability to be in the
conference or you shouldnt have been added to the staff.
As a member of the staff you should have had opportunities to
show your ability (got some games). If you received no assignments
it would not be rational for a supervisor to require you to come
back to camp to remain on staff . If you had games in the conference
you should have some type of evaluations that should show specifics
on your performance. That indicator would be the topic of your
conversation with your supervisor
If you have a question you would like to submit for the January
issue, visit www.toliverbasketball.com and put the qustion on
the community board or just CLICK HERE to submit your question now.
Scott Foster, National Basketball Association
Preparing and Presenting the Pre-Game Conference
Often when working early in my career there
were two types of pre-games that I endured. The first was no
pre-game and the second was when the appointed referee in charge
would pull out a card that was supplied by the conference and
read through it. Now Im not saying you should throw that
card away. I am suggesting however, that it not be used as a
tool night in and night out as the only guide for your pre-game.
I have found it helpful to include other resources as I prepare
for an effective pre-game conference. Here are some pre-game
goals and suggestions:
Get the crew thinking about basketball. The first step in preparing
for the pre-game should include the use of rule book and case
book to choose topics you want to cover. Dont overwhelm
the crew with too much information. Select a few topics each
night that will lead to healthy conversation that will help the
performance of the crew. As the season goes on, the pre-game
will change due to new information.
Help facilitate conversation about basketball involving the entire
crew. The pre-game should be in outline form. Topics should be
specific and to the point, not general in scope. Dont spend
10 minutes on the jump ball since it only happens once per regulation
game. The entire crew should be involved throughout the discussion
and meaningful input should be encouraged. The R is assigned
the responsibility to lead the pre-game but no one wants to listen
to the R ramble on for 20 minutes. Referee A could discuss new
rules and guidelines and Referee B could discuss court coverage
and rotations. The pre-game should stick to fundamentals and
keep personal preferences or opinions (philosophies) out of it.
The pre-game should be organized so that conversation flows right
into an exit from the locker room and onto the floor by the crew.
Prepare and discuss game situations that may come up based on
past and recent game experiences that you have had, seen, or
heard about. Be as specific as you can with plays. For example
when talking about press situations, dont say center will
stay back around mid court to help out. Be specific and discuss
how the center can help with the 10-second count, backcourt violations,
or coverage on the other side on the court when the new trail
is still deep in the backcourt.
Here are items that are recommended for
Discussion of new rules, points of emphasis
Court coverage. Go over procedures you as a crew want to perform
Atypical situations and how to handle them as a crew. Prepare
for confusing situations so you as a crew can handle it without
adding further controversy.
Talk about partnering and the crews team concept. Discuss how
the crew will assist with information that could change a partners
call (i.e., out of bounds help). The discussion should insure
a team effort rather than an over ruling mentality.
Discuss period ending scenarios including court coverage, communication,
clock responsibility and play calling. Cover problem resolution
that could occur with those plays.
Discuss team and player game tendencies (pace and tempo, type
of defense played -man, zone, presses, type of offense- motion,
triangle etc.). This information is important for the anticipation
of PLAYS, and not for the purpose to form preconceived notions.
Remember a good pre-game brings everyone
up to a high level of concentration and prepares the crew to
be on the same page. Its all about THE GAME, YOUR PARTNERS,
and then YOU !
Good luck, Scott
Thought for the Month
Every man must decide whether he will
walk in the light of creative altruism or the darkness of destructive
selfishness. This is a judgment. Lifes most persistent
and urgent question is, what are you doing for others?
Martin Luther King, Jr
As we approach this holiday season please
take time to express your love and warmth to those that are close
to you. I also hope you will make an effort to bring comfort
and happiness to at least one person that you dont know
. Extend that person a helping hand and show them a sign of love.
Happy holidays to you all.
Copyright 2000. Toliver Basketball.com.
All Rights Reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part of any
article without permission is prohibited. The thoughts in this
newsletter are the property of the writer. I will not be responsible
for anything contained as it reflects my opinion. While topics
may be cutting edge in content it is the intent of the newsletter
to stimulate positive interaction and growth for the readers.