International Association of Approved Basketball Officials, Inc.

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Clinic Notes From
January 8, 2012

Rule Issues

  1. Feather hair extensions are illegal and must be removed. These are not hair control devices.
  2. Only team members may warm up during pre-game and at halftime. A team member is anyone dressed, listed in the scorebook and eligible to play that day. Managers, statisticians, coaches and players who are being disciplined and not dressed in uniform and listed in the scorebook, are not eligible to warm-up on the floor.
  3. The rules want to be inclusive for players, managers, etc. who have special needs. Therefore such things as specialized medical equipment such as insulin pumps, hearing aids, concussion caps should be allowed as long as they have not been altered from the manufacturer’s specifications and prove unsafe to others. Also, bench personnel in a wheelchair can be on the bench but we must be concerned with the safety of the players with the wheelchair being too close to the playing surface. Accommodations should be made by home game management to accommodate them in a safe location for all involved in the game.
  4. If a team at the middle school level has only 5 or 6 players and due to injury, disqualification or sickness they have less than 5 players available, the opposing coach may volunteer to play with less than 5 players also, to be fair to the opponents. This would not be allowed at the high school level. Also, at any level, if a team has less only 5 players and a player is sent to the bench for a shirt issue, the coach may request a time out to be able to keep this player in the game so that they will have 5 players on the court. This would not be allowed if the team had a substitute available to replace the player being removed for a uniform issue.
  5. If there is a break-a-way by one team and the opposing coach or a player warrants a technical foul we should have a delayed whistle and penalize the technical foul after the break-a-way has finished, otherwise we would have negated a good scoring opportunity for the offense. We would always penalize that technical but just hold the whistle briefly to allow the play to complete.
  6. Regarding teams lining up around the jump circle prior to the National Anthem, they must remain in the half of the court in front of their bench until after the Anthem is completed. If there is not an Anthem played then they cannot line up around the circle in the entire court until the officials are ready to start the game.
  7. We need to do a much better job at identifying illegal equipment such as, t-shirts, headbands, sweatbands, wristbands jewelry, etc. plus hair concern issues, during the pre-game warm-up and address the issue. These things cannot be allowed. Hair should not be down over the number, whether it is a boy or girl, they need to put it up. It can be both a safety, hindrance concern, plus it can conceal the number. Officials not addressing this are doing a disservice to the game and creating problems for their fellow officials who follow them in games involving such issues and properly deal with it. Handle your duties appropriately, it is a rule and not your personal preference.
  8. If there is a foul to end a period with shots to be taken, all players must remain on the playing surface until the free throws are completed. They can stand in front of the bench and the coach can talk with them as long as the coach stays in the coaching box. Bench personnel cannot stand and players cannot sit or go to the locker room, the period is still in progress until the free throws end.
  9. A passed ball that is deflected from behind the three point arc and happens to go in the basket counts only as 2 points. It is a pass and not a try for goal. Also, a throw-in from outside the three point arc area and basket interference occurs by the defense while the ball is in the cylinder during the throw-in, counts only as 2 points.
  10. Flagrant fouls can be personal or technical. The penalty is ejection, two shots and a throw-in from the division line opposite the table for a flagrant technical foul and a throw-in from the spot nearest the foul for a personal flagrant foul. Be sure that you properly notify the scorer, coach and player involved of the flagrant foul and ejection since there is not a specific signal for a flagrant foul. Try to be calm in these situations and handle your duties completely and thoroughly.
  11. If there is a try near the end of the game, be sure to properly communicate with the table on whether the goal is good or not and then approve the final score before you leave the confines of the court. Never leave doubt in anyone’s mind what your ruling was and that you approved the final score.
  12. Remember, no matter how subtle a jump stop is, the player may not pivot or move their feet, other than to pass or shoot, after completing the jump stop. Also, a player can lift a pivot foot to pass or shoot, as long as it is not returned to the floor before releasing the ball. It may look funny but it is not a travel.
  13. Penalize illegal screens. Do not allow players setting screens to pick people off on the move. Part of the problem is that too many officials are watching the ball and not covering their PCA, therefore not seeing what is occurring off the ball.
  14. There is too much contact occurring on the dribbler, bumping, chesting, bellying, hands on, that is affecting their ability to move freely. I have seen out of bounds and traveling called on the offense when the defender caused the problem due to illegal contact

Mechanics Concerns

  1. Crews need to arrive on the floor 15 minutes prior to the start of the game. This goes for sub-varsity as well as varsity games. I have observed officials arriving anywhere from 7 to 15 minutes prior to the game. You cannot do justice to your pre-game duties and be ready to officiate if you are not on the floor 15 minutes prior to game time.
  2. For front court endline throw-ins do not put yourself or the thrower into the lane area. Adjust your position appropriately.
  3. As the Lead, stay wide when the ball is on your side of the basketline, then close down when it crosses the basketline. Too many officials are assuming the ‘B’ position when the ball is on their side of basketline.
  4. Too many officials are too deep as the Trail and not properly stepping down towards the endline to cover rebounding on a shot.
  5. It is very obvious that way too many officials are ‘ball watchers’. Cover your PCA, trust your partner and handle the concerns in your area,
  6. Make sure to always indicate the spot after making a violation, non-shooting foul or out of bounds call. This tells everyone where you want the ball put in play plus lets your partner know where they have to be located. Often this is being neglected on the endline regarding which side of the lane the ball will be put in play from. Also, make sure to put the ball in play where indicated and go to the closest spot and not the most convenient for you.
  7. Regarding site of foul sequence, the areas we need to do better are; indicate the # of the fouler, the type of foul signal and identify the shooter if there are shots involved. I’m also seeing way too many one handed foul signals. Review page #52 of the Two Person Manual.
  8. After granting a time-out be sure to immediately indicate the spot where play will be resumed. Also, some of you need to review proper time-out positions depending on the type of time-out and how the ball is be be put back in play.
  9. When reporting a foul to the table and there are substitutes waiting to enter, be sure to bring them in after completing all of your reporting information and then turn them over to the administering official. I have seen officials fail to do this, the subs just wander on the floor and the administering official is not aware of the situation, now we could end up with more than 5 players on the court.
  10. During your pre-game conference in the locker room, be sure to cover that the crew communicate when a team accumulates 6 or 9 fouls so that you are ready to shoot the bonus or double bonus. Also cover to look to the official opposite the table for the AP arrow. I have observed awkward gawking and turning around, craning a neck to look down the sideline when it would be so much easier to look to your partner opposite the table and have them give a good directional signal.
  11. As the Trail, do not step down on the last free throw until the ball nears the rim. Be sure you properly monitor entering the lane too soon and that players cannot go in behind their opponent until the ball hits the rim also.
  12. Many of our tosses are really bad yet I have not seen one blown back yet. Practice this one physical skill that we are asked to perform.
  13. Sideline throw-ins on the Trails side of the court all the way to the endline and the far side of the court above the free throw line extended are handled by the Trail official. The Trail also handles all backcourt throw-ins.
  14. Remember, when resuming play, the first thing we do is blow the whistle, this gets everyone’s attention, then we state the color and point direction.
  15. Three point try signals should be head / shoulder high, not at the waist or directly over your head. Over the head could be confused with the stop the clock signal.
  16. Conditioning is vital ! Players probably do not make the team or don’t get much playing time if they are not in shape. As officials, we should be held to the same expectations. You are not being fair to the game, teams and your partner if you cannot keep up with the play due to being in poor physical condition. It also does not look good and seriously hurts our perception.

Good luck for the remainder of the season, let’s work hard to get them all right!