International Association of Approved Basketball Officials, Inc.

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Interpreterís notes from
December 13, 2013 Clinic

Meeting was cancelled. Notes prepared by David Ames, Interpreter

Rules and Manual exams plus answer keys will be mailed out once the remaining members have taken their exams. Overall we did well on the exams but some members need to listen better during clinics and review and pay more attention to learning the rules. One has not arrived as an official unless they can do well on a basic rules exam like the one that we take each year. Remember, this exam is designed for Prospective Officials that are trying to become certified. Anyone that has been refereeing very long and attending rules clinics on a regular basis should not be missing many questions on the rules exam. When our Assigner, who has not officiated in 25 years and has not opened a rulebook yet this year, can come to the review session, take the exam and miss only one question, it does not speak well for those of you missing several or more questions.

Exam results for those taking it so far were; 30 members got them all right on the Rules Exam, 51 got them all right on the Manual Exam and 24 members got them all right on both exams. Some averages by Levels include;

  • Level One officials missed an average of 0.61 questions
  • Level Two officials missed an average of 1.26 questions
  • Level Three officials missed an average of 2.32 questions
  • Level Four officials missed an average of 4.44 questions
  • Level Five officials missed an average of 8.00 questions

This will give you an idea of how you fared compared to others in your same Level.

If you would like to know your exam results before they are mailed back to you just send me an e-mail and I would be glad to give you your results.

Some specific situations to be aware of;

  • Camden Hills Regional High School girlsí varsity have new uniforms and the sizing was off with many of the uniforms being quite large. Therefore, the players are rolling the pants up considerably to alleviate this problem. This should not be an issue for us.
  • Samuel Wagner Middle School purchased new uniforms and the supplier sent illegal #ís of 6, 7, 8 & 9. They have sent these uniforms to a screen printer to be redone so hopefully you will not have to deal with this any longer. If such a situation comes up in any games that you officiate please allow it to continue for that game, inform me after the game and I will deal with the school on it and then get back to all officials with any solutions or decisions.
  • Hermon has an H painted on the floor rather than an X in front of the scorer. This will be allowed this year and corrected when the floor is done over. Please continue to inform me of any floor or equipment issues regarding individual schools. Do not create a big issue about it with administrators or coaches prior to the game. If a coaching box is not in place the coach cannot use a coaching box and MUST be seated for the entire game. This is by rule !

General comments and rule concerns

  • Regular knee pads, that just cover the knee, are legal and are not covered under the sleeve ruling. If it covers more than just the knee, going down the calf or up the thigh then it is considered a sleeve and must be for medical reasons and abide by the color ruling.
  • Superman socks, that have a cape flapping behind at the top of the socks, are not legal and must be removed.
  • Address hair issues during pre-game with the coach, not the player. Remember, you are doing a disservice to officials following you if you do not address this area.
  • Remember, the definition of a headband has changed to anything that goes around the head and therefore must abide by color requirements. Letís be consistent in ruling on this ! Also, headbands can be white, beige, black or one of the two school colors. Therefore, if the players have blue uniforms with yellow and white inserts, players could wear, white, beige, black, blue or yellow headbands and be legal as long as all players have the same color.
  • The lower lane space needs to have a lower marking so officials can tell if the player is remaining in their 3 foot area. If it is not on the floor please let me know.
  • The Head Coach must attend the pre-game meeting. Captains do not have to be there if the coach does not want to designate captain (s). Inform the Head Coach it is a technical foul on them for not attending. Assistant coach (s) cannot attend in their place. This would also result in loss of the coaching box.
  • Any technical foul on bench personnel or players during pre-game for such things as dunking, taunting etc. also results in an indirect to the Head Coach, which results in loss of coaching box during the game.
  • Enforce the coaching box requirement. The coach cannot be out of it coaching or berating the officials. Assessing a penalty will solve the problem. Remember, there are two teams out there, the other coach is doing what is expected by rule. The coach does not have to sit or have a seat in the coaching box, but if they want to use the coaching box they cannot sit outside it. If a coach loses the privilege of the coaching box, their seat can be outside the box.
  • With the new rule governing announcers, please inform me if there are schools that are not cooperating. Do not make a big deal of it during the game. Announcers can announce player who scored, player charged with foul, player attempting free throws, team granted a time-out, length of the time-out, three point goal, player entering game and team rosters/starters. Announcers should not be announcing, # of points the player has scored (unless 1000 point tribute), # of fouls on a player, number of team fouls, number of team time-outs or # remaining, emphatic 3 point goal, time remaining in period, type of foul or violation.
  • Enforce closely guarded counts immediately, when they start. Remember, no particular stance is required and two defenders can create a closely guarded situation as long as the six foot requirement is maintained throughout the coverage.
  • There are only 4 warnings; interfering with the ball after a goal, huddling in the lane, boundary plane violation and not having the floor ready to play following a time-out or intermission. Other areas should either be ruled legal or penalized by rule.
  • The requirement for a held ball is that both players have both hands so firmly on the ball that control cannot be established without undue roughness (Rule 4.25.1) Only one hand needs to be on the ball when blocking a shot, creating a held ball. (Rule 4.25.2)
  • Interfering with the ball, after a made goal, within the last 5 seconds of the game should be ruled as a technical foul and not issue a warning, since it would be an advantage for the defense for us to stop the game and issue a warning, allowing the clock to stop and them to set up their defense.
  • If a player is injured and a time-out taken to keep that player in the game, the warning horn would have no bearing regarding the substitute reporting to replace the injured player in case they cannot be made ready to play after the full completion of the time-out. A substitute would be required immediately if the injured player is not ready to participate.
  • Substitutes may enter after the first of two free throws for intentional or technical fouls. They do not have to wait until all free throws are completed just before the ensuing throw-in.
  • Remember, team control on throw-ins only relates to fouls. It has no bearing on such things as three seconds, backcourt etc. A throw-in may go from the front court endline into the backcourt and be legal, as long as it was not controlled on the floor in frontcourt, before it went backcourt. Touching is not control !
  • During free throws for technical and intentional fouls, players other than the shooter, only need to be behind the three point arc and the foul line extended. For some reason teams have developed the thought that they have to be behind the division line. A player breaking the plane of the arc and free throw line extended on such free throws before the ball hits the rim/backboard would be a violation just like any normal free throw. It would not be a technical foul for breaking the plane too soon.
  • Breaking the boundary plane has two different restrictions depending on what kind of throw-in it is. On a designated spot throw-in, the defense may not break the plane until the ball has been released by the thrower. Once the ball is released, the defense may break the plane to deflect or intercept the ball. The offense cannot break the plane to catch the ball on the out of bounds side of the boundary. On a throw-in following a made/ awarded goal or free throw, the defense may not break the plane of the boundary line if the thrower is passing to another teammate out of bounds on the endline. Remember, this pass is considered just the same as the thrower walking over and handing the ball to that teammate on the endline, we certainly would not allow the defense to slap the ball from that players hand in this scenario.
  • Stay alert during free throws. We tend to take a break during free throws and do not properly officiate. Continually remind yourself who you are responsible for, what team is shooting, who and how many players can be in lane spots and when they can enter.
  • When an airborne shooter returns to the floor with one foot, they are no longer an airborne shooter. There is no team control if the shot has been taken, therefore it would be a common foul and shots awarded if a team is in the bonus when a foul occurs by either team.
  • Artificial noisemakers or the band playing during a live ball are not permissible. If issues develop please address with the AA, not with the band leader.
  • Disconcertion can only be caused by players, coaches or bench personnel. Fans cannot be charged with disconcertion. Fan issues should also be addressed with the AA. Do not get involved personally with fans.
  • Fisting the ball is a violation. The ball is to be played with an open hand, not the fist.
  • If an offensive player has their arms in a defensive players vertical space and contact occurs, there should be one of two rulings; either incidental contact or a player control foul on the offense. Do not penalize the defense for being legal in their vertical space.
  • Try not to personalize technical foul rulings. It is just another ruling in the game that needs to be made at times then move on. Be sure also to report all technical fouls on the form on our Boardís website. No matter what the technical is for it must be reported.
  • Avoid gossiping and donít be labeled a complainer. It very obviously effects how fellow officials view you.
  • When we accept an assignment we are a teacher for that time period that we are in the gym. Letís be a good teacher !
  • Be sure to sign the scorebook at all levels. Referee should do this when checking book at beginning of the game. Schools have requested this to assist when they need to rate officials.
  • Many of you officiate non-assigned games at various levels with non-certified officials. Remember, often all officials are judged by the actions/decisions of these non-certified individuals, who in some cases could not pass our Board requirements or do not want to be held to the standards the Board requires. It is our obligation to correct inaccurate rulings made by these individuals, helping them with proper rule interpretations. Many of them have not attended rules clinics in years, if ever. The teams/kids are the ones being penalized by these rulings.
  • You have heard Commissioner Webb address this so far this year, plus the AAís representative to the Basketball Commission has addressed it and Iíve already had fellow officials and observers mention it to me, and that is the conditioning of officials. If your physical condition/ limitations, affects how you cover the game by not moving to the proper position or avoiding rotating or closing down, then you are cheating the teams/kids plus your fellow officials/crew. You can still make contributions at other levels or be a mentor or observer but it should not impact varsity games. Look in the mirror and be realistic, is it time I made a decision to do something else


Have a great season and keep me informed of any situations, different rulings or things that would benefit the entire membership. Feel free to contact me with your questions.

Dave Ames
Board #111 Interpreter