International Association of Approved Basketball Officials, Inc.

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Commissioner's  Memo

December 24, 2012 Notes

This TF REPORT is shared ONLY as an example.

I see such expression within many TF Reports from all Boards. The use of "no-call", etc. and "warning" terminology within many reports are very disappointing. In fact, I view such as a major concern. The concern is not all about the use of undesirable or non-rule terminology. The concern/issue is the indication that officials are not officiating based upon the RULES.

Officials citing that they have previously WARNED a player and/or a coach. There are four(4), by rule, warnings. Otherwise, why are officials warning. Warnings are not to be issued if play or behavior is LEGAL. Warnings are not to be issued if play or behavior is ILLEGAL. AGAIN, why are officials warning? As with all situations throughout a game, there are two players (opponents) and/or two teams involved/affected with each and every warning. Is the WARNING of one player, coach, team FAIR PLAY for the opposing player, coach, team?

We must to continue to emphasize that there is no such thing as a no-call, good no-call, non-call, good non-call or I'd pass on that. Ruling (s) (legal dribble, legal/incidental contact, legal use of the pivot foot, etc) must be/are made constantly throughout the game. Approximately 60 rulings of ILLEGAL play (fouls, violations) are accompanied by a whistle. Conversely, thousands of LEGAL play rulings, per game, do not require a whistle to be sounded/are not accompanied by a whistle.

Think about the following:

  1. Eliminating the use of "call(s)", "calling" from our terminology. Eliminating the issuing of non-rule "warnings." In a positive and professional manner, address the concerns when leading clinics and with officials when they, in person or in writing, use such terminology,

  2. Over the past 12-15 years, I have learned that by thinking and speaking "rule/ruling" rather than "call/calling" causes officials to better understand their role and therefore improves officiating. Officials should not be making a decision (s) simply based upon judgment/calling of play (s). Rather, officials should be making a decision (s)/ruling (s) on play based upon rule (s). Understanding this results in more sophisticated thinking and "ruling (s) . "The end result is improved FAIR PLAY, as all "rulings" are based upon the rules rather than based simply upon judgment. Enforcement of rules assures FAIR PLAY. Assuring FAIR PLAY is the major objective of officiating.

  3. The use of no-call, good no-call, non-call, I'd pass on that, etc. is an insinuation that something illegal occurred and the official chose to rule an illegal occurrence as being legal.

  4. When, if ever, the above concept is understood by we leaders of officials and the officials...OFFICIATING and FAIR PLAY will begin to progress.

    Maine high school basketball should not have Leaders, Boards, Officials who have their own versions. We must recognize that "versions" do exist. Interpreters must lead in striving to eliminate the existing "versions."

    The above areas of concerns are as important factors as contact, violation, time-out rulings are to the game and to FAIR PLAY. Enforce the rules, with NO REGARD for score of game, time of game, for specific situation (# of fouls, etc.) of individual player, specific situation (# of fouls, behind in score, etc.) of a team.

    Any effort that you can/will make will be appreciated.


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