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Basketball Referee

Basketball Referee
Name:Rndballref
Location:Chicago, IL
Gender:M
Age:59
For the past twenty years I have officiated high school, AAU and park district basketball games. I have met people who have been able to make officiating (basketball and baseball) the focus of their occupation, while for most working as an umpire or basketball referee is an avocation. I started ref'ing to earn beer money during college, but it became a great way to stay connected to the best sports game in the universe. As a spinoff, I wrote a novel loosely based on my referee experiences titled, Advantage Disadvantage. The book explores what happens when a neighborhood bookie attempts to fix the betting odds on high school basketball games.
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Q
Never understood why the clock doesn't start when a player inbounds the ball by rolling it down the court until another player touches it. Obviously you didn't make up the rule, but what's the logic behind that?
A

If the clock started when the ball crossed into the court, a team could stall, for example, by throwing the ball high in the air across the gym and out of bounds without any player having a chance to catch the ball. Or, from the front court on an out of bounds play you could pitch the ball into the backcourt and stall off a few seconds, without any player touching the ball. The clock rightfully starts when an in-bounds player touches the ball.

Q
If you're 100% unsure of whether a guy was behind the 3-pt line when he took the shot (and it goes in), how do you decide the call?
A

In a three man crew, usually the Center official and the Trail official will both see it. One of them has primary coverage and has to make the initial call. The other can come in and discuss if they see it a different way, but someone has to make the initial call, and in a normal set the on-ball ref should be able to see the line and the feet. In general, I try not to call something I did not see, but 2 or 3 point shots force you to call - a no call 3 is a defacto 2. I suppose if you struggle to know and it is your call, you should call a 2, then conference with your partners to see if they can offer you better guidence.

Q
Don't you think it's a little messed up that a coach can get a technical foul that actually affects the gameplay? Like, it's fine to eject the coach or whatever, but why should the players suffer for something a non-player does?
A

Yes, it is often unfair that a coach's actions can influence or cost their team a game, but it is also unfair that a coach can use the referees and a T to motivate his team. I had a coach draw me closer and quietly tell me that he wanted a T. I wouldn't call it, so then he stepped back and ultimately swore at me, earning him the T. Then his team turned on the juice and blew the other team out. So, I guess it goes both ways.

Q
How old was the youngest kid you've ever seen dunk in a live game?
A

I saw a 6 foot freshman dunk in the middle of the 4th quarter in a tight game. It was shocking.

Q
Do you think the NBA was right to suspend Metta World Peace for 7 games after the elbow incident? I watched that replay at least 20 times and couldn't decide.
A

The fans pay for the best players to be on the floor. If you allow rough play and don't penalize it, then why not add a "goon" (ala hockey of old) to knock the stars out of the contest. The NBA surely looks at superstars as assets which generate revenue, so I agree with being harsh with hurtful play.

Q
Are there any notable players in the NBA now that you officiated when they were younger?
A

Shannon Brown is the most famous player on the court when I officiated when he played at Proviso East High School.

Q
If you were rewriting the rulebook, are there any types of fouls from the current game that you'd remove?
A

A troublesome judgement call is whether a foul, typically near the end of a game, is intentional or not. The whole gym knows that a team wants to foul to stop the clock in a tight game but for some officials, if the defender is "going for the ball" no intentional foul is called. Intentional fouls carry a higher penalty in National Federation High School Rules. So it is called inconsistently. A potential rule change is instead of penalizing free throws and the ball, I would make the penalty free throws OR the ball.

Q
Ever get into a physical altercation with a crazed parent?
A

Parents are the problem with youth sports. I have had more parents removed from games than players and coaches combined. Here's an irony: freshman games are harder to call than varsity, because unless you want to ruin the game completely in underclass games you are deciding when not to blow the whistle. in varsity games you call mostly what you see. Yet, as you progress and hone the referee craft you work less underclass games. So inevitably in a blowout freshman game a player is mildy fouled while dribbling going east and west near the half court line. The dribbler maintains control of the ball, but you are trying to keep the game moving. The freshman's father stands up screaming for a foul, because he wants his 3rd string kid to shoot a free throw to get it on tape and in the record ...More

Q
Is it even possible for a coach or player to get a call overturned in basketball?
A

As far as I know there is no mechanic for overturning calls officially except in state tournaments where replay might be allowed for end of quarter timing calls (before or after buzzer), with the exception of 5 correctable errors as defined in the federation rule book. These 5 errors are things like reversing an erroneously awarded free throw, etc.. In all other cases overturning calls should be discussed in the referee's pregame in the lockerroom. Some guys take the position that they never want to be overturned. My preference, and I always told my partners this, is if my partner disagrees with my call do the following: 1) blow the whistle and stop the game, 2) privately tell me what you saw and why you disagree with the call, and 3) I will decide whether to overturn based on what I saw ...More

Q
If given the choice, would you rather ref D1 college ball or NBA?
A

I am a big fan of college basketball. I was really disgusted when D Wade and Bosh and LeBron conspired to rig Miami's team, which circumvented the whole basis for creating competition in the NBA - each team owner acting in their own interest in the market for players. There is a real danger for this precedent - what if in the future a group of free agent all stars decide to play for a team a rack up a record of say, 75 - 7. Who would watch the games? When Jordan had his 2nd run on the Bulls, the stadium often emptied out in the third quarter - just before the fat lady sang. In general I find the NBA, especially in the eastern conference too physical. Although I must admit it is fun to watch the D Rose and the Bulls (I probably like them because they don't have a center-oriented offense. ...More

Q
What's your worst blown call? And on a related note, if you make a bad call and you know it, is it hard not to try and "make good" with a favorable call to the other team later in the game?
A

I once passed on a block/charge situation because I thought it was one of my partner's call. I was wrong and it was mine to make. So, nothing was called even when the players went sprawling. Both coaches were pissed, and were right. There was a foul in there, and a no call was horrible. By the way, some of my best calls were no calls, even when the crowd howls for something. I am so conscious of not coming back with a make-up call that I think I overcompensate and dig in to the detriment of the team whose call I booted.

Q
How far can a player go in arguing a call before you'll give him a technical?
A

I have thick skin, and in twenty years I have tossed maybe 2 players (more coaches for sure!). I have always looked at like this: If a player disagrees and argues with a call I will not T him up, especially if the player approaches with respect. And I will always explain my call even if I have booted it. What can never be tolerated is any personal attack, which usually is designed to intimidate the ref. More than anything a player's actions after a close call does determine how you view the player on the next one (we are just human). The tougher situation when you have to be calm is when a player deliberately acts to show you up - some refs automatically T a player, but I feel like that is putting your ego in front of the game.

Q
What's the worst thing you've seen a player do to earn an ejection?
A

A player chest bumped my partner and nearly knocked him over. On the way down, he threw the player out.

Q
Do you think there's any truth to the "4-step" layup, where superstars are given traveling leniency when charging to the hoop?
A

Two things: 1) fans often mistake legitimate basketball moves when the player goes slowly - especially when a player down low pivots, steps and lifts the pivot foot. This is a legitimate basket move (otherwise you would never be able to shoot a layup). 2) The call most missed (maybe it is just my pet peeve) is the Jordan move of giving up your pivot foot before starting your dribble. This gives a tremendous advantage to the offensive player, and is very difficult to defend.

Q
Do you get the sense that teenage players are already focusing more on highlight-reel type stuff as opposed to fundamentals?
A

In most high schools (at least around Chicago) the coaches usually will not put up with such selfish play....BUT in AAU ball, where a lot of college recruiters have to go to get talent, the desire for the highlight reel is rampant and lessens the game. At the very elite level AAU players are better developed through rigorous training and coaching, but the street agent and coach-controlled hold on middle to upper players is horrible. Some AAU coaches encourage showboating because it is flashy and might increase the recruiting clout that they show, but it usually does not win games. It is a real dilemma.

Q
Why isn't a dunk considered offensive goaltending? Do you think it's for legitimate reasons, or because dunks are so crucial to TV ratings (kinda like fighting in hockey)?
A

Offensive goaltending is the act of interfering with the ball in its downward arc toward the basket or interfering with the ball while it is in an imaginary cylinder above the rim. When I was in high school college and HS players were not allowed to dunk. I think that the rule makers have decided that it is an exciting play for fans, and it does not happen in excess in games. The tough call is when the ball bounces on the rim and a player slams it in. Did the player touch the ball while it was inside that cylinder?

Q
Assuming no traveling, is it legal for a player to jump off the back of another to dunk in a game? Like if one player crouches down and the other springboards off his back?
A

It is absolutely not a legal play to use a teammate or an opponent to leverage a jump. By the way, a couple years ago players started showing up with shoes that had built-in springs in the heels - also illegal.

Q
How do I become a basketball referee for local high schools & rec leagues? I played high school ball, but are there any other credentials or certifications I need?
A

There are some sports where it is difficult to officiate if you have not played (wrestling, diving, gymnastics). In my view basketball is not one of them, although people with playing experience often excel.

Every state is different, but here's how it goes in Illinois: you apply to the state to get certified. In the application you attest to your non-criminal background, and you list 3 references, one of whom should be associated with high school basketball. You send in your application and $40 and they will send reference cards (probably emails by now) to your three people. Once they respond in a satisfactory way, then you are sent the rule, case study and mechanics books and the questions for an open book exam. In Illinois you also have to attend an annual rules meeting (now online).
...More If you want to work the state tournament you must attend a certified camp at least every three years. I wish I would have attended camps early in my career - they are humbling and usually stress judgement and proper mechanics but you learn so much. Having done all of this you will be "patched", that is you've passed the state requirements and they send you the state's patch to sew on your uniform. This is half the battle. Now you must get booked for assignments, usually starting out doing freshman games. In most states, it is worth it to join a local official's association. Not only will you get valuable training at the meetings from the veterans, usually each association also has assignment chairpersons who come to the meetings and are members. They often give favorable treatment to members of their associations in terms of game assignments. Some of these associations offer mentoring programs where experienced officials will watch you work games and offer critical feedback. In the summer camps you will also get great feedback from the refs running the camp. Sometimes they will shadow you on the floor, helping you with positioning, angles, and mechanics. It all sounds like a lot, but if you love the game like I do, officiating is a wonderful way of staying connected long after your playing days are over - and they will even pay you for it!
If you want to work the state tournament you must attend a certified camp at least every three years. I wish I would have attended camps early in my career - they are humbling and usually stress judgement and proper mechanics but you learn so much. Having done all of this you will be "patched", that is you've passed the state requirements and they send you the state's patch to sew on your uniform. This is half the battle. Now you must get booked for assignments, usually starting out doing freshman games. In most states, it is worth it to join a local official's association. Not only will you get valuable training at the meetings from the veterans, usually each association also has assignment chairpersons who come to the meetings and are members. They often give favorable treatment to members of their associations in terms of game assignments. Some of these associations offer mentoring programs where experienced officials will watch you work games and offer critical feedback. In the summer camps you will also get great feedback from the refs running the camp. Sometimes they will shadow you on the floor, helping you with positioning, angles, and mechanics. It all sounds like a lot, but if you love the game like I do, officiating is a wonderful way of staying connected long after your playing days are over - and they will even pay you for it!

Q
Did the HS or AAU games you ref'd ever have (legal) betting lines on them in Vegas or the like? And if so, were you trained to look out for point-shaving or other score manipulations?
A

No, I never officiated a game where there was any legal betting.There were anecdotal stories and rumors about betting on high school games, but I don't have first hand knowledge. Here is a story told to me which I have every reason to believe is true, and it also served as the inspiration for my novel's storyline: A ref was called the night before to fill in for a park district game in Chicago. He was going to be paid $100 to be the only official (high game fee should have raised a red flag). He showed up and there were a couple hundred people surrounding the outdoor court in a park. Two huge guys from opposing gangs met the ref at his car and explained that they were there to protect him ("no quips") no matter what his calls were. The pressure level was raised and the ref was worried. ...More

Q
Do you think the basketball nets should be lower for girls? The ball is smaller b/c they have smaller hands, why shouldn't the net be lower to compensate for them being shorter and not able to jump as high as men?
A

In high school ball (and even college) the girls game is played below the rim. So, there is generally more passing and bombing away compared to the boy's game. Having said that, there is an unmistakable trend in the girl's game where the guards can handle the ball and are skilled enough to penetrate the lane and dish. In my view, the most boring basketball (boys, girls, mens or women) is when they dump the ball into the post and watch a turnaround jump shot by tall players. If you lower the girl's rim (ring as the rule book calls it), I'm afraid you will encourage more rough post play. Just my opinion though, because there are plenty of people who loved watching Shaq play.

Q
Has anyone ever attempted to bribe you in any way?
A

No one has ever offered me a bribe. Darn!

Q
Has a player or coach ever accused you or a colleague of making racially-motivated calls?
A

Yes, a coach once said, "you wouldn't let it get so rough if the player wasn't black". I immediately blew my whistle and told the coach he was out of bounds. If he wants to say that it is getting rough in there, then say so. But to suggest that it is rough because the post player was black was an attack on my integrity. I gave him a chance to rescind his comment (remember, I rarely use technical fouls), and he immediately agreed that it was inappropriate and inaccurate - he apologized. More often in my experience there has been racial trash talk between players which must be immediately penalized. A few years ago a school's student body was taunting a black player with a racial chant. The referees failed to stop the game, warn the crowd, and if necessary start having them removed. The ...More

Q
When a player inbounds from the baseline after the other team scores, he gets lazy and inbounds with a foot over the line. This never gets called. Is it just so immaterial that it's not worth calling?
A

First, the rule. Your position on the court is based on where you stood (or touched last). So after a rebound a player establishes himself out of bounds (one foot or two), and then lifts a foot through an imaginary plane along the baseline, he is not inbounds until his foot hits the floor inbounds - no violation for breaking the plane by the player throwing in the ball.

Secondly, there is the dominent philosophy of basket officating called, "Advantage Disadvantage" which holds that you should only stop the game if an opposing player caused a change in A/D. So, you pass on uncontested palming in the backcourt for example.

Q
How often is the basketball rulebook amended and are you alerted right away when it is?
A

The National Federation of High Schools revises the rules annually. The last most significant rule change (in my opinion) was implemented a couple years ago. Before the change, when a player with the ball committed a foul it was an offensive foul. Likewise, before the change, if a player on the offensive team WITHOUT the ball committed a foul it was considered a common foul and if the other team was in the bonus free throws were attempted. When they changed the rule they added a foul type (offensive team foul) and it is penalized like a player control foul - no free throws.

Most changes to the rule book are "points of emphasis" or mechanic changes. It seems rough post play and hand-checking are annual points of emphasis. An example of a mechanics change was made several years ago so
...More

Q
If you see a replay after a game and realize you blew a call, do you admit it or apologize next time you ref a game for the team you screwed?
A

I admit it during a game if I boot a call. Most coaches would favor honesty as in, "hey coach you are probably right about that last call - after thinking about it I think I made the wrong call", as opposed to trying to argue something you realize is not true. So if there was a question of rule or angle of play, and if I determined that I made a bad call or applied a rule in error I would definitely contact the coach and explain what my thinking was, and why I now think I may have been wrong. That's me, other ref's never ever say they made a bad call.

Q
If a ref gets in the way of play in some meaningful way (e.g. ball bounces off him and rolls out of bounds), is it a jump ball? If not, how is it decided who gets possession?
A

The ref is part of the floor. If the ball bounces off a ref, it is ruled based on where the ref is standing. If the ref is standing one foot out of bounds and player causes the ball to hit the ref it is ruled out of bounds (even if the ball never crossed the line). Likewise if the ref is legally in bounds and the ball hits him, play on. Think hockey.

Q
Is it me, or does it seem like it's REALLY hard to get the charge call while on defense? I have no stats obviously, but it seems like the guy trying to take the charge gets it WAY too rarely. And this happens at all skill levels...
A

It is hard to get a charge because to play proper defense in order to get a charge is hard work. Remember, the defender must establish his position BEFORE the offensive player leaves his feet. And to further complicate things, the defender can be moving while taking a charge if the defender moves "obliquely" after establishing a position. Here's my opinion: the best referees get the block/charge correct most often because they "referee the defense". That means, for example, if you are the lead referee under the basket and a player begins to drive, shift your eyes immediately to watch the defender. By following the defender, you will know whether he got there in time. Refereeing the defense is hard to do because we always watch the offense (on TV and at games). Next time you watch a game, ...More

Q
Are you allowed to eject fans?
A

In most states, each game is supposed to have a function designated game management (or game administrator). This is usually the Athletic Director. So, when a fan needs to be ejected the referee should find the game administrator and say something like, "the guy in the third row with the red shirt must be ejected." In my experience, they always remove the fan as requested. In summary, I have required certain fans to be ejected, but I've never had to physically do it or have a standoff with a fan. If the game management refused to eject a fan, I would refuse to continue ref'ing the game.

Q
Do you ever officiate women's games, and do you think there's anything that can be done to make women's b-ball more interesting to watch? Lord knows I've tried but ...
A

For the past 5 years my schedule was about 75% girls' games. The game is played below the rim with a focus on passing. Every year I think the girls' games improve in quality on the high school level. Most teams around Chicago have a guard who can penetrate the lane, and a 3 point shooter. What they never have are quick forwards who have inside games. To me, the girl's high school and college games are intersting, but I do not enjoy the women's pro game. It seems like a WMCA pickup game. The girls game will continue to get better, but it won't be the high flying athletic boys game at comparable levels.

Q
Is this over and back??? Ball in-bounds side frontcourt...ball is tipped in front court to backcourt where control is gained by the player who tipped it by a dribble(so there never was a possession in frontcourt)..is this over and back???
A

An "over and back", or backcourt violation (not to be confused with a 10 second backcourt violation) can only occur when it is proceeded by the offensive team establishing possession in their front court. There is no possession on a throw in, which is why the offense can pitch it directly into the backcourt. In your scenario, there is a judgement call to be made: did the offensive player in a controlled way purposely tip the ball (implying control)? Or did the player tip the ball without control? Without control, it is not a backcourt violation to retrieve it.

Q
Who do you think would win in a game - the best high school men's basketball team in the country or the best women's pro team?
A

Just a speculative guess... I think the boys high school team beats the women's pro team because usually the best boys' team sends a player or two right into the NBA. Males peak physically around 19 or twenty, so I think physicality trumps maturity and practice. Who knows? This question reminds me of the tennis battle of the sexes in 1973 when Bobby Riggs gave Billie Jean King the doubles lines and was soundly trounced (but both made a lot money promoting it!).

Q
What can you do if two of three refes in middle school allow a team to punch players with their fist and rip open a girl players nose with a metal hair bow and so on while not calling it. The whole bench is quiet cause they expell anyone making a sound.
A

Completely unacceptable. If I was the coach I would lodge my complaint with the referees as soon as it started getting rough. If they continued to fail to enforce the legitimate rules of the game I would be compelled to act. I believe that a coach’s first responsibility is the safety of the players, and if I felt that the team’s safety was at risk I would pull my players off the floor and forfeit the match. Then I would write a commentary along with game tape and get the referees bounced (and decertified) for 1) not enforcing the rules of the game and 2) allowing the environment to threaten the safety of the players. It is hard to believe that state certified officials would let this happen - it is also strange to hear about 3 man crews working middle school games. In the conferences I ...More

Q
An offensive player falling out of bounds often throws the bb off a defender. What if the defender had one foot planted out of bounds & other foot lifted off the floor? Is he part of the out of bounds & entitled to the ball?
A

if any part of a player is out of bounds, he is out of bounds. If a player (a teammate who is legally in the game as a participant) is out of bounds and is the first to touch the ball before it is otherwise out of bounds, the ball is awarded to the other team.

Here's a better example to clarify: Player A1 is out of bounds throwing the ball in. The ball bounces off of B1 (who is inbounds) and comes back and hits A1 before A1 returns to be inbounds. Team B is awarded a throw in.

Q
Why do the rules require refs handle the ball after a violation? Wouldn't the game go faster and smoother if the in-bound needed no ref touch, as in soccer or in hoop after a made basket?
A

Some international games are played without referees touching the ball on violations, as you suggest. I guess it rewards readiness but also creates a sneakiness to the game. As it is played in high school federation rules, the referees should hold the ball allowing substitutes and the teams are given time to setup. I suppose it is a matter of preference.

Q
Rndbballref:

Recently, as reported on ESPN, in a girls JH/JV game a field goal attempt was thrown from 3/4 court, bounced on the floor and went in. 2 or 3 pt. goal? Why?
thank you
A

A try or tap ends when it is apparent that the ball will not go through the ring. So when a 3 point try falls short and the ball bounces on the floor the try is over. When a ball enters the ring and goes through (assuming it is no longer a 3 point try) it is a two point score.

Q
Do you ever feel insulted if a player questions your call?
A

It depends on how they approach and ask the question.

Q
after a substitution we had 6 players on the court. the ball was put in play. we called for and were granted a timeout. during the timeout we were assessed a technical. was this correct?
A

Pro, college men, college women and high school rules sometime are different so I'm only addressing high school rules.I believe this situation was addressed in a recent case book for the NFHS (national federation of high schools). As I recall, the case book interpretation was that playing with too many players was punishable ONLY if discovered during a live ball. As you have described it, I believe the technical foul was called in error. Furthermore, strong referees would always count players after substitutes come in and/or after timeouts, especially at the varsity level with a three man crew. Preventive officiating would have at least one of the crew always count the players. You will notice this watching a seasoned good crew, as the official administering the throw-in, free throws, ...More

Q
If a free throw misses the rim it's a dead ball, correct? Since the rule states that a player can't step into the lane until the ball touches the rim, if it didn't hit the rim is a lane violation a moot point?
A

The ball is dead when it is apparent to the referee that it will not hit the rim or enter the ring. I wouldn't think that any reasonable official would whistle a lane violation, ruling that it occurred before the free throw was dead. I have never seen it, and if one of my partners called that it would seem like he is trying to pick a fight or punish one team. The only exception would be if the other team steps into the lane (well before the shot is launched) to purposely disconcert the free thrower and he fires an air ball, then I suppose a violation could be called.

Q
Technical foul or not? Team B down by 3. Team B scores with 1.2 seconds left and calls a timeout. Team A and B come onto the court after the timeout. Team A has 6 players on the floor. Ref has yet to signal play to resume nor hands the ball to Team A for inbounding. Team B's coach yells to Ref that Team A has 6 players on the court. Team A calls timeout with ball never being put into play. Ref calls a technical foul on Team A for having 6 players on the court.
A

Based on your scenario this should not have been called a "T". Remember it is a technical foul to have more than 5 players on the floor DURING A LIVE BALL. In your description the ball never changed status to live because on a throw in the ball is only considered live when "it is put at the disposal of the team who will execute the throw in". Your ref made an error.

Q
Why doesn't basketball use instant replay?
A

Replay IS being used by various levels in basketball. In National Federation of High School Rules, states are allowed the option to use replay in the state tournament for specific things such as whether a buzzer shot was launched before time expired. In college, they use replay to ascertain the severity of fouls - whether a tech foul is flagarant or class 1, etc. NBA seems to use it more. The benefit is to make sure you get the call correct, the obvious downside is that it takes time and breaks momentum.

Q
Why would a Ref call a tech on a player swearing earlier in the game but not on a push/shove that almost created a brawl?
A

I only called technical fouls on players for swearing when it was aimed at an opposing player or me. A push or shove can be a either common, intentional, or technical foul depending on the severity and situation.

Q
If a player is fouled while shooting at the other teams basket, is it a shooting foul?

If a player shoots at the other teams basket & one of his teammates swats the ball away as it is about to enter the basket, is that goal tending? 2pts for opps?
A

A shooting foul is defined as a player on a try or tip at his team's basket. So, if a player is fouled shooting at the "wrong" basket it is a common foul.

If the ball is in the cylinder and batted away by the defensive team it is goaltending and 2 points.

Q
I'm having trouble with offensive fouls. If a defender is stationery, a dribbler will be called if they collide, fair enough. But can a dribbler deliberately take a turn into a defender guarding him on the run in man coverage to draw a foul?
A

A defender has the right to a vertical space if he gets there before the offensive leaves his space to move.  Therefore, a defender can be moving and still take a charge.  The rule book calls this moving obliquely - that is away or angled. If an offensive player turns into a space the defender is entitled to, it is a charge.

Q
How many free throws for calling 2 Technical fouls(consecutively) on the Head Coach for arguing? Head Coach is ejected on 2nd Technical foul.
A

In National Federation High School rules each technical is awarded 2 free throws, except if there are off-setting technicals on both teams. Remember a coach can be tossed on 1 technical for a flagrant behavior, for two direct technicals or 3 indirect/directs. In your question the team would be awarded 4 free throws plus the ball.

Q
Player A "red" team falls and is entirely out of bounds for several seconds...ball is tipped off "blue" team and hits Player A in the leg while he is entirely out of bounds, then goes OB...whose ball is it???
A

If the ball goes directly from inbounds to touch Team A's player (before hitting the floor) who is out of bounds the ball is awarded to Team B. It doesn't matter who tipped the ball before the ball went out of bounds. The violation is that Player A touched a live, inbounds ball while he/she was out of bounds.

Q
Why aren't there more female basketball referees?
A

There needs to be more women referees at all levels. In the conferences I worked in there was a fair amount of pressure on the assignment chairs to put qualified women at the varsity level. However, I observed that at clinics and in associations which form the pools of available referees, the participants were predominantly men. So when a talented female referee was "discovered", my experience is that the path to college assignments (mentoring, camps, and connections) opened up quickly for them. In my view, there is not enough emphasis on recruiting and mentoring early on, and so the pool is drained of quality female talent quickly. For anyone to move ahead in your officiating career you have to be solid in rules knowledge, judgement, hustle, etc, but now is a great time for ...More

Q
Team A is inbounding, Another member of Team A pushes Team B and its called a foul...who does ball go to and what happens now
A

I think this is the same question you asked 2 questions above. The answer is that unless it is a flagrant (technical) foul, the push is considered a team control foul. No free throws are awarded to team B, but they are awarded the ball at the point nearest the infraction.

Q
What makes a referee favor one team more than the other? Is it because one team is more "professional' or where a certain team is from/located?
A

A referee should not favor any team, but officials are only human. I think perceptions are the issue here. For example, urban Chicago teams tend to play high paced running and pressing games, while suburban teams tend to play more patterned offenses (stereotypical, I know, but generally true). So when an urban teams plays in the suburbs they might encounter referees who are used to calling a slower paced game with tighter calls, while Chicago refs might allow more contact. So, do the suburban officials favor suburban teams, or are they just used to that style of play? In theory, a foul is a foul, but all of us have degrees of what we don't call (see advantage disadvantage theory of officiating). However, if you find a referee who clearly favors a team (not style), he or she must ...More

Q
How do I earn the referees respect?
A

I assume you are a player. I always respected the players who accepted violations and fouls I called on them, and when they had a question they respectfully asked about the call (not argued). Have you ever seen on tv a college ref who makes a marginal call that the player disagrees with, the ref gives the player an explanation and the player accepts the call (such as patting the ref on the back, or saying "good call"). Another way to earn the ref's respect is to control your teammates when they think there is a bad call. This is all common sense - I guess I am saying respect the refs first and it will come back to you.

Q
If my team was awarded a one and one then on the next foul they said they weren't in the one and one what should happen
A

To clarify your question, I believe you are asking what should happen if a one and one is awarded in error and then discovered. There are 5 correctable errors in the high school federation rule book, and one is the awarding of unmerited free throws. However, to be correctable, it must be recognized by the officials no later than during the first dead ball, after the clock has been properly started. I have encountered this only once in 20 years, If properly recognized, the free throw points are removed but other scores after the erroneous last free throw still count. It's a messy rule, and once every twenty years is too much!

Q
After a made basket, can the player throwing in the ball dribble the ball?
A

A player throwing the ball in on a spot throw in is restricted to a 3 foot wide, and unlimited deep area. At least one foot must be in or on this area. There is no travelling possible on a throw in. Now, to your question, a throw in player is allowed to dribble as long as the dribbling is out of bounds. Hypothetically if the throw in player dribles in bounds and then touches the ball it is a turnover because the throw in player was out of bounds and touched the ball which was put in bounds when the dribble hit the playing floor. If the throw in is after a basket, of course there is no 3 foot wide area.

Q
A player is fouled in the act of shooting or when their team in in the bonus. After the foul is called the player who was fouled commits a technical foul which is their fifth foul. Are they allowed to shoot their foul shots or is another player?
A

I have never seen that, but I would administer as follows: I would not allow a disqualified player to shoot the free throws. Since free throws are administered in the order the fouls were committed, 1) bring in the sub, 2) the sub shoots the free throws awarded o the fouled out player, 3) team b shoots the technical fouls, 4) team b gets the ball at half court.

Q
Are you more likely to call a foul on a player you don't like? Or at the very least not give him the benefit of the doubt?
A

I try not to, but it happens. If a player challenges me I won't back down even in a big game. Being perceived as a punk player can only work to your detriment.

Q
can A a head referee sitting outside watching the game over ruled a call made by the two officials that are oficiating a game
A

No.  There is no provision for a non-participating official to over rule a referee.  If I was watching a couple officials work a game I would not get involved during live play unless the game was devolving into mayhem.  Normally, I would go to the official's lockerroom at halftime and discuss what they saw, what the rule interpertation should be, and how to administer it, but not during the game unless it was totally out of control.  Except in unusual situations, there is no provision for one referee on the floor to over rule the other.  My preference always is that if one of my partners believe I blew a call I want him to approach me and tell me what he saw, and let me decide to change my call.  I used to cover this style in my pre-game conference with the ...More

Q
What I was asking is if my team was awarded the one and one then on the next foul they said weren't in the one and one shouldn't they be awarded the one and one because they got it on the last foul
A

The answer to your question is no. If the previous award was in error, it was either correctable or uncorrectable depending on when it was discovered. If the second foul still does not put you in the bonus you should not be awarded any free throws. The fact that a mistake was made on the previous free foul does not mandate a second mistake (assuming both of these fouls occurred with less than 7 team fouls).

Q
how old do you have to be to be a basketball referee?
A

Every state has its own rules. In Illinois you have to be at least 17 years old to be "patched" by the state. You must be patched by the state to work high school games. However, many park districts and youth clubs hire younger officials to work games. Some of them also offer training and mentoring of young teenagers.

Q
Is there any rules about a referee feffing a game that he/she has family on one team? . ( for example , the coach is the refs sister and the refs niece is on the team)
A

There is nothing in the Ferderation of High School rule book, but common sense should prevail.  Most assignment chairpersons around here ask if you are connected in some way to a school, and they try to avoid booking conflicts such as hiring a referee at the school where they teach.  In Illinois when you make your dates available to work the state tourney you can exclude schools you are connected to.

Q
My son and another boy went for a rebound and both got their hands on the ball equally, but the bigger, stronger boy twisted, dipped and pulled the ball and him into his gut, with the result my son was "over the top." Was that a correct call?
A

This is a tough judgement call. If, both boys simultaneously held the ball or put force on the ball in opposite directions (as in a stuffed blocked shot) then it should be called a held ball (jump ball going to the possession arrow). If the ref rules that there was not dual possession then you have to call a foul and/or subject a player to really getting hurt. This does not happen too often at the boy's varsity level (quick and strength), but it happens. Opinion: good officials have a quick whistle for held balls to avoid the weaker player always getting a foul.

Q
Jump ball, players set up wrong, refs did not notice, I did notice.....other team got jump,both teams are playing its game on...i planned on telling refs when they scored, they did so I brought it to there attention. Do we get there points?
A

No you don't get the points. The referees should stop the game once they realize the game is being played in the wrong directions. Points made, stand. Turn the teams around, and the refs should be incredibly embarrassed. This is very simple. The home teams picks which bench they want to use before the game. Each team scores at the basket opposite of their benches in the first half. Bad officiating - whether it is a two or three person crew someone should have caught it DURING THE WARMUPS!

Q
Have you ever made a bad call in a crucial moment of a game to affect the outcome?
A

I think the end of close game calls are debatable, especially by the coaches who have a vested interest. From the beginning, I have been confident enough to be strong in my calls and my judgement. Here's what happened in one instance: The lead changed hands 3 times in the last minute. With 3 seconds left and the game tied, I am administering a throw in to the home team near their basket on the end line. After a time out, the home team lobs over the defender and the offensive player skips toward the basket after dribbling once and picking up the ball. I blow met whistle loudly while the ball is in the air, and I am waiving off the shot (the buzzer sounds while the ball is in the air as well). I move in and call traveling and I am waiving off the shot, sending the game into overtime. The home ...More

Q
No one's ever been able to explain this to me: why do NBA announcers say "shooting one, plus the penalty, for two" when a player's about to shoot 2 free throws? When EVERY foul that results in free throws is two shots in the NBA, no?
A

The only exception to 2 free throws being awarded in the NBA that I know of is in the last two minutes of the game it is 1 free throw plus possession. There is a good chart of NBA free throws on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_throw So who knows what the announcers are saying? They also say that some fouls are "over the back" and others are "reaching in", neither of which are defined in the rule book.

Q
Can refs get fined or penalized for making bad calls?
A

In Illinois, the only fine I am aware of is included in most game assignment contracts which is equal to one game fee. So, if you fail to show up at an assigned game you could be fined the amount you would have been paid. As far as I know, there are no fines for making bad calls. Eventually, if you have complaints from the coaches, the assignments dry up quickly. I'm not sure about college, but I suspect suspensions are possible in the NBA and that is equivalent to being fined.

Q
If team A has the ball on the inbounds for a throw in , Team A pushes someone on Team B committs a foul ? what happens then
A

The NFHS rules were changed for the 2011/12 season to rule that during a throw-in by team A, team A has ball control when the ball for the throw in is at their disposal. So if your team commits a team foul during control it is team control foul and no free throws are rewarded. Exception: if the push is considered flagarant.

Q
A player is pressured at mid court, the defender hits the ball, it goes off the offensives player and then into the backcourt. The O player runs back and grabs it. The ref calls over and back, claiming the ball went off the O player. Is that right?
A

Since the defender hit the ball, the offensive team no longer has control of the ball, nor did they gain control when it grazed the offensive player. So, no possession right before the ball entered the backcourt, no backcourt violation . Bad call, ref.

Q
Follow on to last question What’s the best way to get refs attention? Yell it out while it is happening? Wait for stoppage of play? – call ref over to ask for discussion? Can ref just ignore me? Looking for respectful interaction protocol w/ ref
A

Most respectful way is to ask the ref if he can discuss a play.  If you are the kind of coach who is shilling for every call you will be ignored by a skilled official for your own good.  You would do well to expend your enegy in understanding how tight or loose a ref is calling a game, and coaching accordingly, rather than ratcheting up your complaints.  During a game, the ref holds all the cards. After the game if you feel a ref is grossly misinterpreting the rules talk to the assignment chairman.

Q
If a team, is up by one and plays good defense for the last 20 seconds of the game, do you find it reasonable when refs call last second fouls on that team, so that that team loses? In other word, do you like when refs call last second fouls?
A

In theory, a foul is a foul is a foul. If the leading team commits a foul late in the game that I would have called in the first half, I would call it in the last 20 seconds. My experience is the opposite. Unless there is a crushing foul many (unprincipled) refs will eat the whistle to avoid possible overtime. That's bad, but worse is calling a foul late in the game that had been ignorred earlier in the game.

Q
Over and back? On initial jump ball if player team A tips it to frontcourt where another player team A standing in frontcourt control tips it to team A player in backourt..is that O & B? I think so!
A

Yes, because Team A established control in the front court and then Team A touched the ball in the backcourt without Team B gaining possession it is a backcourt violation.

Q
In the NBA they rarely seem to call players for inbounding the ball after a bucket with a foot inbounds. Sometimes they are just lazy and dont even get fully established out of bounds. Why is that?
A

This was asked by steve w in his June, 2012 questions. Here is the answer I gave him:


First, the rule. Your position on the court is based on where you stood (or touched last). So after a rebound a player establishes himself out of bounds (one foot or two), and then lifts a foot through an imaginary plane along the baseline, he is not inbounds until his foot hits the floor inbounds - no violation for breaking the plane by the player throwing in the ball.

Secondly, there is the dominent philosophy of basket officating called, "Advantage Disadvantage" which holds that you should only stop the game if an opposing player caused a change in A/D. So, you pass on uncontested palming in the backcourt for example.

Q
During a recent game, I was called for a technical foul for attempting to call a timeout during live play when my team didn't have possession of the ball (on a loose ball tie-up). Is that a rule?
A

Merely asking for timeout when your team does not have possession is not a technical foul, UNLESS it is done in a purposeful, unsportsmanlike manner.  So if you ask for the timeout in the way you normally ask, the referee should ignore you, and better yet say something like "no timeout, you don't have possession".  If my judgement was that the coach was trying to get an advantage, such as an erroneous whistle (to get a sub in for instance, or give his players a short rest), or to distract the officials from the game then I would call an unsportsmanlike technical.  Having said all of that, I have never called a T on a coach for asking for a timeout without ball possession.

Q
What does the rulebook say about contact with a shooter AFTER he has released the ball? I see defenders jump to try and block a 3-pointer, and make contact with the shooter's hand AFTER the shot is up; and some refs call that while others don't.
A

An airborne shooter is defined in the high school rule book as an offensive player who has released the shot but has not returned to the floor.  An airborne shooter is considered to be in the act of shooting.  If a defender interfers with a shooter's follow through, it is a foul unless the offensive player's arm breaks through the defenders vertical space.  In summary if the defender stops a shooter's follow through in the shooter's vertical space, a shooting foul should be called.

Q
Is it traveling in basketball if two players on the same team are both in possession of the ball at the same time and neither player is moving or jumping?
A

No travelling until either player lifts a foot.

Q
our game was forfeited because we have only 7 players playing. is this allowed? tnx..
A

Football??? In Federation rules for basketball, you must start the game with five players.  If, because of disqualification or injuries you lose players, you can continue to play as long as you have at least 2 players.  If you had only one player, how would you inbound a throw in?  So, you must start with five per side, but after the game begins you can play with at least 2.

Q
I am referee back here in Australia, and I was wondering, in the FIBA rules book, once you called the traveling, no matter how big or small it is, just call it right? or just let go the little traveling? I just can't help it called every traveling
A

There is great debate here about whether you should call every infraction, or should you call violations and infractions only if there is a change in advantage? I personally believe that it is better to use the Advantage/Disadvantage considerations at the lower levels where the skill set is more limited. If, in a freshman game you call everything you will most assuredly ruin the flow of basketball and probably foul out most of the starters. At the varsity level, or college there is less to NOT CALL. Mark Cuban, owner of the NBA Dallas Mavericks is strongly against Advantage/Disadvantage officiating in the NBA. Juries out, and every official I know has a different take on this (and so do the coaches).

Q
Are you better than the average bear in picking NCAA brackets?
A

Not at all.  I am biased toward the Big Ten so I went down with Wisconsin already in the 1st round.  My beloved Illini nearly lost to Colorado State too.  My best pick so far this year is California over UNLV, but generally I am middle of the pack.  How about you?

Q
In college bball, if a team calls a time out in the back court to avoid a 10 second violation, does the 10 seconds reset?
A

If you get a timeout before 10 seconds is called, the 10 seconds is reset.  Just as on a throw-in gets reset to 5 on a timeout.  Only the shot clock stays where it was on a time out.

Q
Who do you think are the best and worst NBA refs and why?
A

I really don't watch enough NBA basketball to form an opinion.  I know there is a lot of negative chatter about Joey Crawford.  The all-time worst has got to be Tim Donaghy who disgraced the profession and went to prison for his misconduct.  There is a website which keeps statistics on NBA refs - do you believe that?  They track how many fouls, techs, etc. each referee calls.  You can kind of tell who the league respects by their designation (main vs crew) and also how many games each has worked.  Here's the website: www.nbastuffer.com/referee_stats 

Q
will i play high school basketball if i average 12 points, 7-11 rebounds, 6steals and 7 assists in a game i am 12
A

Depends where you are.  If you live in a small town you will probably be the best in your class.  Around Chicago and its suburbs, there are more important measurements: speed, height, jump shot form, fundamentals, basketball IQ, etc.. The basketball landscape is littered with players who dominated in 8th grade but didn't grow in height, skills or athleticism.  There is a great book about one such player, Play Their Hearts Out, which chronicles the true story of Dimetrius Walker.  Once, he was a sure fire next LeBron, but in high school he stopped growing and now is a bench guard in college.  Be humble, and forget the scoring stats - my best advice is work on your fundamentals.

Q
What”s the most respectful way to interact with ref on an issue I feel might not be correctly officiated. Eg. player repeatedly in violation of 3 seconds or a ref is clearly not implementing a rule correctly - calls traveling on an inbound throw in.
A

You might not understand what the ref is doing.  Many refs will not call 3 seconds unless it materially affects a play.  This philosophy is called advantage / disadvantage, and is particularly useful at lower levels.  Don't be the parent or coach who wants a turnover because a low skilled player is camped out in 3 seconds (or an unguarded dribbler carries the ball in the backcourt).  They will call it if the ball gets dumped in there, but if it is not material forget it.  If you find a ref at a lower level who calls everything in the rule book, everytime, you have a ref who will ruin every game

Q
what happens when a coach calls a time out just when his player fouled by the opponent? Can the referee call the time-out first and assess the foul?
A

A foul committed after the ball is "dead" is ignored by rule book unless it is flagrant or intentional.  The official must determine which happened first, the time out request or the foul.  If the foul was committed first, they should report the foul and then the official should ask the coach if they still want the time out or not.  If the time out was granted first, and the foul was neither intentional or flagrant then the foul is ignored.  If the foul during a dead ball is intentional or flagrant it is a technical foul.

Q
two players pursue loose ball, one from either team, ball is going out of bounds, player whose team touched ball last jumps out and throws ball back in bounds, hitting opposing player, who is now standing outside the sideline, and ball stays out .
A

The ball is NOT out of bounds when it crosses the imaginary plane above the sidelines or end lines. The ball is out of bounds when it touches an object or player or other person who is out of bounds. So if Team A's player leaps in the air from in bounds, crosses thru the imaginary boundary in the air and does not touch anything and saves the ball by hitting onto a Team B player who is standing out of bounds, the ball should be awarded to Team A.

However, if Team A's player is the last to touch the ball before it hits something out of bounds beside a player on Team B (such as the bleachers, or an out bounds referee, or the bench, or the part of the floor which is out of bounds), then Team B gets the ball.

Q
Hi, I was wondering if there are any rules on referees refing their own childs game during a tournament? Is it allowed?
A

There is nothing in the Ferderation of High School rule book, but common sense should prevail. Most assignment chairpersons around here ask if you are connected in some way to a school, and they try to avoid booking conflicts such as hiring a referee at the school where they teach. In Illinois when you make your dates available to work the state tourney you can exclude schools you are connected to.

Q
a person in possession of the ball jumps to shoot the ball, one defender tries to hit the ball down, another defender tries to hit the ball up. the ball doesn't move and the shooter comes back down to his feet still in possession. what's the call?
A

If the ball is being pushed in opposite directions by two opponents, as in an attempted shot never leaving the shooter's hand but being blocked by a defender it is a held (jump) ball.  If the ball is knocked loose by a defender out of the shooter's hand and the shooter recovers the ball then no call.  If the defender marginally touches the ball and the shooter maintains continuous posession and lands back on the floor then it is travelling.

Q
When two players are scrambling for a loose ball can one player "screen" the other from trying to reach it and therefore letting it go out of bounds?
A

You are allowed to screen or block out if you get to a space before your opponent leaves his feet to get to that spot.  It is no different than blocking out on a rebound.

Q
On last second throw in clock starts early & horn goes off as ball sails over inbound players untouched. Is it "do-over" or doews it below to other team and where?
A

The clock should be started when the ball is touched by an in-bounds player.  If the ball is thrown out of bounds without being touched, the clock should not have been started.  In your scenario, the clock should be reset to the exact time before the throw-in and the ball should be awarded to the other team for a new throw-in.

Q
On last second throw in clock starts early & horn goes off as ball sails over inbound players untouched. Is it "do-over" or doews it below to other team and where?
A

see answer above.

Q
Has anyone devised a plan to reduce the number of free throws in a game? The prolonged set up for foul shots and the productive use of fouls by trailing teams to stop the clock is tiresome and in some sense unsporting.
A

I have officiated some house leagues, summer high school leagues and travelling basketball tourneys where a shooting foul is awarded 1 point and the ball, and a common foul after 7 team fouls also gets 1 point + ball.  At one point in time there was a proposal in college ball that a team would have the option of shooting free throws OR the ball.  Doesn't seem like anyone talks about that anymore.  I think the pros like close games and slowing the game down with fouls compresses the score, but those last 2 minutes sometimes takes 20 minutes.

Q
What are the rules for crossing in to the lane when you are awaiting someone to shoot a free throw? This would be for junior high school IESA? This is for a rebounder, not the shooter?
A

All players inside the 3 point arc (shooter and rebounders) cannot cross the vertical planes into the rectangle (otherwise known as the three second area) until the ball touches the ring.  If a rebounder violator is on the same team as the shooter, the free throw is whistled dead and the point cannot count.  If there was to be another free throw, then the players line up and it is shot.  If this was to be the last free throw, then the ball is awarded to the opponent for a throw in.

If the defensive team (non-shooter) steps into the forbidden area, then the referee holds his fist straight out indicating a delayed violation.  If the ball goes in, it counts.  If the shot is missed, it is retaken.

If the offense and defense both simultaneously violate the
...More

Q
What would the penalty be for a high school basketball player if he got mad and spit on one of the referees?
A

I would immediately throw the player out of the game with a flagrant technical.  In Illinois, the player would also be suspended for the next game.

Q
FIBA rules say that 3 second clock resets when ball leaves the shooter's hand. What is your call is a player is in the key for 5 secs and then catches an airball and lays it up for a basket? 2pts or 3 sec violation?
A

I try to NOT call 3 seconds unless it changes the advantage/disadvantage of the play.  If I am underneath the basket as the lead official and someone is camped out in the paint, I will try to talk him out.  However, let's suppose that a player camps out for more than 3 seconds and a shot from far away goes up, and the player in the lane gets the rebound I will call a late 3 seconds violation - because his being in the lane for more than 3 seconds allowed him an unearned rebound.

In your scenario, assuming the ball is in the frontcourt for all of time the player is in the lane and that there was no shot previous to the airball, it should be called a 3 second violation - in my mind a perfect late call, because if the other team gets the rebound play on.  If the guy camped
...More

Q
3 point shot gets tipped by defender then shot hits rim then goes out of bounds whose ball is it. (The tip didn't alter the shot or the path of the ball )
A

The ball is always awarded to the team opposite of the one who touches the ball last.  The rim or backboard does not erase the last person to touch the ball.  So in your question the defensive player is the last to touch the ball (ever so slightly) and the ball goes back to the shooter's team.

Q
Can a basketball coach walk onto the court while the game is being played?
A

Technically a coach is not allowed on the court and the penalty is a technical foul.  But here is where experience matters.  If a coach breached inbounds but was not inyerferring with the play he should be gently directed back to the bench.  If he is in the way of a play or a ref then a T should be called.  Even on a time out I would not let a coach come onto the court - instead I would walk back to the bench and the coach always follows. A coach puposely charging a ref on a court is the coach's way of showing up a ref and should noy be tolerated - but does not have to be a T.

Q
Hi Ref, in one game years back when I played a lot of ball, a player on the other team always grabbed the ball after his team made a basket and placed the ball on the floor so we had to bend down and grab it before taking it out. Is this legal? Thx
A

Placing the ball on the floor repeatedly denies the other team the opportunity to grab the ball and run.  Here's how it should be handled.  After the second occurence, the ref should stop the game and issue a "delay of game warning" against the team, and ask the scorer to register a warning in the book..  If they do it again, the offending player should be charged with a technical foul.

Q
Ref bounce-passed the ball to an inbounder (no defensive pressure) - about 12-15 away - slightly offline (inbounder reached out). The inbounder fumbled the ball and dropped it over the line and caught it. Ref called a violation. good/bad call?
A

A throw-in begins when the ball is placed at the disposal of the player who will throw it in. As you describe the play, the offensive player does not have control of the ball until after fumbling it.  The ref should either ignore the fumble or whistle the play dead right away and bounce the ball to the in bounder properly.  Violation = bad call.

Q
When a player receives a pass, can he put the ball on the floor and pick it up without ever letting go the ball. In other words, his two hands, the ball and the floor are in contact simultaneously.
A

Let's suppose that a player takes two hands on top of the ball and pushes it to the ground - double dribble.  You see this sometimes when a player falls and use the ball to break the fall.  What if a player takes one hand and pushes the ball to the floor ? That is an interrupted dribble until the player picks it up, or can continue the dribble with one hand (like the Globetrotters).  If instead, he picks up the ball, he has used up the dribble and must pass or shoot from there.

Q
what are the difficults of being a ref? like what makes it hard?
A

Like most things in life it is not difficult to be a referee.  However, it is very hard to be a good referee.  Here are some of the reasons: 1) You need to study the rule book - it takes a long time to really understand and internalize them, 2) once the rules are understood it takes a long time to decide which rules should not be enforced at which levels/situations, 3) since there is a learning curve, you have to make a big commitment to it before you can be well compensated, 4) even if you develop into a good referee, you have to be lucky enough to be "discovered" and/or mentored by people in a position to help and promote you, and finally you have to have a different occupation that allows you spend your time investing in ref'ing.  Oh yeah, you also need thick skin.

Q
8th grade AAU basketball tournament. at buzzer score was 59-56. we were winning. the opposing team scored 2. he shot it in near foul line. score is 59-58 on the board. coaches come on court arguing it was 3. senior ref changes it to 3. why?? it was2
A

There is no provision for a referee to overrule another official in the Federation rules book, however in practice one official is designated as the referee in a crew with a responsibility to resolve simultaneous calls.  My experience is that before the game this situation is discussed between officials.  I think it is important to get the call correct, but each referee has his own area to watch.  So if I make a call that one of my partners sees a different way I want that official to approach me, tell me what they saw, I give my perspective and then I decided if I will overrule my own decision.  That way I can defend the final outcome.  So, a few principles: 1) a ref should be watching their own area - that is why you have 2 or 3 of them, 2) there is some overlap ...More

Q
In the post position, is it legal for an offensive player to intentionally pull down the arm of a defensive player to receive a pass
A

Simple answer: no.  So again (Advantage Disadvantage), if the post player is setting up down low and swatting the defender's hands and they are in a minor way pushing or leaning on each other, then I am ignoring it or telling them hands off. But as soon as the ball is delivered to the post, and he received it because he swatted the defender's hands away from a legal guarding position, then I am calling an offensive foul.

Q
I have found being a 17 year old referee in Australia refereeing National championships is a great way To put up with angry spectators. But how do you go about speaking to the coaches when abuse is thrown at you from them without T'ing them up?
A

Great question. In my career I have called very few T's on coaches.  My approach is two-fold. 1) if the coach is working me up and down the court, I will talk calmly on a dead ball (never stop officiating on a live ball - ignore the coach).  I will say, "coach, your constant rants are unwarranted, and may prevent me from doing my job.  If it persists without specifics, I will be forced to call a "T" and have you seatbelted to the bench".  2) if the coach wants/needs to discuss a particular play on a dead ball, always in front of the bench, don't let the coach come on the court - walk him back to the bench, he will follow: a) I ask the coach what he saw on the play.  If I saw something different, I tell him and explain that if I saw it his way, I would have called ...More

Q
is there a rule about which referee gives the ball to the foul shooter - does it have to be the ref under the basket throwing it to him or can it be one of the outside refs handing it to him?
A

It is not a rule, but rather it is a mechanic perscribed in the NFHS Handbook.  It used to be that the trailing referee would hand the ball to the free throw shooter for the first attempt and the lead (on the endline) would administer the rest of the free throws.  Maybe ten years ago, it was changed so that the proper mechanic is for the lead official administer all free throws from the baseline.  Most referees cannot advance if they do not follow the perscribed mechanics.  Most importantly, mechanics set a consistent way of working a game, so that you can easily work with people you have never been assigned with, and secondly, following perscribed mechanics sets a professional expectation for coaches and assignment chairpersons to evaluate (in addition to judgement, ...More

Q
2) While dribbling a player loses control and steps out of bounds - but the ball remains in play...can that player be the first to touch the ball ?
A

Yes, in the definition section of the rule book it states that "during an interrupted dribble the out bounds provision does not apply".  So a player can step out of bounds and come back in and resume a dribble or pick the ball up, as long as stepping out of bounds was unintentional.  In high school going out of bounds purposely is a violation, in college it is a technical, and in the NBA there is no prohibition.

Q
If there is a violation on one and one free-throw by the defense of the offense made the first free-throw violations on the second free-throw do we start the whole process over again like it never happened??
A

Not sure what situation you are asking about.  If this does not answer your question please rephrase it.  So, if the free throw shooter has the ball and the defense commits a violation in a one-and-one, the referee should hold one arm parrallel to the floor to indicate a delayed call.  If the free throw goes in then the violation is ignored.  If the free throw is missed, then the one-and-one is restarted from the beginning.  If the ball was not at the disposal of the free throw shooter and a violation occurs, it should be ignored and the process reset.

Q
) When a player returns from out of bounds - to touch a loose ball - does he need to have touched back inbounds with both feet - or is one enough to establish himself ? Thanks for your time Alex
A

The rule book states that a player is out of bounds if any part of his body is touching out of bounds or touching a player who is out of bounds.  It also states that an airborne player has the geographical position of where he jumped from (until he lands).  So the player does not by rule have to have two feet in bounds, just one as long as the other is in the air and not out of bounds.

Q
Does the over the top of backboard rule apply to fan-shaped backboards? Can you post link of official ruling, thank you.
A

Rule 7 in the NFHS rule book is the chapter on Out of Bounds and The Throw In.  Section 1, Article 2b states, "The ball is out of bounds when it passes over a rectangular backboard.   By excluding fan shaped backboards it means a ball passing over fan shaped is NOT out of bounds.

Q
3 questions please ...
1) Player A inbounds a pass but the pass is swatted back at him by his opponent(B)...the ball touches player A on a fly ... whose ball ?
2) While dribbling a player loses control and steps out of bounds - but the ball remains
A

If A is standing out of bounds, and a ball that was in bounds touches him before hitting the floor out of bounds, A is considered to have caused the ball to go out of bounds. 

Q
lets pretend a 1on1 situation.
if the attacker is attempting to drive in to the right using his right hand, can the defender trap the attacker's left arm to stop them?
A

I am not sure what you mean by trap. Are you saying the defender steps closer and prevents the dribbler from moving because of the outstreched arm of the dribbler?  Then yes, the defender can move as long as he is entitled to the spot on the floor. But if you are saying the defender somehow holds the arm of the dribbler it is a common foul.  If I have missed the point of your question rephrase it and I will try again.

Q
the official sometimes shall remain at the scorers able at all times until the game has been completed true or false
A

The officials NEVER remain at the scorers table.  Directly from the NFHS rulebook:  The official scorebook shall remain at the scorers table througout the game, including all intermissions. Note, it says the official scorebook, not the official.

Q
If a defender reach out with his hands on the opponent even when he's in air but don't push him, should I call it a foul? I have difficulty to make this calls, because it's definetly wrong defense mechanics but I don't know if there's real contact.
A

If you shoot a jump shot and someone touches your waist, it normally disrupts the flow of your shot, and therefore should generally be called.  BUT, this calls for your judgement - if you think the touching causes the shooter to alter the rhythm of his shot then call a handcheck.  Other than in a shooting situation, I suggest these guidelines for calling a handcheck: foul if 1) the handcheck dislodges the dribbler or postplayer, or 2) the handpressure is constant on a moving opponent.

Q
Is the big kid condemned to not getting fouls called? My son was the tallest and most athletic. He drove to the hole and drew 4 smaller defenders banging clutching holding grabbing so shots never made it to rim, but no call most of the time.
A

In youth basketball it is common to be biased against the biggest kids.  It is unfair, but it happens.  If there is a silver lining it is that your son will be well prepared for AAU and high school rough play.  Although unfair, it is better for your son to toughen up then for him to not develop because he is currently bigger than his teammates.  Read the book, "Play Their Hearts Out" for a real story of the next LeBron who was the best player in the country in middle school, but flattened out at 6'2" as a senior in high school.

Q
Can a defender check an offensive player by putting aforearm or elbow in his gut?
A

The simple answer is that if the contact you are describing is material it should definitely be called a foul. A defender can use such contact to hold an opponent or to indicate which way a play will go (which is why handchecks need to be called more often).

Q
Thanks for last answer. The coach taught the boys that when dribble driving, swat a defender's reaching arms upward and away with the free arm to have a clear shot. I heard that violated nfhs 4-24-7 but I didn't see the latest text. True? Thanks.
A

In theory, swatting a defender's arms is a violation.  If a defender has the right to a space, swatting his arms is a foul.  But if the defender is handchecking (or forearm checking) an experienced ref would either call a foul on the defender, or not call anything. Instead he could warn both players to keep their arms off each other.  Unfortunately, often the offensive player gets caught swatting because the ref missed the initial armcheck.

Q
Need help... Jump ball situation--When can one of the Two jumpers grab and have legal possession of the ball, after the touching by one of the two jumpers?
A

Here's the jump ball rule:  Neither jumper shall 1) touch the ball before it reaches its height, 2) leave the circle until the ball has been touched, 3) catch the jump ball, or 4) touch the ball more than twice.  

These restrictions are in place until: the ball contacts one of the eight non-jumpers, an official, the floor, a basket or the backboard.

Q
What are the greatest challenges in officiating basketball? What are the most difficult rules to enforce and observe?
A

1) For most officials, the block/charge is the toughest because the action happens so quickly and to really get the call right, the official should not be looking at the dribbler (ref's would say, officiate the defense).  It's natural to watch the offense, but a clear, solid call happens when the official focuses on the defense. 2) for young refs it is striking the balance between being an over the top tough guy vs getting walked on for being weak. 3) especially at the lower levels, deciding what not to call is hard to learn - my generalization is that new refs overcall violations and are reluctant to call fouls.

Q
you are shooting two shots on foul line and on first shot the shooters team has lane violation does that take away second shot
A

If there is a violation on the first of two free throws, the first free throw is whistled dead and unsuccessful and the the second free throw will be administered.  So, no the violation on the first free throw does not cancel the second.

Q
What is a typical NBA ref salary and what is the difference between the three refs and what they do?
A

According to theriches.com beginning NBA referees make $150,000 and senior officials make up to $550,000.  In every game, one official is designated as the "referee" and the others are "officials".  In NFHS, the referee has certain additional duties such as picking who will toss jump balls, giving pre-game instructions etc..  But the "referee" is not supposed to overrule the other two officials.  I suspect that in the NBA, senior officials might have additional duties such as travel arrangements, meetings, training, rule advisories, etc.

Q
B-1 commits fifth foul and is disqualifies. after the warning horn, B-6 replaces. B-1. as B-6 is beckoned into the game A-6 reports to ener the game. the timer sounds the horn. official denies A-6 from enering the game since the warning horn had soun
A

OK, we need some common sense here.  Normally after a time out and the warning horn sounds, a player would be denied entering the game.  This is to eliminate delays due to substitution gamesmanship (in pro hockey for example the home team has "last substitute").  But in the case where a coach has 30 seconds to replace a fouled out player this rule should not, and does not apply to either team.  If common sense prevails, the officials should let  A-6 in the game. 

Q
Team A has the ball in their front court and Team B knocks the ball out of bounds on the base line table side. During the play, the trail official is table side and the lead official is opposite the table. Do the refs rotate and do you hand or bounce
A

Unless the mechanic changed this year, the lead official is never to bounce to the player on a throw in with one exceptionL  if the ball goes out of bounds on the sideline very close to the endline (baseline), the the lead can bounce the ball for a throw in close to the endline.  If however the ball will be put in play on the endline, the lead should always hand the ball to the thrower.  I know in the NBA they bounce the ball for an endline throw-in in the backcourt, but not in high school ball (except by lazy officials).

Q
Is there a rule about the amount of time that should occur between two consecutive Technical fouls on one player? (Like ref calls technical, waits, calls another technical on the same player. ie. time for coach to get player to cool off)
A

Yes there is a time limit because the player has been disqualified on the 2nd technical which is treated no differently than a player being assesed his 5th foul - the coach has 30 seconds to replace the player.  A cohesive ref crew should handle it ideally like this:  1) the ref who calls the 2nd T should be a different official than the one who calls the 1st T, 2) the ref calling the 2nd T should report the foul and inform the coach that the player has been disqualified, 3) a different official should escort the disqualified player to the bench, and 3) inform the coach that he has 30 seconds to replace the player, and 4) ask the timer to begin a 30 second count.  If the coach is so mad that he refuses to send a replacement player in, then one the official should warn the ...More

Q
You are wise beyond your years. Thanks for the quick responses!
A

Thanks for the kind words!

Q
Seems to me that a foul on a tip in should be a loose ball since by definition no team has possession. If it gets tipped in and the team is in the bonus its no different than a player making a shot while his teammate gets fouled under the basket.
A

In NFHS there is no such thing as a loose ball foul,  This is very simple... in the judgement of the officials is the batted ball a legitimate "try" for a goal?  I would never call a batted ball anywhere other than in the paint a legitimate try.  So, a half court tip, batted ball would earn a common foul, not a shooting foul. You are correct in that you must have player control established to be in the act of shooting. But it is not the same as a fellow player being fouled to shoot a one and one on a made shot while in the air, because it is a foul on one player - either he is in the act of shooting, *which ends when an airborne shooter hits the floor, or he isn't in the act of shooting.

Q
On an inbound play when a ball is deflected back into the inbounder does the defense gain possession? I was under the impression (until tonight) that the player was not "live" until they entered the court after the pass.
A

The inbounder is considered a player (not a sub or a bench personnel).  If the ball has achieved inbound status (in your case when the ball is touched or deflected by an inbounds player) and then the inbounder-player who status is still out of bounds, the ball is awarded to the opposite team of the inbounder, assuming the ball hit the inbounder first (before hitting the floor, bleechers, out of bounds referees, spectators).

There is no definition in the NFHS rule book of a live or dead player.  There is live/dead ball definition, but not player.  Team members are defined as players, substitutes or bench personnel.

Q
What is the correct call when a player reaches over the end line and knocking the ball out of the inbounds player hands?
A

In NFHS rules, when player A1 reaches through the plane on team B's throw in WITHOUT touching player B1, the referee shall issue a delay of game warning on the first occurence.  If it happens the second time, it is a technical foul.

If player A1 reaches through the plane and hits the ball or the player, then it is a technical foul immediately.  So, the direct answer to your question is a technical foul.

Q
Hey Ref, I play in Ireland, and they follow the FIBA rules. I was fouled out in a game and so headed to the bench. While on the bench, I was assessed for a technical foul for clapping ( taunting I guess?) Is it possible to get a T after fouling out?
A

Let me guess ... you were sarcastically clapping at the ref's call that fouled you out?  Sounds like a thin-skinned official!

In NFHS rules a disqualified player must remain on the bench or be sent to the lockerroom with supervision.  So, while on the bench it is possible to receive a T.  Not only is the player assessed with a T, but the coach is assessed with an indirect T.

Q
Ball in the air at half court and I get fouled attemptimg to tip it toward my basket is it then a three-shot foul? It would have to be under your definition because if it goes in and we're in the bonus, awarding one and one is too crazy and severe.
A

Read my answer to the above question, and add this.  If I was observing an official who called a foul on a half court tip a shooting foul, I would do all I could to keep him from working a varsity (also a sophomore) game.  I will grant you that a player can go through the habitual shooting motion of a shot anywhere on the court and if fouled it could be a shooting foul, even from the back court (as in the end of the quarter), but a tip from half court is unskilled and undeserving of a shooting foul - I would always call a halfcourt tip foul a common foul.

Q
A call was made that if you don't have position of the ball your team on the bench can't count down the clock. Is this correct?
A

I believe that is a made up rule.  The only way to construe a violation would be to consider it unsportsmanlike, but that is a stretch.  The way to handle it is if there is a dead ball after the team was counting approach the coach and ask if the coach considers counting in that way sporting.  Maybe he will stop them, but as a ref I would not call a foul.

Q
Before the tip off an official said that the player had to stand next to his opponent and could not stand behind him. Is this correct?
A

No it is not correct.  There are 2 restrictions on non-jumpers beside the one about being adjacent if the other team wants in.  Once the referee is ready to toss the ball, and until the ball is tossed, a non-jumper shall not 1) move around the circle, and 2) move onto the circle from away. So a non-jumper can stand behind an opponent as long as he does not infringe on the opponent's right to his vertical space.

Q
Ball heading out of bounds towards team A coach who is standing in the coaching box. The coach makes a natural reflex to catch the ball before it hits him. Player B simultaneously was trying to make a play on the ball. Is this a T on coach?
A

No T.  The coach is where he should be, and there he is considered out of bounds -  so when the ball touches him it is OB.  However, it borders on unsportsmanlike conduct if the coach purposely grabs it to prevent the other team from making a play.  In any case I personally would not call a T.

Q
If a player is fouled while jumping to attempt to tip-in a rebound is this a shooting foul or a loose ball foul?
A

In NFHS there are players fouled in the act of shooting, common fouls, player control fouls, team control fouls and technical fouls.  A player attempting to tip the basketball into the hoop is fouled in the act of shooting and will get 2 free throws, unless the ball went in - the bucket counts plus 1 free throw.  

It has to be this way because if it was considered a common foul (and assume the team is in the bonus) and the ball went in, then you would have to count the basket and award a one and one - which would be crazy and severe.

Q
What is the rule on standing side by side on tip off.
A

Rule 6 Section 3 Article 3... Teammates shall not occupy adjacent positions around the center restraining circle if an opponent indicates a desire for one of these positions before the referee is ready to toss the ball.

Q
My kid is thinking ab giving up JV basketball because playing time is going to zero bc of fouls.

He has elite strength & is getting called for backing up bigs w his bum, "moving people" when grabbing all ball, etc.

Any Suggestions?
A

I am not a coach, but I will venture an opinion and a recomendation. 

He probably goes to a position on the floor, "feels" the defender, and backs into the him.  One thing refs are taught about contact low in the blocks is to call a foul on the player who dislodges the opponent.  So if he sizes up the defender and then uses his rear end to create space, the refs will call a foul for moving the opponent,  I know, big players are taught to use their bodies to block out and create space, but when it is so obvious that he is dislodging the other player it is a foul.  So, what is a big strong player to do? Bluntly speaking, use his feet more than his ass.  Create space by hustling to a place closer to the basket, then hold your ground and let the defender
...More

Q
what do basketball referees do at the end of a game?
A

In NFHS rules, the game is officially over when the referees leave the confines of the court so the first thing is for the referees to agree there are no game ending issues and if so quickly make your way to the lockerroom. I can't speak for everyone, but usually after the games I worked we would have a short post game wrap up in the lockerroom, maybe 10 - 15 minutes to discuss any issues or constructive criticism of each other.  Depending on who were my partners we might stop for a beer on the way home as well. It used to be that in Illinois certified referees could rate other officials so I would get online and rate my partners for that game.  Also, if there were any reports to the state office due (required if any player or coach was disqualified by technical fouls) I would ...More

Q
How do referees decide which side of the court to take the ball out on after a timeout called when the ball is in the front court?
A

The placement of a throw in after a time out is the same as the placement after a violation or a non-shooting foul.  The spot should be perpendiclar to nearest sideline oe endline.  So imagine a diagonal line from the elbow of the free throw line to the corner of the sideline/endline. If the ball was on the sideline area of that line then find a perpendicular line to the sideline. If it is on the other side of the diagonal then the ball goes to the endline.  If the ball was in the paint, then it is taken out on the endline at the closest line of the paint - never on the endline directly under the basket.

Q
Say I cross the key to come set a pick and then I pivot and roll toward the basket as the defender I am screening drops down but I keep contact with my butt/back side. Is that a moving screen?
A

This is a close one.  Who is entitled to a space on the floor?  Answer:  the player who gets there before another player leaves his feet to get to the same space.  If in your example the defender is "riding" your backside in lockstep towards the basket, each of you are entitled to the straight line toward the endline.  So unless either player leans into the other and dislodges, I would say incidental, legal contact.

Q
If a coach steps on the court of play and a referee runs into the coach while running down the court is it a technical foul.
A

Yes, it is a direct technical foul.  It is dangerous and unsportsman-like.

Q
1)Could you give a good description of proper boxing out technique.
2) can the player who is being boxed out(properly) push the boxing player from behind, under the rim in order to get the rebound. in either off. or Def. rebounding
A

The act of boxing out is properly executed when you occupy spaces on the floor by moving your feet and obtaining the verical rights to a space before your opponent can legally obtain that space.  Proper technique might include "sizing up the opponent" behind you (that is with light contact feeling where and when the opponent might try to get around you), and moving your feet to "block" him out from moving closer to the basket, most typically on a rebound. When you block out, you do not have the right to stick your rear end out and dislodge a player behind you.  Good refs will call a foul on the inside player for dislodging the player behind him, AND the same ref should call a foul on a player who pushes an opponent under the basket out of contention for a rebound.  Good defense, ...More

Q
If a player receives his fifth foul which results in free throws can the first free throw be shot before the player that has fouled out is removed from the game
A

No.  The correct protocol when a player fouls out is this: the scorer normally informs the ref that the player assessed with the last foul has fouled out.  The ref lets the coach know that the player has fouled out and he has 30 seconds to send in a substitute.  Once the fouled out player leaves the court and the substitute is beckoned in, then the free throws can start.  By the way, if there are other subs at the time the player is being replaced, then all of them should be beckoned in.  Normally you would wait until there is only one free throw left (or a one and one) before sending subs in.

Q
starting game jump shot is tipped down court our guy gets it goes for basket. it goes in and ref counts it as shot for other team. is this correct?
A

I think you are asking this question: A1 gets the ball from the opening tip in his backcourt and shoots the ball into B1's basket (his oppponent's basket).  How is it scored? 

If this is your question, the answer is count the basket for team B, and A gets the ball for a throw in in their backcourt.

Q
Many times the marquee will provide a replay of the last play on the floor. If a bad call is made, and you see the replay, can you check the monitor to over-turn the call as a collaborative team?
A

In NFHS rules replay is not to be used in ordinary season games.  However, replay use is permitted in a state's playoff series under these conditions: 1) the state has authorized its use, 2) the replay is used to determine timing issues on the last shot, and whether it is a 2 or 3 point shot.  So in high school ball during an in season game you cannot use replay.  In college, the officials use it a few times a game for many situations (flagarant or not on a hard foul, timing issues as to whether a shot was launched before time expired, who is the correct free shooter, etc.)

Q
with 9 seconds remaining. while in bounding the ball on a set play the scorekeeper sounds the buzzer and the basket is taken away. with no time outs they run the same play this time defender just holds onto the player and tackles him to the ground
A

Time stops when an offical: signals a foul, held ball or violation, stops play for an injury or score inquiry, grants a time out, or responds to the scorer signal.  SO, unless the referees stopped play with their whistle PLAY ON and the basket should count.  That is why players are coached to stop on the whistle, not the buzzer.

If the officials did stop play when they heard the buzzer, it sounds like a foul should have been called.  Either way, as you desribe it officiating mistakes were made.

Q
how many day will a high school player get suspended for if he got 2 technical fouls ?
A

NFHS does not specify any post game punishments as these are left to the state organizations.  In Illinois, if a coach or player is disqualified because of 2 technical fouls or 1 flagarant technical foul, he is suspended from participating in the next scheduled contest.

Betond these, the state reserves the right to impose stiffer sanctions if necessary.

Q
Opening tip. Our center tipped the ball along the midcourt line but no one touched it before it went out of bounds. Sure, ball to the other team now, but what about arrow? The ruling was the arrow for other side b/c our center "possessed" ball. Thx.
A

Sounds like a bad call.  The center for Team A does not establish team possession by tipping the ball, but by knocking the ball out Team B gets the ball.  Because neither team had possession and B got the first ball the arrow is set for Team A's possession on the next one.

Q
In a game my player fouled out.but before he was asked fo leave the floor the ref handed the ball to the shooter who made a free throw while the other ref was telling me I needed a sub.does the free throw stand or a reshot after my substitute enters?
A

There are 5 correctible errors in the rule book and failing to remove a player with 5 fouls is NOT one of them.  The free throw stands and the ref has egg on his face for rushing and not making sure his partner was ready.  But it is not correctible.

Q
Can I lift the pivot foot as I jump of nonpivot foot to shoot and during the motion my pivot foot actually goes past/infront of the nonpivot foot-before touching the floor?

http://youtu.be/MNRXBJOWpQk?t=5m41s
and
http://youtu.be/7WvtjP1TQw4?t=27s
A

The direction of the pivot foot vis a vis the nonpivot makes no difference as you can pivot 360 degrees on your pivot.  If your right foot is the pivot you can step with your left and then jump picking up your right foot off the floor and it is legal.  I think of it this way -  if you were not allowed to ever lift your pivot foot how could you shoot a layup?  Direction does not matter, you can make this move as a fadeaway and it is still not travelling (but your coach might bench you!).

Q
Can another official reverse another officials traveling call?
A

There is no provision in the rules for an official to overrule another, and there is no prohibition against it.  One of the officials is designated as the referee, the others are umpire 1 and umpire 2.  The referee has to settle all disputes not envisioned by the rule book.  As I have said before, I always wanted my partners to approach me if they disagreed with my call and allow me to change my own call if my partner created doubt or if they clarified the play for me.  But I always wanted the right to not change my call as well.  By the original caller changing his call he can explain it to the coach adversely affected.  Good referees have this discussion before the game and talk about how they are going to handle a disagreement on a call.  Generally, ...More

Q
Can another basketball over-rule another on a bad call, if he has the better angle to see what actually happened on the floor?
A

There is no provision in the mechanics or rule books for NFHS.  In fact, although one official is designated as the "referee" and the other two are "umpire 1" and "umpire 2", the referee is not enpowered to overrule the others.  Here's how I handled this: In the pre-game I asked my partners to agree to this.  If they think I got the call wrong, approach me and tell me what you saw, and I will decide whether to overrule myself based on your input.  That way, we could undue a really bad missed call, but if I passed on a call for my own reasons (advantage disadvantage for example) I could ignore my partner's input.  Also, if I changed my call I could better explain to a coach why it was reversed.  Most of the people I worked with agreed to use this system.

Q
Say someone fouled me, and i receive 2 free throw shots. If I jump over the free throw line and make my shot before landing does it count? Also, is it legal to dunk a free throw shot if physically able?
A

In the violations section of the rule book regarding free throws, it states that the free throw shooter shall have neither foot beyond the vertical plane of the edge of the free throw line which is further from the basket.

This restriction ends when the ball hits the ring, backboard or until the free throw ends.

So no, a player cannot soar through the air leaping from the semi-circle to dunk a ball - he would have to cross the vertical plane of the free throw line.

Q
Just to clarify, the foul was a flagrant personal foul (during live play) not a flagrant technical. So the player should have been awarded the 1-and-1 in addition to the two technical free throws, correct?
A

In NFHS all flagrant fouls (personal or technical) result in 2 free throws plus the ball at half court.  In addition, the player charged with a flagrant foul is immediately disqualified.  You never shoot 1 and 1 on a flgrant foul.

Q
To follow up, "never award...doesn't matter if team is in bonus", well yea, of course...so is the ONLY player control violation when affected team gets possession A CHARGE, with no free throws even if in bonus???
A

Other than technical fouls, there are no free throws awarded when a team with possession of the ball commits a foul. 

If it is in the possession of the player committing the foul, then it is a player control foul (NO free throws).  If a player's team has possession and a foul is committed by a player on that team without the ball it is a team control foul (and again, NO free throws). 

A team or player control foul is never awarded free throws, and it makes no difference if the team is in bonus.  

Also, you might be asking if a charge is the only player control foul possible?  The answer is no.  A player with the ball might push, trip, hold, etc a defensive player and an offensive player without the ball might set an illegal screen,
...More

Q
You keep saying "it makes no difference if in bonus"...for Player Control...I only add the "in bonus" because it is the only time free throws are rewarded if not shooting..
A

I don't know how else to say this...in high school rules, we NEVER award free throws on a player or team control foul.  We also NEVER count the basket if a player control foul was called on the shooter.

That is why it does not matter if the team is in the bonus - in any case, free throws are not awarded on a control foul. It is by definition in the rule book -  a control foul (team or player) never earns free throws. 

Maybe you are confused by the terms - notice I did not say charging fouls instead of control fouls, because charging is just one type of foul committed by the offense.  For example, free throws are not awarded for an illegal screen by the offense (as of about five years ago).

Q
R ball...in 2 ref high school BB should only the "under" ref look for and call 3 second violations, so the upper ref won't have to waste his time looking for it and can look for other violations????
A

In a two man crew there are occasions when the trail official should call three seconds.  Imagine the ball in the corner near the sideline and endline (baseline), on the lead official's side of the court (the lead is the ref on the endline). The lead should drift toward the sideline with the body angled away from the basket.  That leaves the trail official responsibility to look into the paint, and possibly call 3 seconds.  By the way, I rarely called 3 seconds in Varsity games - because I think it is the perfect advantage/disadvantage call.  That is even though someone is camped out for 3+ seconds, I would only interrupt the game for 3 seconds if that player received the ball or captured the rebound.

Q
in college basketball is the question of whether a foul is just a personal foul or an intentional foul reviewable. This excludes the issue of whether the foul was "flagrant" or not.
A

I know the NFHS rules but I found this online from SB Nation regarding college reviews:

...now the following types of plays will be eligible:

shot clock violations in final 2 minutes or overtime

out of bounds plays in final 2 minutes or overtime

two point vs three points

which player committed a called foul (to make sure the correct player is assessed)

flagrant foul calls

NOTE:  this list does not include intentional so if this correct it would seem to be excluded.  maybe someone can post a more definitive answer?

Q
On 9th team foul players line up in lane and one of the officials indicated two shots (double bonus) rather than 1:1. Player missed free throw 5 of 6 players in lane stay in position, one player grabs rebound and makes the basket. Ruling?
A

There are five correctible errors in the NFHS rulebook: 1) failure to award a merited FT, 2) awarding an unmerited FT, 3) permitting the wrong player to shoot a FT, 4) attempting a FT at the wrong basket, & 5) Erroneously counting or cancelling a score.  Unfortunately in your scenario, the error was in announcing 2 free throws (he never progressed to awarding the erroroneous 2nd freet throw).  So, the error is not correctible, the basket counts, and now belongs to the opposing team.  Tough break because of bad officiating.

Q
if a defender hits the ball first in attempting to block a shooter's shot and then the shooter's arm continues forward and hits the defenders vertical arm is this a blocked shot or a foul warranting two shots for the shooter?
A

The defender always has the rights to his vertical space whether he hits the ball or not. Based on how you describe it, I would see it as a good block, no foul.

Q
What are situations of PLAYER CONTROL violations that wouldn't shoot free throws in bonus situation...a charge is such a call...what about over the back for a loose ball???
A

In NFHS rules you NEVER award free throws for a player control foul UNLESS the foul is also flagrant (which I have never seen).  It doesn't matter if the team is in the bonus.

 As far as over the back, you should know that there is no foul defined in the rule book for over the back.  Illegal contact (pushing someone from behind, for example) is either a common foul, a team or player control foul, foul in the act of shooting, technical, intentional or flagrant. If the ball is loose (also not defined in the NFHS rule book) - I think you mean no team control - then illegal contact is a common foul and free throws will be shot if in the bonus.

Q
A team in the bonus has a player fouled and the fouling player is called for a flagrant foul, does the fouled player go to the line after the technical shots for the one-and-one or do they just get possession out-of-bounds. Is the technical 2 shots?
A

1) If the foul is called as a flagrant technical, then  2 shots + the ball,

2) If the foul is a common foul, and then a technical foul also is called, then:

shoot the free throws in the order the fouls occurred. So clear the lanes for a one + one.  Then any player shoots the 2 Ts. Then ball at half court.

High school technicals are always 2 free throws, unless they are cancelled out by simultaneous technicals by both teams.

Q
Yea...I am just trying to find out what OTHER PLAYER CONTROL examples are there where the team fouled just gets the ball out of bounds...no free throws if in bonus...I assume an OFFENSIVE CHARGE is one such example(maybe that is wrong), what are some
A

OK. Got it.  A player with the ball could push, hold, slap, trip, and charge for player control fouls.  A team mate of the player with the ball could do the same plus illegal screens.  All of these are control fouls with no free throws.

 

Q
when a player dribbles behind another player (much like when a running back follows a blocker) as when coming up the court (or anytime) and the non-dribbling player obstructs the would be defender - is this a moving (illegal) screen?
A

yes.

Q
Who has the authority to throw a fan out of the game?
A

Indirectly referees and the home school have the authority.  In NFHS rules there is a function called home management.  It is usually the athletic director, or a representative of the AD.  The rule book states that in the absence of a designated home management person, the home team head coach will assume that function.

Directly from the rule book:  The officials shall penalize unsporting behavior by player, coach, substitute, team attendant or FOLLOWER.

Further the book states:  ... the officials may rule fouls on either team if its supporters act in a way to interfere with the proper conduct of the game.

It also cautions the officials to be careful applying penalties so as not to unfairly penalize a team.

When I officiated, I never engaged
...More

Q
Can a coach throw a student out of a game?
A

see the answer below.  In summary, Home Management can eject anybody.  Usually the AD works closely with the coach so in practical terms, the answer is yes.

Q
During a high school game, if the official book of the home team has recorded 5 fouls for a player, can the official overturn a foul based solely on the visiting coach complaining the player only had 4? Otherwise, there was no evidence it was wrong.
A

A referee can order the scorer to change something in the book, if and only if the offical has direct knowledge that there is an error in the book.  For example, if the ref knows a shot was called a 2 point shot but the scoreboard and book have it as a 3, the ref can get it changed.  So in your question it depends on whether the coach brought something to official's attention that the ref knew without doubt was correct, he can change it.  But if the ref got bullied by the coach into changing something the ref is not 100% positive then the ref should not work any games anymore.

Q
Duke/Maryland game: Loose ball and two players on the floor. The Duke player is clearly touching the floor out of bounds when he ties up the Maryland player. Why is this a jump ball and not Maryland's ball b/c the Duke player is out of bounds?
A

I did not see the play, but you are quite right that if a player is out pf bounds (any part of his body is touching the line or beyond the line) and he touches the ball, it should be whistled out of bounds and a throw in awarded to the other team.

Q
Can basketball referees throw people out of high school games for talking to them?
A

See my answer about nine questions back where Cody asked, "Who has the authority to throw a fan out of a game?"

Q
I was fouled and the ref under the basket called 2 shots. Shot and missed the first one, caught it and threw it back to the ref. The side ref said it was a one and one after I gave it to the ref and they ended up calling it a jump ball.
A

Since awarding the 2nd free throw was in error, and even if it was correctible, play resumes from the point discovered, and all points scored and fouls remain intact.  So the ref should have dropped the ball and play on.  There is no provision to use a jump ball to fix a misapplication of a rule.

As a practical matter, awarding a jump is less awkward than the chaos of handing it correctly.

Q
warriors player A throws the ball in bounds from under the basket, lions player A defending the pass deflects it, it hits the warrior player who passed it, who has not moved from his out of bounds spot, who's ball?
A

Lions ball on a throw in.

Q
On an end line inbounds after a made basket can the inbounder pass it to a teammate out of bounds who subsequently passes the ball in play? I know this was allowed at one point but haven't seen it used in many years.
A

After a made basket, or after a timeout after a made basket the team with the ball can pass it from one out of bounds player to another, and then throw it in bounds (along the endline only).  Here's the play:

Team B is pressing with no defender on the out of bounds thrower in player A1.  A2 is on the other side of the paint but he is guarded by B1.  A1 has the ball out of bounds.  A2 steps out of bounds leaving the defender B1 no one to guard. A1 passes the ball to A2 who is out of bounds.  A1 steps in bounds and receives the pass from A2.

Q
Thanks for confirming my question on the out of bounds/jump ball. I have seen this call "blown" so many times and can't understand why. Seems like it happens a lot that calls are missed down on the baseline, such as stepping on the line, etc.
A

Out of bounds calls should not be missed because in a 3 man crew, every line has an official with primary responsibility.  If this really is a trend it is not good.

Q
I was officiating a game and was on the sideline when I turned to run up court and I collided with the coach.. The coach fell to the court I and I immediately issued a technical foul. The coach was borderline in the black area when when we collided.
A

The coach (assuming he has not been seatbelted with a technical foul prior to this) is entitled to stand inside the coach's box, which is out of bounds.  If the coach was out of bounds or his foot was on the line the collusion, though unfortunate, is not a technical foul.  If the coach was squarely in bounds which casued the collision then it should be called a T.  Borderline, I would pass.

Q
3 second rule question: do both feet have to clear the key entirely for the player to be good, or is it like out of bounds, where one foot touching the line is enough? Thanks.
A

The 3 second area (the paint) is defined by the outer edge of the lines.  Any part of your foot on the line puts you in the paint. 

The outer line on the court is out of bounds, so on a throw in the player who is throwing the ball in could step on the line before throwing in as long as the foot does not step on the court.