Basketball Referee

Basketball Referee


20 Years Experience

Chicago, IL

Male, 60

For twenty years I officiated high school, AAU and park district basketball games, retiring recently. For a few officiating is 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 sports-thriller novel loosely based on my referee experiences titled, Advantage Disadvantage

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651 Questions


Last Answer on September 20, 2019

Best Rated

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

Asked by slowgrind about 12 years ago

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.

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

Asked by Bryan about 12 years ago

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 and what you told me. That way, no one is overturning anybody else - the calling official is given the chance to reverse.

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?

Asked by TvonT about 12 years ago

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.

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.

Asked by MoeMoe about 12 years ago

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.

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?

Asked by Rob A-T-L about 12 years ago

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.

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

Asked by Gregg_D about 12 years ago

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

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

Asked by whatthedeuce? about 12 years ago

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.

Ever get into a physical altercation with a crazed parent?

Asked by slowgrind about 12 years ago

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 book. There is a learning curve for fans as well - varsity parents are generally better. One of my peers was once attacked at halftime by a freshman player's grandfather.

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?

Asked by NBJay about 12 years ago

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.

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?

Asked by mugsy about 12 years ago

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.

Has anyone ever attempted to bribe you in any way?

Asked by skyhook about 12 years ago

No one has ever offered me a bribe. Darn!

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

Asked by moris about 12 years ago

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.

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?

Asked by Harry Legend about 12 years ago

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.

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)?

Asked by El Sid about 12 years ago

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?

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.

Asked by josh over 11 years ago

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 worked, only high school varsity games used 3 ref’s.

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

Asked by Not LeBron about 12 years ago

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

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?

Asked by aaron5 about 12 years ago

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. As he approached the court, he saw guys as old as 35 in the layup lines, in pro-style uniforms - this was no park district kids league, this was the gang banger's league. He called the coaches and captains together for a quick pre game conference (hoping to preempt problems). While holding the conference one of the "managers" answers his phone an accepts a bet for 10 biscuits. The ref asks him about the bet and learns that a biscuit is $1,000 . The manager brags that he has accepted a lot more than $10,000 on this game. By now the ref was sweating bullets. The ref took off running to the parking lot and jumped in his car while the 2 assigned gangbangers chased after him. He was able to escape.

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?

Asked by da worm about 12 years ago

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.

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

Asked by The Duke about 12 years ago

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 that the referee reporting a foul now normally stays table-side (near the coaches to explain a call if necessary) while the other officials rotate away. It used to be that in Illinois for example, when you paid your annual state registration dues you received three books: rules, case studies, and mechanics. To cut costs, most officials in Illinois now receive the books every other year. You can go to and see the changes legislated by sport prior to each season.

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

Asked by micah about 12 years ago

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. So, I am a bigger fan of the college game because I find it more competitive and more capable of upsets. Having said all of that, the increasing number of players leaving college early hurts the fans ability to follow team progress. In the end, I would rather be associated with the college game.

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?

Asked by steve w about 12 years ago

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.

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?

Asked by Michael N about 12 years ago

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). 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!

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

Asked by over 11 years ago

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.

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

Asked by Madam Charles about 12 years ago

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

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

Asked by yaz over 11 years ago

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 other refs before the game.

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

Asked by dhatch over 10 years ago

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.

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?

Asked by Swisha-mang about 12 years ago

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.

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?

Asked by paul about 12 years ago

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.

does it matter what side of the player the referee stands when inbounding ball

Asked by rookieref almost 10 years ago

Yes it matters.  On sideline throw-ins, the referee inbounding the ball should between the player and the opponent's basket, so the ref is behind the most likely foreward movement of the play.

In 2 man officiating the referees are to be opposite of each other and the throw in will occur to the inside of the ref.

In 3 man crew, I have worked with some officials who position themselves between the basket and the throw in player on the baseline, but I think this positioning should only be used when the throw in on the baseline is near the sideline.

These postions have developed out of the objective to put the ref in the best possible position to see the play. That is why referees are allowed to bounce the ball to the throw in player - you get to stand back and have a wider view.

These practices seem picky but doing them correctly is pre-requisite for advancing.  The evaluators I have encountered expect spot on mechanics.  Being out of position on a throw would lower your rating.

Yes, but I've NEVER see the intentional foul called, NEVER! The seems to be a TOTAL aversion on the part of refs to stop the fouling by the behind team in a close game. Why? Saying they are "going for the ball" is the coward's way out, isn't it?

Asked by daveb over 10 years ago

The rule is clear and everyone in the gym knows a foul is coming.  It is a real dilemma.  An intentional foul has a very severe penalty, but calling a common foul seems against the rule.  This can only be fixed by a rule change - perhaps the fouled team gets a choice of free throws OR the ball.  It is the coward's way out but I don't see a solution.

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

Asked by Geoff about 12 years ago

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 refs were sanctioned for lack of action.

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

Asked by Shorty over 10 years ago

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, like proper rebounding is played with your feet (just my opinion).

I worked a summer league several years ago and for the first half of a couple games the coach made the players on defense lock their arms behind their backs.  They could not steal, swat or defend with their hands.  So what con you do?  MOVE YOUR FEET and try to legally deny offensive players spots on the floor.  Only when a shot went up could the players use their hands.  The players were certainly frustrated but it forced moving their feet.

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

Asked by Former coach about 12 years ago

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.

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?

Asked by RonMexico over 11 years ago

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!).

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...

Asked by Lebron who? about 12 years ago

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, see if you can pick up the off-ball officials not looking at the offense. If they are looking away from the ball, they are probably good officials and they are "refereeing the defense".

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 ...

Asked by Mike Z almost 12 years ago

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.

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?

Asked by Stan about 11 years ago

No travelling until either player lifts a foot.

Are you allowed to eject fans?

Asked by Pete_bk about 12 years ago

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.

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

Asked by Jamie over 11 years ago

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!

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?

Asked by Yohann over 11 years ago

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.

I am a young official in my first year of refereeing basketball. In what instances does the referee blow the whistle prior to putting the ball at the disposal of inbounding player after a dead ball situation?

Asked by FJ22 over 9 years ago

I was taught that the only times to blow your whistle before administering a throw-in is after a time out or before the resumption of play to start a new quarter.

I would also blow the whistle if there was a long delay before a normal throw-in (such as confusion at the scorer's table), but certainly not on most normal throw-ins.

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?

Asked by Jake over 10 years ago

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.

Where do I go to find referees to hire in the Chicago,IL area?

Asked by Help! over 9 years ago

A good resource is the Illinois High School Association's website. It publishes online a list of officials' associations. Every official must belong to an association and each association maintains lists of members. In addition, most associations have an assignment chairman whose function is to help member officials get bookings.

You can also call local park districts and ask who books their officials. There are a few guys who run businesses which hire referees for games, and often the park districts hire them to supply officials.

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?

Asked by Richard Troth over 11 years ago

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.

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

Asked by Yohann over 11 years ago

It depends on how they approach and ask the question.

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) this over and back???

Asked by imaxfli over 11 years ago

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.

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

Asked by dh over 11 years ago

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 coach just stared at me during most of the 1 minute period before overtime. In overtime the visitors pulled away and won the game, much to the chagrin of the home team. Two years later, the home coach was scouting a state playoff game I was working and at halftime said to me, "that was the most courageous and correct call in a critical moment that he had seen". The coach said that he asked the assignment chairman to put me on more of his games. I think he watched the tape and saw the traveling. In summary, I have made a few calls I regret, but none of them have been mistakes at crucial times.


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

Asked by bhsgym over 11 years ago

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.

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?

Asked by john d over 11 years ago

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, or jump ball will look for visual confirmation from his partners, who would be responsible for counting players. Sounds like you were jobbed.

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?

Asked by rodk over 11 years ago

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.

Can refs get fined or penalized for making bad calls?

Asked by sungod todd over 11 years ago

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.

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?

Asked by Bob over 11 years ago

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.

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

Asked by Randy S about 11 years ago

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.

Why doesn't basketball use instant replay?

Asked by marcus over 11 years ago

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.

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.

Asked by DaveFromPA over 11 years ago

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.

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?

Asked by Rod over 11 years ago

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.

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

Asked by Jamie over 11 years ago

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).

If i use my hand to cover above the ball while blocking, is it a foul ?

Photo below:

Asked by AnhHai almost 9 years ago

The correct call for this picture is "held ball". Or people call it "jump ball". A held ball is when two opponents are holding the ball together or pushing the ball simultaneously. No foul,call it a jump ball.

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

Asked by Coach Hawk over 11 years ago

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.

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?

Asked by Minnesota Coach over 11 years ago

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.

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

Asked by Sam LaVelle over 11 years ago

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.

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?

Asked by rainman over 11 years ago

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.

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

Asked by JC over 11 years ago

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.

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

Asked by clumsyj over 11 years ago

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).

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?

Asked by Crettercoacha over 11 years ago

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!

Why aren't there more female basketball referees?

Asked by brikhaus over 11 years ago

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 qualified women to take advantage of the scarcity. If a female ref is any good, she probably can move up and be discovered a little faster.

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?

Asked by RodK over 11 years ago

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.

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?

Asked by GLuv over 11 years ago

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: 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.

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?

Asked by Coach Paul over 11 years ago

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.

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

Asked by tommy about 11 years ago

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.

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?

Asked by Don over 11 years ago

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.

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)

Asked by jes over 11 years ago

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.

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???

Asked by imaxfli over 11 years ago

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.

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.

Asked by NCA over 11 years ago

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.

In the bonus time of a game what fouls don't constitute shooting a 1 and 1 or 2 shots in double bonus?

Asked by over 8 years ago

In each half, when an opponent has committed the 7th team foul, the player is awarded a 1 and 1 for non shooting common fouls. When that opponent has committed its 10th team foul the player is awarded 2 free throws for non shooting common fouls.

Regardless of the team foul count on shooting fouls, if the basket was made the shooter gets 1 free throw. If the basket was not made on a shooting foul the shooter is awarded 2 or 3 free throws depending on where the shot was attempted.

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

Asked by brian over 11 years ago

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.

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?

Asked by Richard Troth over 11 years ago

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.

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.

Asked by Randy S about 11 years ago

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

How do I earn the referees respect?

Asked by Yohann over 11 years ago

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.

When a head coach is given a technical foul is he required to sit down the rest of the game? High school level or college level? Any level?

Asked by Bill about 8 years ago

I believe the technical sit down rules are conceived and enforced by state asociation. In Illinois a direct t sits down the coach.

Do you think Middle school Basketball games should have three referees?

Asked by Peter Piper over 8 years ago

I think 2 referees can handle middle school games. Most high school underclass games use 2 officials. Schools are stretching their budgets, they have better things to spend money on.

There is an exception to my opinion, and that is if the 3rd official is training and being mentored by the other 2 then there is value for the trainee but not necesarily for the game itself.

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

Asked by Coach Hawk over 11 years ago

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.

After a made basket and time out even though you can run the baseline can the referee dictate your starting spot?

Asked by Buzzerbeater over 8 years ago

Yes the end line official designates the spot to start in.

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?

Asked by dh over 11 years ago

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.

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?

Asked by Mr T over 11 years ago

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.

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

Asked by Amy about 11 years ago

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.

So I'm a basketball starter and I don't know the basics,don't've a coach and I suck all my teamates are experienced and instead of teaching or helping they humiliate me I don't want to quite I want help

Asked by Yari about 8 years ago

You should spend time in 2 places: 1) the library which will have many books about fundamental skill development, and 2) a park where you can hone these skills. If you lack basic skills how are you a starter?

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?

Asked by Yohann over 11 years ago

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 be sanctioned

During a boy's high school basketball in California, the referee ran in front of a player as his teammate thru him the ball. The ball hit the referee in the stomach and went out for bounds. The refs gave the ball to the opposite team. Was this right

Asked by Margaret over 8 years ago

Yes, it is correct. The ref is part of the floor where he stands. The last player to touch the ball before it goes out of bounds is responsible, and therefore the ball gets awarded to the other team.

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

Asked by doug the terrible over 11 years ago

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?

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

Asked by taylorlevin about 11 years ago

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: 

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?

Asked by rainman over 11 years ago

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.

Is juggling a loose ball (not yet have possession, still trying to get hold of the ball) from a pass while running toward basket considered violation/travel?

Asked by Alan over 7 years ago

By definition, you cannot travel if you have not established possession. If you are tapping or bobbling the ball it is a referee judgement call if you have possession.

2 players dive on the floor for a loose ball. 1 player obtains possession while still on the floor and rolls over a couple of times before he passes the ball .

Is this considered traveling

Asked by Paul mcgrath over 7 years ago

Usually, the refs will allow a slight sliding once a diving player has possession. But as soon as a player rolls over it is travelling.

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 that O & B? I think so!

Asked by imaxfli over 11 years ago

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.

Team A is inbounding the ball in their front court. On the throw-in, the ball deflects off of player A1 and the ball continues into the back court. Is it a violation if a team member of Team A is the first to touch the ball in the back court.

Asked by ME over 7 years ago

The ball achieves front court status NOT on the throw in, but when the offensive team obtains ball control in their front court. In your example, the deflection (unless deliberate) would not constitute ball control, so no backcourt violation.

Is the top and bottom of the backboard considered in bounds?

Asked by Liz over 7 years ago

The top and bottom are in bounds, but on a rectangular backboard if the ball goes over the top even without touching, it is out of bounds.

Is it legal for a referee to be referring a basketball game if he is related to a player?

Asked by Joe over 8 years ago

There is no prohibition in the NFHS rule book prohibiting relatives officiating a game. However, good sense should prevail. My state asks what schools an official is affiliated with to avoid conflicts of interests but that is for the state playoff system only. This should be avoided whenever possible.

Hi Ref, while watching my daughters high school games, lately I don't understand calls/not calls when shots are blocked. Assuming no body contact, can you explain the rule and when you might call/not call a foul on a blocked shot? Thx

Asked by P_Johnston over 8 years ago

Assuming no body contact, the foul call would be because of illegal use of hands. That includes the follow through on a shot. One caveat is that if an offensive player has her hand on the ball it is not a foul for the defender to contact that hand (not the arm or wrist).

I am not sure I have answered your question, maybe you can spell out more specifically what kind of action you are concerned about?

If you have 5 seconds to in bound the basketball to a teammate, how come when players let the ball roll down court it's not a 5 second violation? As I see it the ball is not inbounded if no one touches it.

Asked by Tniz about 8 years ago

The in bounder has 5 seconds to release the ball. The restriction is satisfied as soon as he releases the throw in.

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 .

Asked by waldo over 11 years ago

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.

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

Asked by mike almost 11 years ago

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.

A Offensive player1 throws ball for fast break, Offensive Player2 tries to catch it, a Defender runs from behind and creates body contact using his shoulder causing Player2 off course. Is it considered a foul?

Asked by Alan about 8 years ago

Yes, as you describe it the offensive player was knocked off a position he was entitled to.

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?

Asked by Ethan about 11 years ago

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.

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?

Asked by dave about 11 years ago

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 out in the lane gets the ball, then whistle a turnover.

Oh one more clarification: the 3 second area is the rectangle outline from the free line to the end line.  It does not include the semi-circle where a free throw shooter must stand. That is the top section of the "key" is not in the 3 seconds area.

I shoot with a ref on occasion do you play on your own time?

Asked by rimbreakeer almost 10 years ago

I played in men's leagues until about 10 years ago.  Being a ref gives you a unique perspective and helps your game.  But like all good things they come to an end.  I am recently retired from officiaiting (and quit ballin about 10 years ago).

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.

Asked by Max almost 11 years ago

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.

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?

Asked by Sanaa about 11 years ago

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.

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?

Asked by Bob Moe about 11 years ago

see answer above.

I actually have 3. Is it legal for a player when going for a layup to lead with his bent knee? Is it legal for a player that stops his drive to bend over and clear a space using his head/shoulders? Also what determines if over the back is called?

Asked by zaq1996 over 9 years ago

1) it is ok for a player to do a layup with a bent knee UNTIL the knee contacts a defensive player who has obtained legal guarding position. 2) It is ok for a player to bend over into a space UNLESS the offensive player contacts an opponent who has legally obtained legal guarding position. 3) There is no such rule as over the back (this is a pet peeve of mine). It is perfectly legal for an opponent to leap high enough to reach over the top of a player as long as no illegal contact is made. When the game announcer tells the fans that an "over the back" foul was called he really should be saying "there was a pushing foul, or illegal use of hands", but you will not find in the rule book over the back or reaching in.

If a player gets a defensive rebound and is pushed by an opponent and falls, a foul is not called. The player begins dribbling before standing up. Is this a travel?

Asked by coach wilson over 9 years ago

If the player was pushed it should be a foul. If the player was not pushed, it is traveling when they hold the ball and any part of the body hits the floor beside the hands or feet.  

Probably the right call is a late-called foul. It seems wrong to penalize the offensive player when the defender started the problem.

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 ?

Asked by Alex almost 11 years ago

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.

In a game I recently played, I was pushing the fast break and stopped to shoot a three pointer. While I was in the act of shooting, the referee yelled "foot on the line". Just curious, isn't there a "code of conduct" against distracting players?

Asked by Trent almost 10 years ago

Of course.  Common sense dictates that a referee should not distract any players.  But there is a large grey area.  How about a referee who "talks" players out of three seconds violations, or a referee who verbally counts to 5 seconds on a throw in (proper mechanics call for a hand count, not verbal) or a referee who yells "hands off" to avoid calling a hand check.  Some people say each of these acts represents inappropriate coaching - others say each one is good "preventive officiating". 

In my opinion, verbally saying "foot on the line" is beyond mechanics and unnecessary.

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

Asked by cindy w about 11 years ago

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.

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?

Asked by Bob Moe about 11 years ago

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.

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?

Asked by steve about 11 years ago

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 free throw lane restrictions, then the shot is whistled dead it does not count.  If there was to be another free throw shot, it is taken.  If the free throw was to be the last when opposite teams both violate, then the shot is whistled dead and it goes to the possession arrow.

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

Asked by Pete Johnston (Chicago) about 11 years ago

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.

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.

Asked by Anthony Chevalier about 11 years ago

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.

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

Asked by ken over 10 years ago

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.

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

Asked by Alex about 11 years ago

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.

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?

Asked by Josh about 11 years ago

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.

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

Asked by josh over 10 years ago

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 go online and fill those out,  If I had to fill out any reports to the state I would also send a copy to the assignment chairman who put me on that game.

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

Asked by Waldo about 11 years ago

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.

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?

Asked by rph about 11 years ago

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.

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

Asked by jay over 10 years ago

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.

How much do you want to referee a kid game

Asked by KK over 10 years ago

Based on your question, I want to referee a game probably more than you want to watch one.

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?

Asked by Dean over 10 years ago

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.

Player has two free throws. Shoots the first then the other team calls a timeout. Is this fine or should the second free throw have been shot and then the timeout been granted when the other team gains possession?

Asked by Mike about 10 years ago

When the ball goes through the basket it is a dead ball and anyone can call timeout until the team takes possession (even after a made basket by your team while on offense, until your opponent picks up the ball).

After the first of 2 free throws there will not be team possession, so either team can call time out until the ball is at the disposal of the shooter for his second free throw.

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.

Asked by RodK about 11 years ago

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.

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

Asked by Phil McGovern over 10 years ago

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).

Can another official reverse another officials traveling call?

Asked by Roger D. over 10 years ago

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, this should not happen too often because each referee has a specific area to watch and while there is some overlap calls usually fall within one ref's primary responsibility area.

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

Asked by MM over 10 years ago

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, push, hold, etc in addition to charging. All of this is relative to NFHS rules.

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.

Asked by RodK over 10 years ago

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.

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?

Asked by Big man Ped over 10 years ago

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.

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?

Asked by Whitey over 10 years ago

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.

) 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

Asked by Alex almost 11 years ago

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.

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

Asked by rodk over 10 years ago

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).

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?

Asked by Tom over 10 years ago

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.

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.

Asked by Mike over 10 years ago

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.

Is there such a thing as an intimidation foul?

Asked by point guard about 10 years ago

No, you will not find intimidation in the rule book.  There are unsportsmanlike fouls which may overlap intimidation.  There is one local team which places two captains at the helf-court line during warm ups with their team in a few lines facing them.  The captains move side to side with the players chanting in cadence. The drill ends with the team diving forward toward midcourt shouting in unison either "team" or "defense".  It is very intimidating to the other team, but absolutely not illegal.

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)

Asked by Jojo over 10 years ago

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 coach of delay of game, and if necessary assess a technical on the coach.  Hopefully it never gets to this level, but it could.

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?

Asked by Whitey over 10 years ago

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.

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?

Asked by Dean over 10 years ago

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.

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?

Asked by Tom Hansen over 10 years ago

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.

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 )

Asked by Tommy willits about 11 years ago

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.

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

Asked by Alex almost 11 years ago

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. 

please settle a bar argument, In college basketball can you ever take 2 steps that would not be considered traveling?

Asked by java over 10 years ago

Traveling in college is defined the same way as in high school.  So the answer to your question depends on how the player caught the ball and if he is entitled to a pivot foot.

1) if you catch the ball with both feet on the floor, either foot can be the pivot.

2) if you catch the ball in the air and land simultaneously on both feet, either can be the pivot.  If one foot hits the floor first it must be the pivot.  However, if you catch the ball in the air hop on one foot then land on both feet, neither can be a pivot.

3) once you have established your pivot foot you can lift the pivot but must pass or shoot before the pivot returns to the floor. (and of course you cannot hop on your non-pivot foot if the pivot foot is in the air).

So to answer your question with an illustration, imagine catching the ball midair (or ending a dribble) your right foot lands first (that is your pivot) then you step forward with your left foot lifting up your right, and before your right hits the floor you shoot a layup.  This is a legal basketball move.

People want to say that you get 1 & 1/2 steps or you get 2 steps.  Neither of these are correct.  It depends on whether you are entitled to a pivot or not, and then you can lift up the pivot and onto your non pivot but you must shoot or pass before the pivot hits the floor.

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

Asked by Alias over 10 years ago

According to 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.

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..

Asked by MarkM over 10 years ago

I don't know how else to say 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).

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 free throws if in bonus...I assume an OFFENSIVE CHARGE is one such example(maybe that is wrong), what are some

Asked by MarkM over 10 years ago

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.


gametied and theres2.6 sec left on the clock whenthe opp team is fouled while dribb thenshoots. The appointed ref says on the ground foul the other ref comes in after foul is called & says no shooting foul and they shoot 2 free throws is thisallowed

Asked by Aziz Mikha about 10 years ago

There is no provision in the NFHS book which grants disputes between referees except that the official designated as the "referee" (as opposed to official 1 and 2) has the responsibility to resolve uncovered issues.

When two referees disagree, the way it should work is as follows: Official 1 makes a call. Official 2 sees it a different way and the two officials privately discuss it.  Official 1 needs to be convinced.  If official 1 decides official 2's call is the correct one, then official 1 should signal the correct call, and be prepared to defend it with the coaches.

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

Asked by Tee about 11 years ago

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.

After a rec game, one of our players told a ref (calmly) he needed to make calls on obvious fouls. He became angry(he'd been angry and rude all game) and said if he was our ref next week, he would give us a T to start the game. Is this ever okay?

Asked by Matt P about 10 years ago

No, it is absolutely not ok.  A ref must be above reproach, and when there are lingering bad feelings a good ref will put the history behind them.  So first, if a ref swallows the whistle - in rec leagues it is common so the games end quicker - then report the ref to the league's assignment chair.  Not calling obvious fouls almost always leads to rough play as the players feel compelled to protect themselves. 2nd, a ref should be fired for starting the game with an unearned T.

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?

Asked by Mike over 10 years ago

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 dislodge you for a foul. 

How does a big player get lighter on his feet?  Running and jump rope are the best ways I know.  Sounds like somewhere along the way someone taught him lazy block out technique if he is constantly in foul trouble. 

Have you spoken to his coach about the foul trouble?  I bet the tape shows that he is dislodging players without moving his feet.

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?

Asked by Lochlan almost 11 years ago

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 it his way, but I didn't..  b) If I saw the same thing, but believe he is misinterpeting a rule or a mechanic, I explain why I am  calling it the way I did. For example, if a coach tells me that a player is camped out in 3 seconds and I have ignored it, I explain that I am applying advantage/disadvantage and will only call 3 seconds if it is material to the play - so he may be technically right, but that is my call. c) If I have booted the call, I admit it to the coach and tell him that since calling (or ignoring) a play, I have replayed it in my mind, and think I made an error.  They always stop the harrassment when you admit an error. It is tough when you are young - they treated me differently as my hair grew gray than when I first started out - sure, my judgement improved, but also coaches usually try to push around young officials.  In summary, ref the best you can.  Be honest with yourself about blown calls, and have the strength to explain your calls - if you can't explain your calls, you should not be wearing the stripes.

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.

Asked by Rick over 10 years ago

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.

Are there reserve refs at games/tournaments? What happens if one gets injured?

Asked by Tyrone about 10 years ago

In Illinois, in each championship weekend (2 for boys & 2 for girls) there are 6 officials.  Each official works 2 games, but if one were injured they could press one from the other crew into action.  In addition, the tournament usually attracts several high level officials as spectators so there are plenty in reserve.  Every state does this differently.

Is there a move I'll call an air dribble, where an aggressive defender presses and I open handed pat the ball over him to continue dribbling. Can I retrieve the ball and not dribble, but pass

Asked by rimbreaker almost 10 years ago

From the federation rule book, "During a dribble the ball may ve batted into the air provided it is permitted tp strike the floor before the is touched again with the dribbler's hand(s).

So, in you question you could retrieve the ball after it strikes the floor or continue dribbling PROVIDING you have not palmed or carried the ball.

Is "carrying the ball" not in the rule book anymore, because most all dribbles are such?

Asked by daveb over 10 years ago

Carrying the ball is one of ways the rule book states that a dribble comes to an end.  So the very next dribble should be called as a double dribble if the player carried the ball prior to the subsequent dribble.  My opinion is that refs have allowed too much carrying to go on - the dribbler gains too much control of the basketball if you let a player cup or turn over the ball.

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

Asked by CASH almost 11 years ago

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.

Non shooting foul is committed in penalty situation, 1 & 1. PA announcer calls 2 shots and the ref hands the ball to shooter andsays 2 shots also. First shot is missed and shooting team get rebound and put back. Can coach argue the mixup?

Asked by Coach K over 10 years ago

The coach can argue mixup all he wants, but it shouldn't matter.  Awarding an unearned free throw is correctible, but all points and fouls earned before the error is detected count.  In this case, an extra free throw was not awarded - the referees simply misled the lane rebounders, and that is NOT correctible.  So, argue til you are blue in the face, and call it lousy officiating, but the play and points by rule stand.

What is the rule for tapping a loose ball when recovering a steal? I saw a call tonight that stopped a fast break because a player tapped the ball to a teammate with the palm of their hand??? How does the rule state this violation? A first for me!

Asked by Cliff over 9 years ago

you can tap a ball. the main prohibition is that you cannot punch the ball with a fist.

Before a hockey game the refs check the nets. Do b-ball refs have a routine? Such as measuring rim height, nets, clocks. Have you ever found anything that might have advantaged a team that needed correcting?

Asked by Rimbreaker almost 10 years ago

Fifteen minutes before the game, the officials are to take their positions on the court.  An Umpire (U1 & U2) stand on the sideline at approximately the free throw line extended.  While walking to their positions, all officials are to look for obstructions, short throw in areas, proper bench locations, and proper coaches boxes. The referee stands at half court.  The umpires are tasked with 2 things: get a count of the players and look for faulty or illegal equipment (metal clips in hair, unauthorized uniform variances, etc.).  The referee takes the player count from both umpires and between 10-12 minutes before gametime the referee checks the scorer's book to 1) ensure that the book has at least as many entries as there are players warming up, and 2) that the starters are designated in the bokk no later than 10 minutes before game time.  Once the book is verified, the referee calls the umpires together along with team captains and coaches.  The referee normally conducts the pregame with mandatory state-required admonishments.  Then the referees go back to their positions and right before the nationa anthem stand in front of the scorers table.

I never found a coach trying to take advantage of equipment except there have been over or underinflated balls that I have adjusted.  Many referees carry an inflation pin in case they have to let some air out of a game ball.

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.

Asked by Joel Mac over 10 years ago

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

Saw this at Wis State Tourney..after basket guy takes ball out throws to teammate near halfcourt who takes off from frontcourt, catches ball, lands both feet in O&B was called which I thought was correct.

Asked by imaxfli over 10 years ago

When you catch a ball in the air you are considered to be in the court where you jumped from.  So you might think that this play is a violation, but there are two exceptions ... 1) by a defensive player intercepting the ball, and 2) by either team on a throw in.

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

Asked by Amy about 11 years ago

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 and sometimes a second look sees something you can miss, and 3) officials should decide how they will consider overruling each other before the game.  Based on your description (that the shot was clearly made from inside the 3 point line), regardless of how the ref's changed the call they apparently got it wrong. 

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?

Asked by Blaze over 10 years ago

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!).

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?

Asked by Terry almost 11 years ago

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.

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.

Asked by dhatch over 10 years ago

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.

Can a coach throw a student out of a game?

Asked by Ellis over 10 years ago

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.

Backcourt Violation:- If a member of my team is at the backcourt, while I am dribbling and have achieved front court status, i then take a shot and on the rebound it hits one of my team member's hand and reaches the back court. Is this a violation?

Asked by MJ about 10 years ago

Team possession ends when the shot goes up.  If the ball touches an offensive player's hand, but he does not direct or control the ball, team possession has not been re-established and therefore no backcourt violation.

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.

Asked by dhatch over 10 years ago

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.

If a person has the ball with two hands and keeps their pivot foot...can u touch the ball on the floor to abstain from falling? Does the ball touching the floor count as a dribble even though it never leaves your hands?

Asked by Ty over 10 years ago

Actually, a dribble ends when you put two hands on the ball.  But even if you have not dribbled already, putting two hands on the ball on the floor is normally called double dribble.

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?

Asked by donna over 10 years ago

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.

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

Asked by over 10 years ago

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. 

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

Asked by Cody over 10 years ago

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 in an expulsion dialog with a fan.  I simply went to home management (the AD) and said something like, "the guy in the third row with the blue shirt has to go.  Home management always complied with my request and escorted the unruly fan out (or used an on site police officer to be the escort) and the AD often apologized about a overzealous home team fan.

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.

Asked by Mike over 10 years ago

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.

Honestly,I think I was ejected from the game because there was a break in game play a T.O was called. So when play was about to resume I told my daughter and our other pg to just keep driving hard and make the ref blow his whistle and do his job

Asked by Ronald Poke over 9 years ago

In a local baseball league, they implemented a rule that if a player or parent was tossed from a game, the player was ruled ineligible until the parent umpired a game at his/her level of choice. The league has a handful of letters of apology from parents who tried (quite unsuccessfully) to umpire games.

If I might be so bold as to suggest that you become patched for basketball in your state, attend summer camp to get trained, and work some games next year. You will gain a better understanding of the game, probably help your daughter's game and you will watch her play a little calmer.

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?

Asked by Shane over 10 years ago

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.

When in the post, can the defender use his foreram as a barricade on your back to stop u from moving ?

Asked by Omar over 10 years ago

No, by rule they cannot, but it depends (and the following discussion assumes the offensive player does NOT have the ball):

Coaches teach the armbar technique but if the arm in the back prevents an offensive player from moving to another legal spot, it is holding.  

If the armbar is set within the verticality the defender is entitled to, and the defender's forearm is used to keep from being pushed backward by the offensive player then there is no foul, or an offensive foul.

I always looked to see if the armbar moved foreward to push the offensive player off his spot, then it is a foul.  If the armbar did not push the opponent, I would not call it

Is a referee considered to be apart of the court

Asked by Zach riordan about 10 years ago

Well, the referee is considered to be part of the floor where he is standing.  If he is out of bounds and the ball touches him, it is out of bounds.  If he is in bounds and the ball touches him, play on.

Can a coach be on the court during the game

Asked by Dean over 10 years ago

No, by rule a coach has only 2 places he/she can be: 1) standing (or squating) in a 14 foot area out of bounds, in front of his/her bench known as the "coach's box" in states that have adopted this optional provision, or 2) sitting on his/her bench.

In practice, unless a coach is over-bearing to the officials or is gaining advantage (for example standing near the endline and directing players) most referees are not going to focus on a coach outside the box.  The penalty is a direct technical foul and most refs do well to ask or warn the coach before calling a T.

If a coach is called for any direct technical foul, he/she is "seatbelted" to the bench and loses the ability to stand in the coach's box for the remainder of the game.

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

Asked by Rick over 10 years ago

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.

While the ball is in flight for free throw the horn sounds incorrectly. What happens if the shot: a) is made; b) is missed?

Asked by Zephyr over 9 years ago

The buzzer does not make the ball dead. Players should play on until they hear a whistle. Once possession has been established or the basket made the refs should blow the whistle, stop play and check with the timer to find out why the horn sounded.

In the Michigan v Tenessee NCAA game Nic Stauskas passed the ball to himself off the backboard. While everyone lauds it as a "heady" play I think it's illegal, yes? I'm told it's only legal in the NBA.

Asked by Bill Szcz over 10 years ago

In high school rules, a player can retrieve the ball after a "legitimate" shot attempt without hitting anything.  For example, you could retrieve an airball shot even though the ball has not been touched by another player.  However, f the throw to the backboard is not a shot attempt and a player purposely throws it off the backboard, I would call that travelling - much like tossing the ball forward to yourself and moving down the court.

On a throw-in, after a basket, the thrower is permitted to run the baseline. We have a live ball situation. Can he/she dribble while running the baseline?

Asked by JiminJax over 9 years ago

There is no restriction on a throw in of a player bouncing the ball - unless the referee interprets the bouncing to be a pass which first hits out of bounds. If it is clearly a dribble, no issue.

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

Asked by Karen over 10 years ago

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.

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

Asked by Dean over 10 years ago

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.

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.

Asked by RodK over 10 years ago

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.

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?

Asked by Big D over 10 years ago

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.

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?

Asked by seth almost 11 years ago

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, hustle, and rules knowledge).

R 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????

Asked by Mark M over 10 years ago

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.

Hello, I just wanted to know.
Are you allowed a half step after you crossover the ball then two more? Or only 2 and 3 is a travel?

Asked by Juvens dalger almost 10 years ago

There are no allowances for a crossover. Travelling is traveling.  Here is the travelling rule:

1) if you catch the ball with both feet on the floor, either foot can be the pivot.

2) if you catch the ball in the air and land simultaneously on both feet, either can be the pivot. If one foot hits the floor first it must be the pivot. However, if you catch the ball in the air hop on one foot then land on both feet, neither can be a pivot.

3) once you have established your pivot foot you can lift the pivot but must pass or shoot before the pivot returns to the floor. (and of course you cannot hop on your non-pivot foot if the pivot foot is in the air).

People want to say that you get 1 & 1/2 steps or you get 2 steps. Neither of these are correct. It depends on whether you are entitled to a pivot or not, and then you can lift up the pivot and onto your non pivot but you must shoot or pass before the pivot hits the floor.

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??

Asked by Marvin almost 11 years ago

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.

Well my daughter had a sectional game and the refs allowed the other team to guard our girls with hands and forearm across our girls legs and mid-section while they were driving and never called a foul.

Asked by Ronald Poke over 9 years ago


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.

Asked by over 10 years ago

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.

What is the call if a team starts a play after a time out with 4 players?

Asked by ed over 9 years ago

I call it bad preventative officiating. One of the officials should count the players after each time out, and prevent the play from starting until you have ten players on the floor. However, once the play starts the fifth player cannot come back in until there is a dead ball whistle.

Sir I'm confused about what position should I play because I like playing as a Shooting Guard, I love to score, attack to the basket and spot up jumper but I'm Great in rebounding so my friend say I should just play as a Power Forward can i play both

Asked by Adam almost 10 years ago

It depends on 1) your current size and potential size and 2) your level of fundamental skills (dribbling, shot accuracy, speed, passing, basketball IQ, selflessness, and most importantly the needs of your team).

Do you feel refs are biased against teams with large student sections? my school has a huge one, and although never disrespectful to refs, I feel like we definitely get less calls for us at home games with the student section there.

Asked by Marcus Ravt over 9 years ago

I can honestly say I have never noticed that.

How tall was the tallest player you ever saw on the court?

Asked by AA about 10 years ago

In high school I went to Wilt Chamberlin's basketball camp. He was 7'1".  In games I have officiated, the tallest player was about 6'10".

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???

Asked by Mark M over 10 years ago

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.

This confuses me. Why isn't an obviously deliberate foul committed by a team trailing or by a team with fouls to give considered flagrant? I've seen guys get wrapped up with both arms, and no flagrant foul call. Thanks.

Asked by Rodk almost 10 years ago

It is confusing because there are different philosophies of how to call these situations. The rules clearly state that a foul intentionally committed should be called intentional and administered with 2 free throws and the ball at point of interruption.

Most referees will avoid calling intentional fouls if the foul is not severe, the player attempted to go after the ball, and/or did not grab the player. Here is the dilemma...if you wait to make sure a foul is a foul when the whole gym is expecting one then it looks bad not to call an intentional and play can get rough.  If you have a quick whistle on first contact it looks like you are aiding the losing team in their attempt to foul their way back into the game.  

I wish I had a better answer for you.  This is one of the toughest judgement calls in the game.

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

Asked by melo over 10 years ago

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.

If the offensive player with the ball is in the post and the man that is guarding him has his forearm on the players back and has his knees bent positioned as if hes trying to keep a door closed. Is this a foul ?

Asked by Omar over 10 years ago

I was taught in this scenario to call a foul as soon as the post player starts a dribble or makes a move toward the basket (or shoots) .  If the post player gives up the ball, pass on the foul call.

If you r howling at a game telling the referee he didn't call a fowl can he make u leave the building

Asked by huff over 9 years ago

Yes, of course the ref can. As I have addressed in prior questions, there is a Home Administration function (usually the athletic director, but always a representative of the home team). Home Administration is responsive to the referees needs including safety and timeliness. If a referee asks Home Administration to remove a fan, they will do it. Each referee has a different tolerance so it rarely happens. But if you get personal, or disrupt the game you should be tossed.

What should a referee do to call a team on the floor after a timeout? The team with possession came on, then the ref quickly blew the whistle and gave the ball to inbound, but the other team's players weren't on the floor.

Asked by weekendref over 9 years ago

Technically speaking, it is a technical team foul for not coming onto the court in a timely manner after a time out or start of a quarter or overtime.  Preventive officiating would dictate giving the team a little leaway to come onto the court, but if a coach refuses then a T should be called.

Sounds like the ref was confused because if the possession team is slow to come on the court it is legitimate to put the ball down on the throw in area and begin a five count.  However, when the defense refuses to come out, T is the appropriate penalty, not putting the ball in play without the defense.

Team A is inbounding the ball after a dead ball. They have 5 people on the court and the 6th one is handed the ball from the referee. We immediately started calling for a technical as that meant 6 players on the court. Is this correct?

Asked by tim almost 10 years ago

Yes, the ball becomes live when it is at the disposal of the thrower on a throw in.  It is illegal to have 6 players when the ball is live.  Should be a technical.

BUT, it is also poor officiating by the referee crew, because one of the throw in officials' partners should be counting players (after time out for example) and preventing this situation from arising.

When in the front court A2 passes to A1, the ball is deflected by a defensive player and just before crossing the division line...the ball touches A1's fingertips...can A1 get the ball legally in the backcourt?

Asked by new ref over 9 years ago

If team A loses possession because B tips the ball, but A does not reclaim possession (going thru fingertips does not establish possession) there would be no backcourt violation.

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?

Asked by gbauman43 over 10 years ago

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.

In Illinois at a middle school level when can a ref eject a fan?

Asked by Ronald Poke over 9 years ago

In practice, an official can eject a fan anytime. Here is how it should work, At every game there is a home management function. That may be athletic director, coach or administration. If an official needs to eject someone, he/she should ask home management to eject the fan. If the official requests an ejection, home management should comply. If the official is out of control or unreasonable the home management should take that up after the game.

In my experiences, home management never refused to comply with an official's request to eject someone. If they did, I would have refused to continue to work the game.

During an unmerited free-throw, the shot is missed and the team member rebounds and scores 2 points. Can the 2 points be cancelled as part of the corr. error (unmerited FT)? Rule 2.10 Art. 4 says "FT and activity during-cancel. Art 5 says count it.

Asked by Jim in Jacksonville over 9 years ago

No, the points should not be cancelled because the free throw ended "when it is certain the try was unsuccessful". The points were scored after the free throw ended, but before the error was recognized. When you are able to correct an error, "points scored, consumed time and additional activity, which shall occur prior to the recognition of an error shall not be nullified.

can Substitute A6 enter the court wearing a leg compression sleeve for medical reasons

Asked by candyman007 over 9 years ago

The answer is yes.  A rule change for this coming season (2014-15)  in NFHS rules states: Arm sleeves, knee sleeves, lower leg sleeves and tights are permissable as long as they meet the color and logo restrictions.

The pro game seems lax on the rules, I guess for entertainment value. I'm more appreciative of a well played and reffed game. How do you view the pro's. And who is your favorite player?

Asked by Rimbreaker almost 10 years ago

I don't like the pro game because of how it has evolved, especially in the east.  Post a big player on the block, slow the game down to half court, never full court press, winners are too predictable and players turn on/off hustle instead of playing hard the entire game.  So I am with you.  if I had to pick a player whose game I admire it would Kevin Durant.  I despise how Wade, James and Bosh colluded to put their team together, and could have started a league-ruining trend.  I like the college D1 game.  There are upsets and coaches can piece together unique game plans to try to win.  Much less predictibility.

In our city league. A team hit a game winning three but the clock never started so it is not clear if he had enough time to shoot. The ref counted the basket and said it "looked" like it took less than two seconds. Should the shot count?

Asked by Typhoon over 9 years ago

The referee (as opposed to the other officials) has the responsibility to decide matters upon which the timer and scorekeeper disagree. Furthermore, "the referee shall make decisions on any points not specifically covered in the rulebook."

There is no explicit provision in the rule book to address the situation you describe. So, the referee has to decide what would be consistent with the intent of the rulebook.

To follow up on my last ? regarding inbounding the ball. The referees stopped the game saying no foul since the ball was not "in play" my understanding is the ball is live once handed to the player from the ref. That is why the 5 sec count starts?

Asked by tim almost 10 years ago

You are correct.  The ball is dead after a goal is made, when it is apparent that a free throw is unseuccessful, when it is to be followed by another free throw or a throw in, a held ball occurs, a player/team control foul is called, most of the time when the whistle blows, a free throw violation, or a time out.

The ball becomes live on a jump ball when it is tossed by the referee, when it is at the disposal of th thrower on a throw in, or on a free throw when it is at the disposal of the shooter.

If you are dribbling and the ball goes off a teammate's foot -- can you run it down, pick it up and dribble?

Asked by Dave almost 10 years ago

The rulebook states that a dribble ends when the dribbler picks up the ball, the ball is touched by an opponent,or the ball becomes dead.  It is a violation to dribble a second time unless it is after an attempt at try, a touch by an opponent, or a pass or fumble which touches another player.

So, if you dibble off a players foot and retrieve the ball and resume dribbling it is double dribble.  If you would have passed the ball hitting a teammate and then retrieve it no violation.

Answer to your question is no.

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.

Asked by RodK over 10 years ago

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.

Can a tech be called after the game is over?

Asked by Nick over 9 years ago

There is no provision in the NFHS rulebook which addresses any foul after the game. Each state has bylaws which might impose penalties for unsportsmanlike conduct outside the auspicies of the on-court officials. The referees' jurisdiction ends after they have validated the score and they leave the confines of the court. If something happened after the end of the game I was officiating I would write an incident report and send it to the state for action or disposal.

Can a referee instruct the bench to keep the clock running due to a blow out (>60points)? This is club representative basketball.

Asked by Australia about 9 years ago

There is no provision in NFHS rules for a running clock. Club or AAU traveling rules may allow for a running clock.

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

Asked by dhatch over 10 years ago

Thanks for the kind words!

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

Asked by FTO over 10 years ago

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

How do you check a ball for proper inflation at game time?

Asked by rimbreaker over 9 years ago

Some officials carry a small gauge, but most referees hold the ball head-high (about 5 3/4 feet high) and let it drop.  It should bounce up to the official's elbow when the upper arm is held parallel to the floor.  Higher bounce than the elbow means over-inflated, bouncing under the elbow means it needs more inflation.  The referee usually checks the game ball after making sure the book contains at least the number of players who are warming up (and the starters are designated),  around 10 minutes before gametime.  Try it sometime when you are on a wooden floor.  Note, if the game is being played on an indoor soft rubberized floor (as in underclass games in the fieldhouse), the ball will need more air than on a wooden floor.

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.

Asked by gbauman43 over 10 years ago

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.

if a player dribbles the basketball, while dribbling gets it knocked out of their hands, picks up the ball with both hands, than dribbles again, is that a double dribble?

Asked by djvyce over 10 years ago

The dribble ends when the ball is knocked away, and so does player possession. So, if you pick up the ball and dribble it is not double dribble.  You can pick up a ball with two hands as long as you are lifting up.  If you push down with two hands it is double dribble.

What is considered a clear possession after jump rebound? Do i need to have to both feet on ground + 2 hands holding the ball?

Asked by Anh almost 10 years ago

from the NFHS rulebook, " A player is in control of the ball when he/she is holding or dribbling a live ball inbounds".  There are a few exceptions such as a jumper on a jump ball obtaining the ball before it touches the floor or a non-jumper.

Notice it does not exclude jumping in the air nor does it require 2 hands on the ball.

I am a registered official with two other USOC sports and have officiated on a National and World level. At a recent AAU State tourney I watched a ref behave in a way that would be an Ethics or Code of conduct Violation. Where do you report this?

Asked by AAU Basketball Dad over 9 years ago

I certainly encourage you to report this. Most people officiate because they love the game, and if you love the game you have a duty to do anything in your power to advance the avocation of refereeing. I suggest you find out who ran the AAU tournament and voice your concerns. Because of your background, meaning you have training and experience and do not appear to be simply a biased, ticked off untrained parent, the AAU tournament director should be willing to tell you who the assigner of the officials was for the tournament and you should contact him/her directly.

I think most states would not allow an official complaint at the state licensing level because AAU tournaments are not normally state sanctioned contests even though they only hire "patched state officials".

What is the ruling on this.
Team A inbounds from baseline . Team B touches the ball near division line. Team A2 also touches the ball, then the ball goes into back court, Team A2 recovers the inbounds and gains possession. Ruling Backcourt or no call

Asked by Carlos over 9 years ago

To have a backcourt violation a team must first achieve possession in their front court. There is no team possession on a throw in.

So, in your scenario Players B1 and A2 touch the ball, but neither have achieved possession. Therefore, no backcourt violation when A2 retrieves the ball in his backcourt.

True or false After technical foul free throws, the new trail official administers the throw-in.

Asked by Cornelius almost 10 years ago

I don't think there is a perscribed rotation as to which referee should put the ball in play. As a practice, after one of my partners called a technical foul I would have him be the official to put the ball in play, thereby putting him opposite of the table and benches.

I think your question is after a technical, is the throw in official the new trail?  And the answer is yes.  On any sideline throw in, the lead should come to the trail half of the court, making the throw in official the trail.

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.

Asked by Stan over 10 years ago

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

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?

Asked by George over 10 years ago

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.

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.

Asked by Harlin Wolfe over 10 years ago

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.

But that's not basketball-why not have the two coaches arm wrestle-only the player holding the ball should be able to call a timeout-coaches should not be able to stand except during timeouts-tech foul otherwise- game is the players not coaches!

Asked by daveb over 10 years ago

I understand your point.  In nearly all sports, coaches make moves that help determine the outcome of games; time outs, call in plays etc.  I think the NFHS needs to decide if they want to completely eliminate the "everyone in the gym knows it is an intentional foul" being ignored or called as a common, or leave it unevenly called as it is.  In the past they have tried to issue guidelines, but the gray area for interpretation is a mile wide.  Don't know how much noise they hear about this issue, but NFHS has not settled on a good solution yet.

Hey,thanks i appreciate all the in sight.I agree maybe ref just collecting a check ,but its sad and unfair to all the girls, i mean just call the obvious

Asked by Ronald Poke over 9 years ago

I agree that it is unfair to the lower levels that they get new refs learning the craft or old burned out refs just collecting a check, sub-par coaches who are just learning to coach, and parents who are learning to appropriately advocate and cheer for their kids.

I have always said this: we should pair varsity-capable refs with young, new refs to work and learn the craft in freshman games. Assignment chairman would say that the purpose of summer camps where refs work high school summer leagues is to train new refs and sift out untrainable officials. So if you think the officiating is spotty during lower level season play just wait until your kid plays in summer leagues officiated by training camp referees. Good luck and know that the quality of the players, coaches, officials and parents will improve as your daughter progresses.

A player had control of the ball and fell to the ground, but he used the ball to brace his fall. He maintained possession, but the ball hit the ground first. Is this traveling or would the ball hit the ground count as a dribble and play continue?

Asked by Joe - Youth Ref over 9 years ago

If the player had two hands on the ball and pushed it to the ground it is double dribble. If the play had one hand on top of the ball and pushed it to the ground it would be a dribble. If he then picked the ball up, he could not dribble again.

While the offense was shooting a foul, an off-balance defensive player pushed anoffense player into the lane to avoid her own violation. The call was a violation on offense. Correct call?

Asked by webstone over 9 years ago

Doesn't sound like a correct call. The violation should have been ignored OR a pushing foul should have been called.

But the other teams girls had the ball and fell with it not tripping over another players foot just fell down [now we all know thats a travel easy call no brainer] refs didnt see it that way i stood up in surprise and asked wasnt that a travel?

Asked by Ronald Poke over 9 years ago

seems reasonable...

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?

Asked by Ralph Sita over 10 years ago


Okay my next question is what warrants a ref to eject a fan? Like what actions must a fan comment to warrant an eject? And does a warning have to be given first?

Asked by Ronald Poke over 9 years ago

There are no specifications in the rule book as to when a referee asks home management to eject a fan. It is very subjective, and it does not have to have a warning. I drew the line at personal attacks - to another fan, the other team, my partners, or to me. I never minded if fans boo'd my calls, but as soon as it got personal or vial, that's when I had someone ejected.

Let's stop beating around the bush here. Tell me what you did to get tossed out of your son or daughter's game.

If a player get foul and its one n one bonus free throws but before the player shoot the free throw the bench of the team shooting free throws gets a technical. that situation works?

Asked by Daniel over 10 years ago

If two fouls of the same kind occur simultaneously by opposite teams the free throws offset and are not shot.  In your example the fouls are different and are administered as they occurred.  So clear the lanes, shoot the one and one. Go to the other end and shoot the 2 Ts.  Ball out of bounds at half court.

what if i rebound the ball, and the i take a shot,but it doesn't touch the ball through the ring or board. can i still catch it again?

Asked by july over 8 years ago

Yes you can in NFHS rules as long as the shot was a legitimate try. If the referee deemed it not to be a legitimate shot it should be called traveling.

If a player is inbounds with the ball, and that player's body is contacted by a player on the same team, that is out of bounds, is the ball considered out of bounds with a change of possession

Asked by Colby about 10 years ago

The ball is still inbounds, unless the player who is out of bounds touches the ball.   So, in your question, assuming the out of bounds player is not touching the ball ...  PLAY ON!

Can you eject a player after a high school basketball game is over?
Is he allowed to play the next game?

Asked by Kim over 9 years ago

The jurisdiction of the officials ends when the score is approved and the referees leave the visual confines of the court. Each state decides, with bylaws, what penalties will be assessed for player and coach ejections. There is no rule or penalty in the NFHS rulebook that an official can assess after a game is over. So the official should write up a game report and send it to the state (or league) for further adjudication.

If the opponent of the free thrower commits a lane violation and the free throw is an air ball, would the free thrower get a substitute throw or is this considered a simultaneous violation?

Asked by L. Rouse over 9 years ago

I would consider it a simultaneous violation. If there was to be a second free throw, then shoot it. If not, go to the alternating possession arrow.

However, if the opponent committed the violation BEFORE the free throw shooter released the ball then the first is penalized and the second is ignored.

If yo shoot from behind the board but yet inside the court, ball bounces on the top of the board and goes into the court / is that out of bounds or not?

Asked by over 9 years ago

If the ball goes over the top of a rectangular backboard in either direction it is out of bounds.

If the ball goes over the top of a fan backboard it stays in play.

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?

Asked by Stan over 10 years ago

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.

Explain the 3 second rule to me which by the way is never called .
When is the last time they called it in the college or pro level .

Do both feet have to leave the lane
And then it starts again when you come back into the land . how bout
In air

Asked by Paul m. over 8 years ago

The rulebook provisions of the 3 second rule is that a player cannot be in the lane for 3 seconds or more while his teamates have established team possession in their frontcourt.

If a player has either foot on the edge or line which defines yhe lane, he is in the lane. 

There is an interesting exception to a 3 count. A player can legally be in the lane for as much as 6 seconds as follows: he is in the lane for a count if 2 and receives the ball, the holds the ball for 2 counts and dribbles - he gets another 2 count. Then he must shoot .

But to your point, most experienced officials rarely call 3 seconds. You see newer referees at freshman games call it way too often. Most officials are taught that 3 seconds should only be called if and only if it results in an undue advantage. Thr principal is called Advantage Disadvantage. This means that when it is called it is ususlly a late call.. for example a player is camped out and normally when the shot goes up the 3 seconds restrictions are lifted, but if that player gets the rebound because he was there for more than 3 seconds the official should call it then.

A good preventative officiating move is for the official to shoo players out of the paint verbally to avoid having to call 3 secs too often.

How do you determine if a kicked ball is intentional or not?

Asked by Bball Right about 9 years ago

It is entirely referee's judgement. Look for lower leg flexing or ankle rotation.

When advancing the ball downcourt, still in the backcourt, a player passes a ball to another player who to recieve the ball jumps from the the forecourt into the backcourt. Is this an over and back violation, and if so why?

Asked by Ron over 9 years ago

A player is considered to be in the court position where they are standing or if in the air, they are in the court where they have alighted from. So to answer the question, the receiver jumped from the front court, caught the ball in air and landed in the back court. This is a back court violation.

There are two exceptions to this rule: 1) on a throw in, and 2) by a defender while intercepting the ball.

Two players try for rebound. One has two hand on the ball, on the way down before touching the floor, he dropped the ball. He picked up and dribble again, is it considered travel?
What's considered clear possession?

Asked by Anh almost 10 years ago

A player is allowed to fumble the ball after gaining possession, and then dribble if he has not dribbled heretofore.  BUT, the fumble has to be unintentional in the eyes of the official.

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.

Asked by Cynthia over 10 years ago

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.

I was going for a loose ball that was headed out of bounds. A player from the opposite team slapped my wrist hard causing my hand to hit the ball out of bounce. Is this a foul?

Asked by JOhn almost 10 years ago

Technically, you cannot ever slap an opponent's wrist or hand unless it is on the ball.  But in practice, good referees would be focusing on the palyers' torsos because that is where a meaningful foul is most likely to happen.

Let's suppose that I saw the play with exact clarity.  The player who slapped your hand "caused" the ball to go out of bounds, and unless the slap was forceful or flagarant, I would call the ball out (violation not foul) - last touched by your opponent and give your team the throw in.

In my High School game last night, with 12 seconds left and up by 2 ponts my team was at the free throw line shooting 2 shots. Can the opposing coach remove all players from the lane line, call them to the sideline, and coach them like a time out?

Asked by Mrclutch over 9 years ago

No, he should not be allowed to pull all of the players from the lane. The only requirement is that the opposing team of the free thrower must put a player on each of two lower blocks. This rule is in place because after the last free throw it takes two players to get the ball in play.

What should have happened is the coach should have been warned for a delay of game and if not responding then an indirect technical foul. The team opposite the free thrower must put two players on the lower block.

When a player is dunking or in the air to put the ball into the hoop; what are the rules the offensive player must follow about having contact with his legs/knees/thigh and the defensive players head/upper body? thx

Asked by Noahhunter almost 10 years ago

A player who establishes valid court position has the air rights vertically. In practice, if an offensive player clips his knee on the defenders chest, it normally will not be called.

on a break pass a player knocks ball down w/ r-hand, holds ball w/ both hands( defender in front of him), then dribbles left past d. Isn't the knock down his first dribble?

Asked by rimbreaker almost 10 years ago

If the player controlled the pass and purposely knocked the ball down, then it began his dribble.  If the player reached out to catch the ball and the ball fell to the ground, then it is a muff and did not start the dribble.  It is a judgement call by the official.

Question: Is a free throw that doesn't touch the rim considered to be violation by the free thrower?

Asked by L. Rouse over 9 years ago


how i can find the rules and regulation in playing basketball

Asked by nia almost 10 years ago

You can buy the basketball rules books (rules, case book, officials manual) at the National Federation of High Schools website:

You can look at the NBA rules at their website:

You can download NCAA rules at their website:



I heard that if you shoot the ball after a ref blows the whistle to call a foul or something, you can get a technical for shooting after the ref stops the play. Is that true?

Asked by emmers over 9 years ago

If the ref calls for the ball you should give it up. If you defy the ref it could be construed as disrespectful by a thin-skinned official. So yes, it could be called. BUT I never have made that call and I advise refs not to.

Two players jump for rebound. Player A has two hand on the ball, B tries to flick the ball out while doing that B's hand has some contacts within A's inner arms. A calls 'foul', is it a valid call? everything happens while both on air.

Asked by Antux almost 10 years ago

Technically slapping the arm of an opponent is a foul.  Inpractice, a referee should use his judgement to determine if that action caused a turnover.  If it did, the foul should be called.  

In your question, you ask if A calls a foul which makes me believe that you are playing without an official.  In pickup games, often rough play is tolerated and calling a slap on the arm is considered weak sometimes.  

If a team inbounds the ball and rolls the ball in order to not start the clock, can a 5-second "delay of game" call be made (e.g., on the inbounder)?

Asked by Naphie about 9 years ago

No. The 5 second count is independent of the game clock. On a thrown in, the team has 5 seconds to RELEASE the ball. Here's the rule:

"Once the throw in starts, the ball shall be released on a pass directly into the court before 5 seconds has elapsed."

NOTE: The throw in starts when the ball is at the disposal of throw in player. So when the throw in player lets go of the ball, the 5 count restriction is satisfied.

Fouls are for doing something wrong, not for doing something "right".

Asked by daveb over 10 years ago

That is true, but if a referee called everything technically the game would be unplayable and unwatchable.  For example, the rule used to be that on a throw in, if the player didn't take the shortest path onto the court after throwing in the ball in, it was a technical foul.  I never called it that way, and never worked with anyone who did.  Finally, NFHS changed this action to a violation and now it gets called.  Likewise, any carrying the ball, by rule,  is an illegal dribble.  But if a player is bringing the ball up from the backcourt unguarded and is turning the ball over, I am not going to call that until he is guarded.  (Officiating principle = Advantage Disadvantage).

I get that you are annoyed that a team can get back in a game by fouling a team who cannot shoot free throws, but while I think intentional fouls need to be clarified, I believe most people do not take your literal interpretation of the game and don't mind "going for the ball" common fouls as a legitimate strategy.  Again, I say a shot clock would remove much of the reason to purposely foul.

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?

Asked by coach crookes over 10 years ago

Lions ball on a throw in.

Followup "intentional foul". Why not declare any non-shooting foul in the last 2 mins of a game a "intentional foul"? But I'd keep both the shots and ball; if just the ball, the fouling team gets the chance to get the ball back on the inbounds.

Asked by daveb over 10 years ago

That's a good idea too.  But playing devil's advocate, many coaches like the strategy of being able to slow the game down when you're losing by a few points by putting the other team at the line and stopping the clock.  Late fouling in a tight game shifts the game to a chess match (and free throw pressure cooker) and I believe many coaches like having the ability to get back in a game.  This wouldn't be such an issue if we had a shot clock for the entire game.

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?

Asked by Karen over 10 years ago

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.)

On March 31st 2014 the Climb CDC “Thunder” played a 7:00 pm game at Gaston Point Community Center against the “Shot Callaz”.

This was a game sanctioned by your league.

During the game there was a bench clearing incident where several players fr

Asked by LIL DOG over 10 years ago

If NFHS rules are being enforced,  leaving the bench to join the fight is a flagrant technical foul resulting in immediate player ejection.  However, if more than one player from a team leaves the bench the other team shoots only 2 technical shots even though multiple players are ejected from the game. In Illinois all the ejected players are also suspended for the next game.  AAU and other league rules may differ.

I have heard Refs tell players to get out of the lane before a three second violation is assessed. Isn't this giving the player an undue advantage? He should already know to get out of the lane.

Asked by Mike about 10 years ago

Let me preface my answer by reminding you that I am an advocate of the Advantage Disadvantage philosophy of officiating basketball.  This philosophy advocates not stopping play to call a foul or a violation unless that action causes a change in the balance of the defense/offense posture.  

So, I tended to call very few 3 seconds in varsity basketball.  For me it was usually a late call, as in a player is camped in the lane and gets the rebound, I would call a late 3 seconds call.  If he didn't get the rebound play on.  But since play goes so fast, premptive officiating would suggest warning the player to get out of the lane before having to make an advantage/disadvantage decision.  

This is controversial in 2 ways: 1) you are right that at the varsity level players should not be "coached" by the ref's, and 2) not everyone believes in advantage/disadvantage.

I would warn a player once to stop him from camping out in there, but I am an advocate of advantage disadvantage officiating.

If an offensive player goes to dribble the ball and it hits the referee and goes out of bounds which team gets the out of bounds possesion?

Asked by CS over 9 years ago

The ball is awarded opposite the team which touched the ball last before the ball went out of bounds. The referee is considered part of the floor where he/she is standing.

Team A dribbles the ball off the ref's foot and then it goes out of bounds, Team B gets a throw in.

Ref asked me sit and i complied,i asked wasnt that a travel again at no time was i vulgar to a ref, player,coach,fan,or a staff member. But staff asked me to leave stating the ref told them to remove me now thats just unprofessional.

Asked by Ronald Poke over 9 years ago

Sounds like an over-sensitive ref who bullies when he is wrong. Look, all of us boot calls. As long as the ref is trying and not vindictive I can excuse blowing any call during a game. I have done my share, especially early on.

However, the ref's advancement into higher levels is dependent on NOT blowing key calls. The way a ref avoids blowing a call is to be prepared and understand the rule book better than anyone else in the gym, having played or watched enough games to morph experience into good judgement, and to understand the mechanics of officiating so that you position yourself correctly to have the best possible angle to see the action.

Having said all of that I would caution you (or any parent) from becoming the overindulgent father or mother who takes on evaluating officials when you have no training or understanding what is involved. You should let your school's coaches take on the responsibility of giving feedback to the officials and the assignment chairperson who evaluates referees and books officials. If you don't, and I have seen this a hundred times, you will alienate yourself from the other parents, and you will lose credibility with your daughter's coach ahead of when you really have an issue. If you are too vocal, it may hurt the way your coach views your daughter. As a coach once told me, "you pick the player, you pick the parent."

Just to punctuate the point, I also umpired baseball games in Illinois - high school, house and traveling leagues. I can honestly say that it took me three years to settle in on a consistent correct strike zone. It just takes experience. So in my first year, my strike zone was inconsistent. During that time I was not put on Varsity games. So in middle school and even freshman games expect spotty officiating.

Unfortunately, the best officials referee Varsity games, and in some ways the best ref's are needed at the lower levels. You may be seeing young inexperienced ref's or lazy guys just picking up checks. If your daughter advances you will see better officiating.

Free advice is sometimes worth what you paid for it … so here it is. Cool down during her games or don't attend if you cannot help yourself. You are going to ruin the experience for your daughter.

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

Asked by john over 10 years ago

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.

So basically to protect myself from now on ill be recording all my daughter games. And what can be done as a parent when a ref officates a terrible game?

Asked by Ronald Poke over 9 years ago

The assignment chairperson should never entertain your tape. Your coach probably tapes the games and the coach (or athletic director) should deal with the quality of the officiating. In my opinion you are getting in too deep, without a real understanding of how the officials are trained. For example, they may see what you are yelling about but they may be making an "Advantage Disadvantage" judgement (this is discussed in a previous question).

Logos, markings, lettering, etc., are prohibited on the backboard, but are permitted on the backboard padding and basket.

Asked by John Johnson over 9 years ago

Unless it has been changed most recently the rule book states, "No logo, marking, lettering, etc. is permitted on the backboard, backboard padding, or basket."

How often have you seen a team play a box and one D, to shut down a hot shooter that dominates his own teams play? I never see it.

Asked by rimbreaker over 9 years ago

In all the high school games I worked I probably saw the box and 1 a couple times.

Follow-up to the previous question: I'm 20 soon to be 21) and have 4 years to become D-2 or D-1. Do I have a chance?

Asked by Serge over 8 years ago

Sounds like you are getting a late start but I would never discourage anyone from pursuing their dream. By the way, Michael Jordan was cut from his high school team and clearly he stuck to it.

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?

Asked by coach kepaz over 10 years ago

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.

player is out of bounds player in bounds throws the ball and hits the player out of bounds who's ball is it

Asked by peanut over 8 years ago

If player A1 is in bounds and throws the ball which hits out of bounds player B1 the throw in is awarded to team A.

What if..taking ball out under own basket ..throw near midcourt when guy jumps from frontcourt catches and lands in backcourt...or is in backcourt, jumps, catches and lands in frontcort...either of these 2 O&B????

Asked by imaxfli over 10 years ago

During normal play, when a player catches the ball in air he is considered to be in the court he alighted from. Suppose Team A has the ball in possession in A's frontcourt. Player A1 jumps from the backcourt, catches the ball in air and lands in the frontcourt.  This is a backcourt violation. 

HOWEVER, there are two exceptions: 1) if a defensive player jumps from his backcourt, catches the ball and lands in his frontcourt, and 2) on any throw in.

In your question, it is a throw in and so the exception applies. No backcourt violation.

when counting for 3 second rule, do you count 3 then whistle
or count 4 then whistle

Asked by rimbreaker about 10 years ago

The rules states that a player cannot be in the paint for 3 or more seconds, so technically when you get to three it is a violation. HOWEVER, as I have stated before I rarely called 3 seconds. 1) I tried to talk players out, and 2) it is the perfect advantage disadvantage call.  That is I only called it when it made a difference tp the play - for example a player getting an offensive rebound after camping out.

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

Asked by bob over 10 years ago

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.

A scrum in the lane for a loose ball. I noted the shot clock ran, but it went on long enough that a 3 second call could have been made. I understand no 3 seconds if it is a loose ball, but then why does the 24 run if no one has possession?

Asked by rodk over 9 years ago

In the NBA rulebook team possession ends when there is a legal field goal attempt OR the opponent gains possession. So until the defenders gain possession the 24 second clock keeps ticking.

Another Backcourt question:- Once front court status is achieved. Team A passes to teammate, but hits the hand of team B (Defense) and then hits the hand of team A's teammate and goes backcourt. (neither team a or team b's player is in "control")

Asked by MJ about 10 years ago

Team control ends when there is a try or tip, an opponent secures control, or the ball becomes dead.  Hitting the hand of player B does not constitute control so I would say if the ball is picked up by team a in the backcourt it is a violation.

If a player is injured and can't complete free throw does opposing coach choose the sub

Asked by ah almost 10 years ago

No.  The coach of the injured player decides who to put in.

I am in a 2-3 defense top defender. Offensive player makes a pass down the middle which i block with my arm. ball falls from my hand to foot. is that a kick?

Asked by Jerry Peoples over 9 years ago

A kick is the intentional contact with the leg or foot. As you describe it sounds unintentional, and therefore not a kick.

Team A is taking the ball out of bounds after Team B has scored. Team B is pressing. A player for Team B loses his shoe. Can and should the referee blow the play dead until the player from Team B can put his show back on without possession of ball.

Asked by Mfg over 9 years ago

The referee is supposed to stop play for any immediate danger to a player or eyeglasses and/or contact lens becoming broken or dislodged.  

If a player is injured but not in immediate danger and the other team has the ball, the offensive team is allowed to complete the play (finish a drive to the basket, run an attack play). As soon as the offense backs out the ball or stops progressing to a play the ref should stop play to allow the injured player to be tended to.

In a recent college game an offensive player receives a pass and he is standing inside of the three point line. Without dribbling he steps back behind the three point line sets his feet and shoots the ball. How is that not traveling?

Asked by Dean444444 over 9 years ago

Was it the Michigan State player? If it is the play I was looking at it was a close call, but I probably would have called traveling.  

So here is the play: A player catches the ball with both feet in the air. Going backwards the left foot comes down first (it will be the pivot). Then the right foot comes down beyond the 3 point arc. He lifts the left (pivot) foot. At this point he is ok if he alights or stays on the right foot and then passes or shoots. As soon as his left foot touches the floor or he hops on his right it is traveling.

If a player rebounds the ball and comes down with the ball and loses balance so that he touches the ground with the ball but does not dribble - is that considered a dribble so that he cannot dribble after that?

Asked by Coach Hoops over 9 years ago

If the player comes down with both hands on the ball it is double dribble. If the player has only one hand on top of the ball it is a dribble and he cannot dribble again.

Team A scores with 4 seconds left, putting them up by two; clock is running. Team A bench member steps out (slightly) onto the court in celebration as the time expires. Do you assess a T to Team A and give Team B a chance to tie the game?

Asked by JiminJax over 9 years ago

If the bench encroached on Team B's ability to make a play then yes, I would call a T. But normally, the desperate attempt will not occur anywhere near the bench and I would ignore the potential infraction.

DIAGONAL DIVE DROP STEP... how is this move NOT a travel? both feet move before the shot is taken

2:35 of the video

Asked by mike w almost 9 years ago

OK, here is what I saw. He gets the ball while both feet are planted. So either foot can be the pivot foot. He lifts up his left foot which makes his right foot his pivot foot. he then steps onto his left foot and lifts his right foot. At this point he cannot move or slide his left foot nor can he touch the right foot on the floor. From here he must shoot or pass. Looks to me like a legitimate basketball move and no violation.

It is hard to understand this fact about traveling: it is not illegal to lift your pivot foot per se. If you could not lift your pivot foot how could you ever shoot a traditional layup?

Is it illegal for a player to stand directly in front of the defender and be in-between the person with the ball and the defender and to remain there. It restricts the defender to guard his shot and may cause a foul on the defender for going into him

Asked by Alex Orlando over 9 years ago

Yes it is legal. In the rule book it is called a screen (assuming it is legally obtained).

Shot clock doesn't do it--have you been watching any of this year NCAA Championship matches? what a mess, teams foul even with 15 sec left and down 10. However, most box scores for college and pros show the team that makes free throws wins.

Asked by daveb over 10 years ago


What are your methods for dealing with less than friendly coaches and parents during a game?

Asked by AussieRef over 9 years ago

Assuming that you have an excellent understanding of the rules and good judgement as to when to apply them, then if a coach has a disagreement and you feel it needs to be addressed:1) approach the coach. "Coach you disagree with that call. Tell me, what did you see?"2) after the coach tells you, you say "Coach, I saw that the play happened a different way. Here is what I saw … . but if the play happened the way you saw it, then I missed it."3) don't be afraid to admit that you booted a call occasionally. "Coach, in replaying the action in mind, you might be right and I may have called the wrong thing." But don't become a perpetual apologist. 4) if the coach perpetually is riding you and is never satisfied with your explanations, then you need to tell him/her that you have heard enough. their complaints are getting in the way of you doing your job. Some officials tell you to hold an open hand up after you have warned him - they call this officiating to the tape because if you end up throwing a coach out of a game, the assigner can look at the tape and corroborate your review which included a verbal and hand warning.5) have thick skin. the tough guys who are too sensitive about valid criticism never advance very far in officiating. In 20 years of high school officiating I have thrown out of games only 4 or 5 coaches.

As for parents, my best advice is to ignore them. If they shout inappropriate things (threats or derogatory remarks) have home management eject them. No good will come from trying to educate a biased fan who has little grasp of the rulebook. However, I have answered questions after a game from parents who approach respectfully.

Hello, while on the offensive, is it legal to block/make contact with the defender's hand with your other hand when you dribble past him to stop him from gaining distance/protecting the ball?

Asked by Marv almost 10 years ago

No this move is not legal because even though the offensive player has the right to the vertical space once he has attained a legal position on the floor, he cannot initiate contact by slapping the opponents arm.  

The defensive player can penetrate that vertical space but cannot make contact in that space.  So, a defender can reach into the vertical space of the offensive player to try to steal the ball as long as there is no contact.  But if the defender reaches into the vertical space and initiates contact it is a defensive foul.  

But what if the offensive player initiates contact inside his legally obtained space?  If for example, the offensive player jumps vertically and crashes into the defender - foul on the defender.  

But what if the offensive player slaps the defender's hand? The offensive player caused the contact, and most likely it occurred outside the offensiive player's vertical space, so  it is a foul on the offensive player for initiating contact.

I know that many coaches teach the dribbler to put up a bent arm as a barrier to the defender but when the dribbler initiates contact by pushing or slapping the defender it is a player control foul on the dribbler.  Most often, the dribbler is NOT entitled to the space where the defender is reaching in. In my opinion, this is not called enough.

By the way, there is no defintion in the rule book of "reaching in".  If reaching in was illegal, you could never steal the ball from a dribbler.

On a full court inbounds pass that goes the length of the court but is never touched, but a foul is called when the ball sails over the players head. Where is the ball thrown in from after the foul?

Asked by Cliff over 9 years ago

The ball should be spotted at a point near the foul. It only comes back to the original thrown if it is not touched or there are no fouls called before the ball is out of bounds.

If a player blocks a shot, but follows through and hits the shoulder of the player shooting, is it a clean block or a foul?

Asked by David over 9 years ago

Normally, contact after a blocked shot would be considered incidental. So unless the contact is intentional or extremely harsh I would let it go.

A dribbling player loose control of the ball and hits the referee. He catches the ball with two hands and continues to dribble. Is this a traveling violation?

Asked by Max over 9 years ago

The referee is considered part of the floor, so if the player catches the ball with 2 hands after dribbling and bouncing off a referee, it is double dribble.  

If this was not the rule then the following could happen:

if a player was trapped with an official nearby, he could bounce the ball off the official and get a new dribble. This is not the intention, so the referee is part of the floor, and a player DOES NOT get a new dribble after bouncing off the ref.

When I go set a pick the defensive player runs into me before I come to a stop because he's chasing my team mate that I'm setting the pick for and he says its a moving pick. So I'm saying I haven't come to a complete stop before the contact.

Asked by Dean almost 10 years ago

A legal screen can only be set when the screener is stationary, except when both players are moving in the same direction.  So, because you have not stopped (become stationary) it seems like it is an illegal screen UNLESS you are both moving in the same direction, he is behind you, and as you slow down he runs into you.

5th grade boys basketball. Running clock 20 minutes first half, 9 minutes left and realized teams going to wrong goal. Should we have kept going or made them correct?

Asked by Don Pritchett over 9 years ago

Stop the game. Turn the teams around. All points fouls time outs which occurred stand.

If a player shoots the ball, can he recover the rebound if it is an airball, before it hits the ground?

Asked by Ed about 9 years ago

In NFHS rules a player can recover a try even if fails to hit the basket ring or the floor as long as it is a legitimate try. NCAA and pro rules are different.


This question is for youth basketball u15 girls. Can you shout ball ball ball as the defender in front of your check when the offensive player has the ball. The ref last night called it a foul but I don't think that's a fiba rule.

Asked by over 9 years ago

There is no provision for a violation or foul for talking or shouting.  There is only one way it might be construed a foul and that is behavior that is considered unsportsmanlike.  But to me, shouting "ball, ball, ball" would not rise to the level of unsportsmanlike.

There is 1.2 seconds left in game. Your fouled on a three point attempt you miss first two third shot is shot to get rebound ref says never hits rim no time runs off clock he reverses call that he did hit rim what happens?

Asked by Greg over 9 years ago

This is horrible officiating and there is no provision to fix this, so the referee has to do the best he possibly can do. If I were the referee and I thought that my crew erred and the ball really hit the rim, I would think the following:1) the whistle blew and stopped the clock before it started when the official thought the ball missed the rim. Therefore, no time should have expired.2) if there is an inadvertent whistle during a time when there is no possession, it can only be resolved by the possession arrow. Reset the clock to 1.2 and go to the possession arrow.3) I think that is the best that can be done in a lousy referee-caused situation.

While on offense (a teammate has ball), can a defender follows and put his arm straight out and push you out of the way even you do not walk into his space. Is it considered boxing out?

Asked by Alan almost 10 years ago

No it is not a proper box out.  Boxing out is when a defender moves legally to a space that an opponent is trying to get to, thereby boxing him out.  Using your arm to create space (whether by the offense or defense) is a foul.

If a shot is taken at the end of a quarter and ends up lodged between the rim and backboard AFTER the buzzer sounds, which team gets the ball to begin the next quarter? Is the jump ball still awarded or ignored because the quarter is over?

Asked by Don over 9 years ago

When a shot is in the air and time runs out the quarter ends when the try ends. So the instant the ball becomes lodged, the try is over and so is the quarter. The team with the possession arrow gets the ball to start the next quarter.

if a player shoots a 3 pointer & the ball is in the air at the buzzer, does it count?

Asked by fafa over 9 years ago

Yes as long as the shot leaves the shooter's hand before time expires.

Defensive player A fouls Offensive player B on the way to the basket. Player B takes another step and charges hard into defensive player C standing under the basket. Is there an offensive foul as well?

Asked by Pittfall over 9 years ago

This is an unusual play with the foul on defensive player A being called. Normally, a second foul could is ignored as long as it is unintentional because the first foul made the ball dead. If the offensive player is on the ground and fouled, then steps into a charge the charge would be ignored.

But here is an interesting twist. What if Offensive player B is an airborne shooter fouled in the act of shooting by defender A but plows into defender B before touching the floor. The ball is not dead when an airborne shooter is fouled until they hit the floor so technically this could be called a simultaneous foul and go to the possession arrow. In practice, most officials will call the foul on defender A and ignore the subsequent player control foul (charge).

When your defending, can you push the offense player with your body while he is driving to the basket?

Asked by Philip almost 10 years ago

NO, unless it is incidental or of no consequence.   Normally body contact by a moving defender on a drive to the basket is called a foul.

Can coaches sub players in during a refs timeout? Our coach called a timeout to sub in our star at the end of a game, but the ref said he was calling an on court time out and the player could not enter the game.

Asked by john rhodes over 9 years ago

Yes. A sub can be brought in on any dead ball when the clock is stopped. The only exception is if there is to be another free throw after this one subs are to wait until the next to last free throw before being waved in.

Youth basketball (13-14) ball is in play & scorekeeper hits buzzer in error; some players continue the game (clock still running) & no whistle was blown. A basket is made & then the whistle blows & referee claims no basket. Was this a correct call?

Asked by Debbie over 9 years ago

Players should play until a whistle is blown. In your scenario the refs made two mistakes: 1) if there is not an advantage by the team in possession when the buzzer sounded, they should blow the whistle and find out what the timekeeper wanted, and 2) once they let the game continue then they should count all activities until the whistle.

An offensive player stopped the dribble. he then dropped the ball, and could not pick it up. As the defensive player was going to get the ball, the offensive player was "boxing" him out, preventing the player from getting to the ball. Illegal?

Asked by Ed about 9 years ago

Why couldn't he pick up the ball? Even after a dribble, a player can fumble the ball and recover it as long as it is accidental and there is no purposeful dribble. Having said that:

A player can box out anywhere on the court as long as he moves to a spot before the opposite team player moves toward that spot.

is it a foul to yell "STOP!" when you are playing on the court?

Asked by B-ball Gal :) over 9 years ago

There is no specific prohibition or wordlist which a player cannot use (except unsportsmanlike language such as profanity, racial slurs, etc.)/

Guy gets post up pass, with both hands bounces ball once,fakes, then dribbles...double dribble every time. But did first offense occur on the two handed single bounce, or dribble after his fake?

Asked by rimbreaker almost 10 years ago

A two handed bounce is double dribble.  So is dribbling a second time after holding the ball.  Both are violations.

When entering a ball from the side at half court can the player I bounding move side to side.

Asked by Jcush over 8 years ago

On a spot throw in (as opposed to a throw in after a basket), the in-bounder is required have at least one foot on or above (if jumping) a 3 foot wide area parallel to the boundry line. This same in-bounder can move away from the court until he hits the bleachers, wall or any other obstruction in a perpendicular area to the boundry line as long as he stays within the 3 foot wide area.

Also note that during a throw-in, the in-bounder cannot be called for traveling - that is he can move within the 3 foot area without dribbling.

Why do we tell players to hold their spot or that they can run the endline on throw in.

Is it in our manual to INSTRUCT them on throw ins?

Asked by luvjoy over 9 years ago

Most instructors will tell you that indicating a spot or a runner throw in to both the offense and defense is good, solid preventative officiating so that if there is a thrown violation neither team can complain about a misunderstanding.

To my knowledge this mechanic is NOT in the official's manual.

I just found out of this rule when I was watching the CLE vs BKN game. What exactly is a showboating foul ?

Asked by MadFaker7 over 9 years ago

I searched through the NBA rulebook and could not find a foul called "showboating". There is a broad definition of unsportsmanlike conduct, but nothing specifically called show boating.

Hi Ref, In street ball games you may see player A toss the ball off of the defenders forehead (player B) then it bounces back to player A. I know you can bounce the ball off of the defender in general but is it ever considered a foul?

Asked by P. Johnston over 9 years ago

There is no prohibition against bouncing a ball off an opponent. EXCEPT if the ball is thrown maliciously and then it would be an unsportsmanlike technical foul. Referee's judgement as to what severity would cross the line.

A1 is shooting the front end of a 1 and. B.1 enters the lane before the release. Before the shot goes in the basket, A4 enters the lane from behind the 3 point line. The free throw is made. Does this constitute a simultaneous lane violation

Asked by Rob over 9 years ago

If there are two violations by players in lane spaces the 2nd is ignored.

If the 2nd violation is from beyond the arc both are penalized and you go to the possession arrow.


I need your help on the dreaded block/charge call. If a defender is set, but allows the collision to be violent by holding his ground is this an automatic block? I have someone trying to take charges as if they are setting a screen.

Asked by Bball Right about 9 years ago

A defender has every right to hold his ground as long as he obtains the position legally. He has NO obligation to give ground or soften a collision once he obtains initial legal guarding position.

If only 4 players are in when ball is put into play, (coach screwed up), can the 5th player enter the court on the go without permission from the referee?

Asked by Dave Evert about 9 years ago

Technically all players have to be beckoned in by a referee. As a matter of practice, I would not call the T unless the player's entry gave them a distinct advantage such as an undefended fast break.

A player gets a steal, and start a 1 on 0 fast break, he's at opp 3 point line (no one within 20-30 feet). Player who had the ball stolen, start barking at the REF. The ref issues a Tech, however this removes our player advantage. Is this correct?

Asked by Ryan over 8 years ago

You are correct. As soon as the technical foul is called the ball is dead, unless the shot has left a shooter's hands.

Why doesn't traveling get called for jump stops when prior to the jump stop move the player has ball in hand, two feet down and no dribble. Just saw again in KY vs Louisville game.

Asked by madtownjumper over 9 years ago

I do not have an answer for you, just a possible excuse. NCAA players are so quick and crafty that even veteran officials make errors on traveling calls.

Can a referee eject a fan from a AAU basketball because they're yelling out ref, that's walk8ng

Asked by Lan over 8 years ago


What's the call when a shot is taken, hits the rim, bounces into or lands in the back court and is first touched by someone from the team that made the shot? Free ball or violation?

Asked by lrwindy over 9 years ago

Team control ends when the ball is in flight on a try or tap for a goal. Since there is no team control, there is no backcourt violation. Play on...

Further to the backcourt question, once team A (offense) achieves front court status, and then team A dribbler attempts a pass to his team mate, if it hits his team mate's hand (but not in control of teammate) and goes backcourt, is this a violation?

Asked by MJ about 10 years ago

Yes, it is a backcourt violation because team A never lost team control.

Can you remove all your players from the free throw lanes during the opposing teams free throw attempts, and huddle them together at the sideline for a huddle and strategies for final 15 seconds of the game?

Asked by Mrclutch over 9 years ago

see answer above.

White has alternating possession arrow. Following a held ball, black flagrantly fouls white. Technical free throws and possession are awarded. Who now has possession arrow? I'm assuming white.

Asked by Rob over 9 years ago

Correct. The possession was never given to white so the arrow still stays white.

I see a lot of confusion around "3 in the key" in offense, I'd like to clarify the rule, especially when the ball is shot and players are rebounding. Can a player, who would otherwise be called for 3 seconds, stay in the key after the ball is shot?

Asked by AussieRef over 9 years ago

Once the shot is released the 3 second restrictions are lifted. It is ok for a late whistle to call 3 seconds after the shot goes up IF the violation happened before the shot, and the official is just late in calling it. But it is an error if part of the 3 second violation occurs including time after the shot is released. The restrictions start again after the offensive team obtains team control with the ball in the front court.

It is also possible to be legally in the paint for 5 seconds with the ball. Here is how: a player catches the ball in the paint. You are counting 1, 2 . Before you get to three, the player dribbles toward the basket. You restart the count. If the player drives directly and shoots before the new 3 seconds then it is a legal play. If the dribbler reverses directions or stops, then it is three seconds.

3 seconds at the varsity level is a good example of preventive officiating. When a player is camped out in the lane, I want to warn him to move out a couple times unless he has gained the ball or a big rebounding advantage. "Move out, or keep moving out of the paint". After a couple warnings, then call it constantly. In my experience, the higher quality players need 3 seconds called rarely, whereas in middle school you need to call it regularly.

How much time a person need to go from a beginner level in basketball to the NCAA D-1 or NCAA D-2?
Specifically if this is a man who's 1.9 meters tall, weights 76 kilograms, but at the start isn't an athlete whatsoever.

Asked by Serge over 8 years ago

It is impossible to say or even generalize/ For example the University of Illinois, a D1 Big Ten school had scholarship player Nnanna Egwu who was born in Nigeria and didn't play basketball until 8th grade. He was considered a "project" when he was offers a scholarship. He had a good, not stellar collage career and he is trying to play pro ball but has of yet not hooked on with a team in the NBA. By the way, in college Nnanna played at 6 foot 9. The problem with being 6'2" and 165 lbs is not many schools will take on a "project" who hasn't played much ball. A lot depends on how much time a player has to develop and where the development takes place. Seems to me that most well recruited middle schoolers or even high schoolers play for very competitive AAU teams. If you want to be the best, you have to compete with the best.

a player dribbles the ball, before going out of bound he releases (untouch) the ball, and get out of bound. After he gets back in court from out of bound, can he pick up the ball and continue the dribble?

Asked by Antuxity almost 9 years ago

It is a violation for a player to leave the floor for an unauthorized reason. The ball is dead when the player goes out of bounds and is awarded to the opposite team.

Is there a point where yelling ball, ball, ball becomes unsportsmanlike conduct or some other foul? For instance they seem to be yelling it as loud as they possibly can.

Asked by Grahmm over 9 years ago

There is no specific provision in the rule book as to how loud players are allowed to be. It is a judgement call. If I thought it was excessive I would stop the game, warn the coach and warn the players and then start issuing technical fouls. Unfortunately, this behavior might intimidate young players, but at the high school level it probably will not work very well.

Can a defending player push on an offensive player with his body when he is not posting up. He appeared to be doing for the sole reason of aggravating the player into a foul. I do have a video clip.

Asked by over 8 years ago

Pushing an opponent is a foul. but the severity must be judged by the official. If it is immaterial to the play I would generally ignore (unless it is escalating into a potential pushing fight).

What does the score have to be when an official sees that the losing team has no chance of winning and just ends the game?

Asked by Solomon Green over 9 years ago

There is no provision in the NFHS rulebook for calling a game because of a lopsided score. The only reason I would call a game early is if continuing the game presented a safety issue to the players, fans or officials.

One player on defense loses his shoe while the offense is running a play. The Ref calls for play to stop so the player can put his shoe on. Seems to me he should have waited till the play was over. What do you say?

Asked by Mike about 10 years ago

The ref should stop the game right away if a player is injured or in imminent danger.  The ref can delay the play stoppage to allow the offensive team to complete a play if there is no immediate danger to any players.  The refs are also to stop play immediately if there is a vision issue such as lost contact lense or glasses knocked off someone's head.

In your situation, I would have let the offense finish the play - BUT if the offense was driving to the basket and then kicked the ball back out out to reset the play, I would have stopped the game, 

If a player dribbles Andre picks it up with 2 hands and the other player touches the ball( not knocking it out of the others poccession) then can the player with the ball with 2 hands dribble again?

Asked by Chantoan about 9 years ago

No, an offensive player cannot regain the ability to dribble until another player touches the ball WHILE the original player no longer possesses the ball. So if A1 has continuous possession during the time that B1 touches the ball, A1 cannot dribble for the second time. A more likely call is if B1 touches the ball and pushes it in an opposite direction than A1 is holding it, it should be called a held ball (and go to the possession arrow).

If an offensive player jumps sideways for a layup or shot and the defensive player jumps to defend him and makes contact in the air, who's foul is it?

Asked by Billy over 8 years ago

If neither player is entitled to the air space where they collide, it should be treated as incidental contact, regardless of the severity of the impact.

If I set a pick for my ball handler, and the defender runs into me, causing me to be pushed back a few steps, is that a moving screen? (Assuming I was already in position)

Asked by Hanna over 9 years ago

If you obtained legal guarding position and you were dislodged off your spot by an opponent it is a team control foul on your opponent's team.

For NFHS, the new rule for the end of a free throw includes the ball striking the backboard. Can free throw shooters now bank the ball directly back to themselves?

Asked by Dunkster over 8 years ago

I believe that although the free throw ends when the ball hits the backboard, it is still a violation if the free thrower fails to hit the ring.

Same scenario as before (backcourt violation) Player B does not touch the ball until his feet are established in the front court. Is this legal or is it still a back court violation? Thank you for your response.

Asked by Coaching Youth about 9 years ago

Once both of the player's feet land in the front court and then he receives the ball there is no violation.

When I was in college in the early 80s we played some games in Norway. At that time did international rules allow the in-bounding player to shoot from out of bounds or do I remember that incorrectly?

Asked by old school over 8 years ago

I am not sure about international rules and it does not seem like an in bounder can shoot from out of bounds. I have seen international basketball where the in bounder can retrieve the ball and throw it in without the referee touching the ball. I actually like that way for inbounding after violations because it makes the defense hustle (kind of like a throw in in soccer).

you call a foul and the table does not tell you it should be a bonus situation. B1 inbounds the ball and scores. then the table informs you the previous call should be a bonus. is it correctable.

Asked by tony over 8 years ago

This error is correctable, as long as it is discovered during the first dead ball after the clock has been started. When B1 scores, the ball is dead and the free throw should be awarded. The points scored by B1 shall remain counted.

While the shot clock is winding down a player throws a pass and it hits the rim. After it hits the rim the shot clock goes off. His teammates catches the ball. Is this a shot clock violation or a new shot clock?

Asked by Max about 9 years ago

There is no shot clock in NFHS rules. In NCAA men's rules it is a violation for a team to fail to make a try for a basket AND have the ball touch the ring or flange before 35 seconds.

Notice the rule states "a try …" which means that a pass would not qualify even if touched the ring. Not sure what pro rules state.

A player jumps from outside the court line, catches the ball mid air and lands inside, is it still out of bounds? And with backcourt violation?

Asked by Max over 8 years ago

A player who alights in the air is considered to have court position from where his feet last touched the court. If the player jumps from out of bounds and touches the ball before he touches the court inbounds, it is a violation. There are 2 exceptions to this rule: 1) a defender who leaps from his front court to intercept a pass and lands in his backcourt, and 2) a defender who leaps from his front court to intercept a throw in and lands in his backcourt.

An offensive player is next to basket knees bent ready to jump. Defensive player has his arms and hands over guy/girl with ball. offensive player jumps and pushes ball through defenders arms with his hands and arms. who is or if the foul on?

Asked by dahszil over 8 years ago

Foul is on defensive player. Principle of vertical space.

IS Allen Iverson's Crossover a travel? I mean he does a crossover before his body and take three steps for a lay up without any dribble. See this video

Asked by JYAO over 8 years ago

One principle is that you cannot travel between dribbles. Iverson probably travels (high school rules) when he jumps forward BEFORE he dribbles, a move Michael Jordan used as well. Iverson also, like Jordan, carries the ball (a NFHS violation) in the video several times but this seems to be allowed by the NBA.

Our AAU league posted a notice on its site that starting in spring, players need gov't issued photo ID. But it did not say how the rule was to be enforced or when or by whom ID's would be examined. Do you have any more on that? Thanks.

Asked by rodk over 9 years ago

I do not have any special knowledge of AAU league or tournament rules. I do know that age verification is a perpetual problem in traveling basketball.

On a designated spot throw in. Can a player take one step forward to adminster a throw in

Asked by Rox over 9 years ago

On a spot throw-in, a player must stay within a 3 foot area along the out of bounds boundary. That three foot area extends from the out of bounds line all the way back to the wall, or the first obstruction (bleachers, table, etc.).  

So to answer your question, as long as the player does not step in bounds before releasing the ball, he can take as many steps forward short of breaching the out bounds line.

When shooting a hook shot I go up with two hands on the ball. when I release my off hand and it moves away from the ball but stays between the ball and defenders hand that is trying to block the shot. Is it an offensive foul if contact is made?

Asked by Post player over 9 years ago

Usually this would be incidental and not called, UNLESS your arms flailing whack the defender.

Can a team "Stack 4 players together" during a throw in without letting the defense get a legal guarding position during a throw in? What's the call if the defense tries to get in between the offensive players?

Asked by K.C. about 8 years ago

You can stack perpendicular to the throw in boundary line, but if the defense wants to step into a parallel stack room must be made.

after a made basket player A is allowed to run the baseline after attempting a throw in the ball was deflected back out of bounds doe player A retain the ability to run the baseline?

Asked by wayne over 9 years ago

No. After a ball is deflected out of bounds the throw in should be a spot throw in. If there is a throw in after a basket, and a team calls time out, then the offense can still run the end line.

Are lane violations on free throws the least-whistled calls in the NBA? I honestly don't even know what the rule is anymore, given that it seems like ONE team is in the lane before the ball leaves the shooter's hand on like 80% of 2nd free throws.

Asked by NBA-wut over 9 years ago

The NBA is different than NFHS because in high school players are supposed to wait until the ball hits the ring or backboard. In the NBA they can move on the release.

can an official Basketball match start with 1 referee on the court?

Asked by Samer Taha over 9 years ago

While it is not ideal, a game can begin with 1 referee. It seems that it happens occasionally at the lower levels but rarely at the Varsity level because if the Varsity crew is short a ref, they will invite a ref from the pre-lim (usually sophomore) game to stay and work the game with them.

When I have had to ref myself, I find that play under the basket gets rough because the players know that you can only follow the ball. You also miss a lot of line calls.

Ball inbounded under offensive basket - thrown towards the backcourt where an offensive player touches (doesnt control) before going over half court line - is this backcourt violation?

Asked by webstone over 9 years ago

You need to establish front court possession before you can have a back court violation. Answer is no.

do direct techs to a coach count toward team fouls

Asked by RefDre over 8 years ago

yes, but not indirect technicals.

When you dribble and the defender goes for the steal, are you allowed to use the non dribbling hand to block or even swap/push his hand away

Asked by Tamudawson over 8 years ago

You are entitled to your vertical space. If you use your forearm out of your vertical space to seperate the defender it is an offensive player control foul.On the other hand, if your forearm is within your vertical space and the defender pushes your arm away to