Judging Costumes
With all of the uniforms, equipment, and apparel that players are now wearing, the official’s responsibility has increased and is a challenge at the start of every game.  The official is to prohibit further participation in warm-ups if there is a safety concern.  If any illegal apparel/equipment is observed, team members can continue to warm up but will not be able to participate in the game unless the issue is resolved.  If officials observe an issue with illegal uniforms, equipment or apparel, the issue should be addressed directly with the head coach and not the players. (See IAABO Rules Guide Chapter 2, Pregame on the Court, page 11, Crew of Two, and the IAABO Equipment and Apparel Guide).

Nothing is Spookier and More Frightening
than the
The trick to preventing this situation from occurring is for each official to hold their stop-the-clock signal, make eye contact with each other, and not give a preliminary signal before all of this is done.

Jump Ball Jitters
During a regulation game without overtime, there is only one jump ball.  This jump ball takes place at the start of the game.  If the jumpers are not facing in the proper direction or the ball is not tossed straight and higher that the players can jump, this procedure could only be the start of your nightmares.  If players are going in the wrong direction, all points scored, fouls recorded and time elapsed count as they would have if the teams had gone in the proper direction.  Then you must reverse the flow of play to have players go in the correct direction.  If the toss is at an unfair angle and is not high enough, someone will be complaining on the opening tap and the beginning of the game is on a downward slope unless the toss is called back and readministered  (See IAABO Rules Guide 7:3:C; 7:4:E).

Don't Be a Ghost
Stay visible, approachable, and accountable.  Remain respectful, listen, be mindful of body language, answer questions where and when appropriate, and remember sometimes “Silence is Golden.”

Don't Turn into a Pumpkin
in the Last Four Minutes
You are hired to officiate thirty-two minutes of game time and ALL of the situations that occur when the clock is stopped. Stick to the script throughout the entire game. Remember routine increases focus and focus increases accuracy.  Keep the playing field level and balanced and leave the court together as professionals  (Jeff Jewett Gettysburg, PA, Fall Seminar presentation).

Don't Be Part of the Living Dead
It is often said, “When the ball becomes dead, you must stay alive.”  Most of the issues that we are trying to avoid occur when the ball is dead.  A dead ball period will usually result from a foul, violation, held ball or time-out.  In these instances, the official will have some communication to make in the form of signals and floor mechanics.  The key is to do what needs to be done as quickly and as efficiently as possible.  It is critical for officials to remain focused on well-defined responsibilities during these dead ball periods (Crew of Two Manual, page 149).
If some of these situations are frightening to you, open up the IAABO Handbook, read the Rules Guide, and the Crew of Two and Crew of Three manuals.  There is no substitute for rules knowledge, floor mechanics, positioning, and proper signals.  Put your fears aside and enjoy the ride.

Happy Halloween From IAABO
What Did We Just See?
In the process of scoring a layup, black #5 loses his shoe. He picks up his shoe and hustles to get back on defense, as the opponents execute a quick transition.  A player on the white team moves toward the basket and attempts to score. Black #5, still holding his shoe, jumps in an attempt to defend and block the try.    
While the shooter is holding the ball outside the cylinder, black #5 contacts the ball with his shoe, without contacting the backboard and has the shoe knocked from his hand.  It doesn’t appear he contacted the shooter. The try is unsuccessful.  There is no whistle.  The officials look like they’ve seen a GHOST!
We all might look and react like we have seen a ghost and simply freeze.  Has anyone ever seen this or even thought this might happen?  Has anyone seen a ghost?  The answer is probably close to a unanimous, “No”.
Because the ball was not in the cylinder when it was touched, there cannot be basket interference. Because the backboard wasn’t vibrated, there cannot be a technical foul.  So what is the proper ruling?  Rule 2-3 (IRG 4:2:A) states that the referee shall make decisions on any points not specifically covered in the rules.  This situation is definitely not covered in the rules.  Equipment that increases a player’s height or vertical reach is not permitted (Rule 3-5-5, IRG 2:13:B).  Black #5 did not use his shoe as it was designed or intended.  While the player likely didn’t intend to use his shoe, the officials should have ruled this an unsporting act under Rule 3-5-5 (IRG 2:13:B) and assessed a technical foul against black #5.

Count Dracula
Don’t be scared or surprised when something unusual happens in games you officiate!  At the start of this clip, we see that a defender, white #30, has established legal guarding position and is within six feet of the dribbler, black #4.  The time on the game clock is 4:43, and the Trail official has started a five-second closely guarded count.  Black #4 continues to dribble, and white #30 is screened off the play by black #13.  As white #30 passes behind the screen, white #12, who has also established legal guarding position and is also within six feet of black #4, continues defending the dribbler.  The Trail official continues the count and calls a five-second closely guarded violation.  The game clock shows 4:37 when the Trail official calls the violation, which means the ball handler was closely guarded while dribbling for at least five seconds.  IAABO Rules Guide 15:4 and Play 15-20 as well as NFHS Rules 4-10, 9-10 and Case Book play 9.10.1.B tell us there is no requirement for the defensive player to remain the same during a five-second closely guarded count, as long as the ball handler remains closely guarded throughout the play. 
The Trail official does an excellent job of moving into position to properly officiate this play, starting his closely guarded count at the correct time, as well as maintaining coverage and the count when the ball handler dribbles the ball out of the Trail official’s primary coverage area.  Because the dribbler, black #4, is continuously closely guarded by defenders white #30 and/or white #12, this is a five-second closely guarded violation.  The Center official should have recognized that the Trail official was counting and should not have started a closely guarded count.  While this play may not happen very often, we should be diligent when starting and maintaining closely guarded counts, even when the ball handler leaves our primary coverage areas! 

Correctable Terror
Team A is in control of the ball in their frontcourt up 57-55 with just over a minute and a half remaining in a State Championship game.
A-1 attempts a cross-court pass to A-3.  B-3 is able to deflect the ball and now A-3 and B-3   make an attempt to secure the loose ball. While the ball is still loose, A-3 pushes B-3.  The Trail official sees the push and quickly rules a foul on A-3.  
Knowing that Team A is in the bonus, the Trail official very quickly signals “2 shots” and identifies B-3 as the shooter.
As the ruling official moves to the table to report the foul.  The players and officials begin the long walk up the court to administer the free throws to B-3. 
After reporting, as the ruling official moves into position, eye contact is made with the lead official to confirm two free throws are to be awarded.  After all the officials are in position and are ready, the Lead properly communicates with the shooter and players in the lane and administers the free throws. 
B-3 makes both free throws to tie the game.  You can feel the excitement in the crowd at the prospect of an exciting finish to a State Championship game.  Team A inbounds the ball and is advancing the ball up the court when the Team A coach says to the Trail official “Hey ref, wasn’t that a team control foul?”
At that moment, the officials suddenly realize what it feels like to have a correctable error.
Because this error was discovered before the second live ball after the clock started, it can be corrected.  It is going to require officials to cancel the free throws.  Because there was no change in possession since the error (awarding unmerited free throws) occurred, play resumes at the point of interruption (IRG 14:1:A, 14:6, NFHS 2-10-1b, 2-10-6).  
Unfortunately, when the error was discovered, Team A was in control of the ball.  In all correctable error situations, other than failure to award merited free throws, the point of interruption is where the ball was when the error is discovered.  So play will resume with a throw-in by Team A at the spot nearest to where the ball was located when the stoppage occurred.  If it is in the frontcourt, it will be at the nearest of the four new approved designated throw-in spots.  So not only does Team B lose two points, but they also will not have possession of the ball when play resumes.  This is going to be a very difficult conversation with the coach of Team B, to say the least!      
For 30 minutes and 30 seconds, this crew was spot-on. Their rules application was exceptional, floor mechanics were textbook, used proper signals, and worked as a team to ensure proper throw-in spots were used and identified free throw shooters when needed.

An End-of-Game Horror Story
The “stage is set.” The home team has just called their last time-out and set up the potential game-winning play to escape with a victory in this girls’ quarterfinal basketball game. The visitors lead 49-48 with ten seconds left in the fourth quarter. The home team inbounds the ball in front of their bench and works a screen to free up their best shooter. She receives the pass, and the defender goes under the screen and does a hard “closeout” on the shooter. The shooter goes airborne and releases the potential game-winning try. The ball is halfway to the basket when the horn sounds. As the ball is bouncing OFF the rim, the whistle blows. Everyone in the building is looking at the Trail official to see “what he’s got?” He’s got nothing! He and his partners run off the court, as many officials do at the end of the game, and the home fans go CRAZY! He blew the whistle on the closeout! There must have been a foul! WHAT IS GOING ON???
What happened? The Trail official had a BAD habit of blowing his whistle whenever the horn went off at the end of a period to “reinforce” that the period was over. That’s all he was doing. There was no foul on the play and the offensive team did not violate or get the shot off too late. Everything was clean, but because of a bad habit – not supported by any mechanics manual printed – almost every person in the gym thinks the officials “blew it” and then ran off the court because they knew they blew it. An otherwise well-officiated game was ruined by a bad habit.
HOW do we avoid repeating this? Know the rules and the procedures outlined in your officials’ manuals! The horn “kills” the ball at the end of a period, UNLESS there is a try/tap in flight. There is NO need to “reinforce” the horn to indicate the period is over, the HORN does that. Should you ever blow your whistle at the end of a period? YES, but only for TWO things: first, IF the shooting team does NOT get the shot off (ball out of the shooter’s hand(s)) before the horn sounds, blow your whistle and immediately signal “no basket.” The second instance is if the offensive team “violates or fouls” before releasing the try for goal (e.g., the shooter travels or there is an illegal screen). In both of those instances, a whistle is needed, as well as the signal that the goal will not count.
Habits can be good for us and habits can be bad. IF you have a habit of blowing the whistle at the end of a period, just to reinforce the horn, that’s a BAD habit. Eliminate it and save yourself from replicating this “horror story!”

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Dust off your writing skills; IAABO is looking for members to submit articles for publication in SPORTORIALS. We are specifically looking for rules-based articles and stories involving our members. If you have the time, we have a dime for your efforts. Actually, we have several dimes. In other words, we don’t expect anyone to write for FREE. Authors who have articles that are printed will be compensated. Please send your submissions to deppley@iaabo.org

RefQuest is an online platform for high school basketball officials, developed by basketball officials. The creation of RefQuest provides a resource for referees to collaborate. This technology has been advanced by the RefQuest visionaries and utilizes world-class programmers who have made the platform user-friendly and intuitive.
IAABO and RefQuest have teamed up to provide another great resource to the members of both organizations. IAABO's core mission is "to educate, train, develop, and provide continuous instruction for basketball officials." RefQuest provides new and exciting technology to help reach that goal. 
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