State of Officiating
by Roger Caulfield

Today’s style of officiating needs to be addressed.  The game is now being played by players who are much faster, stronger and more physical in their movements on the court.  Defensive players are doing everything in their power to prevent the offensive player from scoring.  “Clutching”, “Grabbing” and “Holding” are contact situations that are very prevalent in all areas of basketball.  This type of play is leading to a number of serious injuries.  Basketball played in this manner must stop!  Players on both teams must be permitted a freedom of movement without a hand, knee or elbow impeding their progress.  Screens must be set within the rules and all illegal contact must be called immediately.  If rules are called correctly, the number of injuries will be reduced and teams will not gain an unfair advantage by playing with their best players injured.

NCAA championship coach, Rick Pitino, states “basketball officiating has not kept up with the pace of the game and I would like to see the rough play eliminated.”  In order for this to happen, basketball referees must set the stage early in the game by blowing the whistle and being committed to calling rough play fouls for the entire contest.

Below are some contact situations that need our attention if the state of officiating is going to progress:

1.  The unsportsmanlike and elbowing fouls (leads to concussion injuries).

2. Fouls on airborne shooters (permanent leg injuries).

3.  Illegal screens (lower back injuries).

4.  Dribble penetration fouls (leads to rough play).

5.  Pass and crash foul (call must be made by the correct official).

6.  Off ball contact (leads to rough play and double fouls).

7.  Ejection fouls (be prepared to call them).

8.  Blocked shots (legal play-eliminate the bad call).

9.  Jump shooter fouls (moving forward and causing the contact).

10.  Block / Charge (Be prepared to have a whistle and be aware of the flop).

HELP SITUATIONS-DEFINITE KNOWLEDGE

1. DEFENDER-SEMI CIRCLE

2. SHOOTING-NON SHOOTING

3. OUT OF BOUNDS-CONTACT

4. HARD FOULS-ELEVATE

5. WRONG NUMBERS-CORRECT THEM

MAKE-UP CALLS SHOULD NEVER HAPPEN.