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Old Thu Aug 16, 2018, 01:16pm
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Things the Mechanics Manual Doesn't Tell You

Are there things that you do as officials that are not described in the mechanics manual, things that you do that are in addition to what the book says, or mechanics from the manual that you do not use, because they are counterproductive?

This is not about differences between specific mechanics manuals (NFHS reports fouls tableside and has the calling official replacing the tableside official, IAABO reports fouls tableside but has the calling official replace the opposite official instead), rather about real-life application of mechanics. Some manuals may be more comprehensive than others (The IAABO manual describes when and how rotations occur, the NFHS manual describes how rotations occur, and the CCA manuals (both men's and women's) also describe when rotations do not occur), and there are practices for resolving unusual situations that are described differently (e.g. in the CCA men's manual, an official making a call out of his primary area blows on his whistle an extra time to indicate that he wants to make the call).

Last-second shots are also treated differently in the different manuals. The women's manual is very comprehensive on last-second shots (1 finger in the air with 1 minute remaining, C taps the chest at 5 seconds, and mentions other things like no rotations in the last 10 seconds of game or 5 seconds of the shot clock). The high school manual is also comprehensive (1 finger in the air with 1 minute remaining, opposite side official taps the chest with 15 seconds left, and non-responsible officials can help calling official with information), but the men's manual is very brief on the subject (opposite is responsible, unless otherwise agreed to. Everyone aware of clocks, and those officials other than calling official have normal responsibilities, while calling official rules on last-second shots).

However, how do you actually deal with these situations in your games? I always put up a finger as close to the 1 minute mark, expect my partners to copy me whenever possible, and tap my chest around 15 seconds if I am responsible for the shot, when it comes to last second shots. I understand that the NFHS way of calling fouls is very formulaic (fist, inform player at the spot of the foul, preliminary signal at the spot of the foul, show consequences, go around players to reporting area, stop, and report in reverse order (score goal, if needed), color and number, signal, consequence)), so do high school officials use the men's college procedure, women's college procedure, or something completely different? When do officials most frequently go off-script, in your experience? What might be good reasons to do so?
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Old Thu Aug 16, 2018, 01:49pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ilyazhito View Post
... I always put up a finger as close to the 1 minute mark, expect my partners to copy me whenever possible...
,

I know some officials who say 1 minute is way too early, high school or college. I know some college officials who only want it done once we reach the last shot clock cycle. I know other officials who only want it done during dead balls, and not while we are transitioning up court or actively trying to officiate. There is no "one size fits all". It's what pre-games are for, to make sure everyone's operating off the same sheet of music.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ilyazhito View Post
...When do officials most frequently go off-script, in your experience? What might be good reasons to do so?
I go off script when I think what I'm doing is better than what the manual dictates and I know I can do so without blowback from that particular supervisor. My HS supervisor wants play-calling at a high level and games managed. I can pretty muchy doing any mechanic I want as long I'm doing those 2 aforementioned things. The lower you are in the pecking order, the more you are expected to stick to the script.
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Last edited by Raymond; Thu Aug 16, 2018 at 03:43pm.
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Old Thu Aug 16, 2018, 02:01pm
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I'm 99% sure the NFHS manual says the crew is supposed to hold up a finger at one minute, and at ~15 seconds the OTO is supposed to tap his/her chest. I don't lose sleep about this, in fact I couldn't care less. A crew in a varsity game should know who has the last-second shot, regardless of whether signals are used or it's discussed in pregame.

The manual will not tell you what your assigner's preferences are. And oftentimes they will want things done in ways different than what the manual says. You can choose to do what they say, or you can be holier-than-thou and quote the manual (and say "bye" to your schedule).

New officials, whether new altogether or new to an assigner and "feeling things out," are almost always best off sticking to the mechanics manual (NFHS or a state-specific manual). As you get more credibility and learn what your assigner cares about, you can ease off the black-and-white and incorporate your own style.

In South Carolina, I walk to the table while reporting, and so do most of the people I work with. I don't do all that extraneous preliminary junk that the manual has. There are some officials that do and they look goofy. As long as we are doing the high school switches and applying high school rules, rarely does anyone make an issue. There are a couple purists that think everything has to be done by the book, but they are few and far between.

Coaches and assigners care about two things: play-calling and game management. If you cannot master these two skills, you will not be respected or advance your career, regardless of how closely you stick to your mechanics manual.

Last edited by SC Official; Thu Aug 16, 2018 at 02:09pm.
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Old Thu Aug 16, 2018, 02:15pm
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Originally Posted by ilyazhito View Post
I always put up a finger as close to the 1 minute mark, expect my partners to copy me whenever possible, and tap my chest around 15 seconds if I am responsible for the shot, when it comes to last second shots.
The "1 minute signal" is used on the last period of college games to remind officials that the clock is supposed to stop on a made basket. It's not used in earlier periods, and shouldn't be used in HS (unless the HS has the same timing rule).

15-seconds to signal last shot is too early, imo, unless the team is clearly holding for the last shot and the defense is letting them do so.

In HS, if the team is holding, I like to transition so C is opposite the table. I think giving C the last-second shot is better than giving it to "opposite".

I will also go away from this mechanic if we have a throw-in from (near) the opposite end-line and a stopped clock with ... let's go with 3 seconds or less. We will all communicate that C has the last shot. This lets the best official get a look whether it's a "short pass and a long shot" or a "long pass and a short shot" or a "steal and a shot at the other end."
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Old Thu Aug 16, 2018, 02:44pm
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There are too many things to name. Honestly, there are so many things that are never mentioned or that are never discussed. Kind of the reason things like Referee Magazine or Guidebooks are even included in any training material.

Mostly philosophies on why things are done are often never discussed like what do you do when you call a technical foul? How do you communicate with each other or the coach or players involved after a technical foul? I do not even see anything that is specific to how to call plays in transition and who should or should not have certain fouls or violations on the court. The Manual in NF is very basic and mostly about where you stand and some basic information about what steps you do after something happens, but very little detail. This is kind of why it takes time to get knowledgeable about officiating and what is acceptable as things are universal at all levels, but some things are very specific to a level.

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Old Thu Aug 16, 2018, 03:31pm
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Officiating basketball is (at least) 75% judgment. The manual cannot tell you how to judge contact, time/score situation, or unsporting behavior. It cannot tell you how to master the soft skills that separate officials. That is something you can only get with experience, investing in your career, and listening to assigners/veterans.
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Old Thu Aug 16, 2018, 03:35pm
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Originally Posted by SC Official View Post
I'm 99% sure the NFHS manual says the crew is supposed to hold up a finger at one minute, and at ~15 seconds the OTO is supposed to tap his/her chest.
I wouldn't put money on that 99% if I were you. I could be wrong, but I don't think there is any mention of that in the officials manual.
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Old Thu Aug 16, 2018, 05:03pm
LRZ LRZ is offline
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FWIW, By the Book....

Page 47 of the 2017-2018 NFHS Manual, 2-Ref system, 4.3.6 Last-Second Try for Goal: "Officials should communicate when there is one minute left in each quarter by raising one arm straight up above the head and extending one finger in the air."

Same language for 3-ref, page 81.

As for chest-thumping, see page 47 again: "The Trail official is responsible .... and should communicate this .... by signaling with the hand-on-chest signal when the game clock is near 15 seconds."

Last edited by LRZ; Thu Aug 16, 2018 at 06:02pm. Reason: Correcting a typo.
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Old Thu Aug 16, 2018, 05:06pm
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Newsflash: The NFHS manual actually DOES say that, in both the 2-person and 3-person sections.
4.3.6. Last-Second Try for Goal:
... D. Making the Ruling:
1.Officials should communicate when there is one minute left in each quarter by raising one arm straight up above the head and extending one finger in the air.
2.The Trail official (2-person) is responsible for making the ruling on any last-second shot and should communicate this to his/her partner by signaling with the hand-on-chest signal when the game clock is near 15 seconds.
5.3.6.D (The 3-person Last-Second Try for Goal, Making the Ruling) is the same, except opposite side official (Trail or Center) replaces Trail.

AFAIK, how to judge contact is partially a function of knowing the rules and partially a function of experience/watching video on how similar plays are officiated, not necessarily a mechanics issue.

Supplemental books, like the "Basketball Officiating Mechanics Illustrated" and "The T: Technical Fouls at the Right Time in the Right Way", explain various stuff not covered in the standard manual (U's stand on the blocks for quarters, it does not matter where; calling official for technical fouls can go opposite the table; when to rotate;transition coverage), but how much do you actually find their suggestions useful in games?

On a different note, what are good sources to consult for philosophy? IMO, the casebook explains why certain plays should be ruled a certain way, but I don't know how much officials actually apply casebook interpretations to real game situations, just like officials sometimes go off the script set by the NFHS manual.

Do men's or women's college officials go off-script at their level as much as high school officials do? What other things might college officials do in addition to what the CCA books describe?

Last edited by ilyazhito; Thu Aug 16, 2018 at 05:19pm.
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Old Thu Aug 16, 2018, 05:40pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ilyazhito View Post
AFAIK, how to judge contact is partially a function of knowing the rules and partially a function of experience/watching video on how similar plays are officiated, not necessarily a mechanics issue.

On a different note, what are good sources to consult for philosophy? IMO, the casebook explains why certain plays should be ruled a certain way, but I don't know how much officials actually apply casebook interpretations to real game situations, just like officials sometimes go off the script set by the NFHS manual.
1) Which is exactly why I said the manual canít teach you good judgment. But part of good judgment is being in the right position, which the manual does have guidance for. But itís very elementary and can only teach you so much.

2) Your assigners, veteran partners, camp clinicians, publications...many options. But you will have to learn to filter philosophical advice so you can get rid of the bad stuff.

Stop comparing everything to the mechanics manuals. As you work more you will learn that many officials havenít read them in years. They keep up with the major changes but donít have every detail from the current yearís manual memorized. And newsflash, assigners do not care if you can quote the entire manual from scratch if your playcalling sucks and you question everything youíre told.

My advice to you would be to listen way more and talk way less. Based on the way you post on this forum, the perception is that you are too concerned with trivial details to the extent that it overshadows the good advice you are receiving.
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Old Thu Aug 16, 2018, 05:57pm
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Originally Posted by LRZ View Post
Page 47 of the 20178-2018 NFHS Manual, 2-Ref system, 4.3.6 Last-Second Try for Goal: "Officials should communicate when there is one minute left in each quarter by raising one arm straight up above the head and extending one finger in the air."

Same language for 3-ref, page 81.

As for chest-thumping, see page 47 again: "The Trail official is responsible .... and should communicate this .... by signaling with the hand-on-chest signal when the game clock is near 15 seconds."
Great.

In the book I searched (I don't have the latest revision with me at work), it is not there, at least not in that form. It does talk about communicating but it doesn't say anything about raising the arm or thumping the chest. Must be a recent update.

Most people I know do those things, but I didn't realize they had added it to the book.
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Last edited by Camron Rust; Thu Aug 16, 2018 at 05:59pm.
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Old Thu Aug 16, 2018, 06:20pm
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Feel Free To Give Me The Finger ...

I'm certain that the IAABO Mechanics Manual has the hands on chest last second shot responsibility signal.

I'm fairly certain that the IAABO Mechanics Manual doesn't have any signal for nearing the end of a period. We're pretty much on our own, usually covered in the pregame conference. Many use the finger in the air. Some use pointing to the wrist, like a wrist watch. A few point to the clock.

I occasionally have a game (maybe once or twice a season) where the up and down court action is so intense, often with no whistles, that I may not look at the clock for a while. The action may be so intense that the players, coaches, and fans are concentrating on the court action and aren't paying attention to the clock, offering no clues.

And then, unexpectedly, the horn sounds, almost giving me another heart attack. I hate it when that happens.

If any of you are ever my partner, and the clock is winding down, feel free to give me the finger.

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Last edited by BillyMac; Thu Aug 16, 2018 at 06:23pm.
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Old Thu Aug 16, 2018, 06:26pm
LRZ LRZ is offline
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"what are good sources to consult for philosophy?"

Try Husserl or Heidegger.

Seriously, you ought to stop pursuing these kinds of questions on the internet. Ask local refs whose work you respect, and learn how things are done where you work; don't you have local mentors? And learn how your assigners want things done. If you move to another state, repeat the process.

You've been posting here long enough to recognize that posters take different positions on a lot of this stuff. How does it help you to hear X say, "Do it this way," and Z, "No, do it that other way"? Philosophies of officiating may not travel well.

You don't need Philosophy of Refereeing 101, you need experience, which you can then process to devise your own philosophy, your own sense of what's important.
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Old Thu Aug 16, 2018, 06:52pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ilyazhito View Post
....

Do men's or women's college officials go off-script at their level as much as high school officials do? ...
Do you know how most times folks misuse the phrase "begging the question"?
Well you have the true definition of "begging the question". You're making an assumption that HS officials "go off script" a lot. But anyway, I digress.

Can you quit with the "how many times" and "how often" type questions? Ask about situations where some of us do not go by the manual and why. Give us a play you had and whether or not you handled it properly mechanically. Those type discussions will be a lot more beneficial (and interesting) than all these questions that have no true quantifiable answers.
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Last edited by Raymond; Thu Aug 16, 2018 at 07:00pm.
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Old Fri Aug 17, 2018, 09:28pm
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Foul signals are a situation where some high school officials go off script, because the approved signals are few and not descriptive enough (the block signal is supposed to be used for all types of impediment, but college has developed a specific signal to describe tripping, the kicked ball signal.). This is just one example of reasons why high school officials who do college as well might go off script.

High school and college have different procedures for throw-ins (no bouncing across the lane or across corners in HS, T and C adjust to L movements, and T administers all sideline throw-ins), so do college officials follow those procedures in HS games, or do they do things the college way (L administers endline and below-FTE throw-ins)?
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