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Old Thu Oct 04, 2018, 01:26pm
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When The Ball Is Dead, We Must Be Alive ...

I've written a short article for possible magazine publication. Please feel free to critique it and offer helpful suggestions. Keep in mind that this is based on IAABO two person mechanics. Thanks.

When The Ball Is Dead, We Must Be Alive

“When the ball is dead, we must be alive”, is a phrase often used by clinicians during the training of basketball officials. This means that officials should not let their guard down when the ball is dead, especially during timeouts.

After a timeout is requested and granted, the official who granted the timeout should move to the reporting area and report to the scorekeeper and timer the color and number (or coach) of whomever requested the timeout, as well as the length of the timeout (sixty second or thirty second). During this procedure it's important that the granting official not “bump” the timeout reporting procedure over to the nongranting official, even if the nongranting official is closer to the table. The reporting official should signal the timer to start the timing device when both teams are at their bench areas.

By rule, officials should only be notifying head coaches when their team has been granted its final timeout. If there is any miscommunication, or mistake, involving the table crew reporting remaining timeouts, then the officials, by rule, need to stay out of the conversation. Let the coaches and table crew communicate with each other about remaining timeouts, other than when a team has been granted its final allowable timeout, which by rule, is required to be reported to the coach by the officials.

After the timeout is reported, officials should move back to their original positions prior to the timeout being granted. There should be no “switching” during a timeout. Officials should communicate with each other regarding where the ensuing throwin spot will be; whether it’s a designated spot throwin, or a “run the endline” throwin, or who will be attempting free throws and how many free throws will be attempted. During the timeout in a two person game, one official should be at the throwin spot with the ball and the other official should be on the division line on the jump ball circle closest to the table during a thirty second timeout, or on the jump ball circle farthest from the table for a sixty second timeout.

If the throwin after the timeout will be on the tableside sideline, the official with the ball will move onto the court directly in line with the throwin spot and with his/her partner. If a free throw will follow the timeout, the official with the ball should stand on the free throw line, in line with his/her partner. If the official with the ball needs to have a short discussion with his/her partner, that official should leave the ball on the floor where that official should be standing. If a coach asks where the ball is to be put into play, the officials can simply point to the ball.

During a timeout, the official with the ball should indicate the direction of play after the timeout by where he/she holds the ball; in front of his/her body, behind his/her body, to the left, or to the right, and to remember whether the whether it’s a designated spot throwin, or a “run the endline” throwin. If a free throw will follow the timeout that official must remember who will be attempting free throws and how many free throws will be attempted.

During a timeout, the official on the division line should observe the table and beckon substitutes, making sure not to allow substitutes after the warning horn sounds. Near the end of the game, this official may wish to check with the table to make sure everything is in proper order and to remind the scorekeeper to inform the officials when a team has used its last timeout.

During a timeout the officials will occasionally want to get together for a short discussion. Topics to discuss may be awareness of the number of team fouls as the bonus, or double bonus, approaches. Knowing that the next foul will result in bonus free throws makes it more likely that the proper shooter will be identified and that correctable errors will be avoided. Near the end of the period the officials may discuss the time remaining in the period and last second shot coverage. Near the end of the game the officials may discuss strategic fouling situations.

After the warning horn sounds the officials will move toward the team huddles while raising an index finger and state, “First horn”, and then proceed to their appropriate throwin positions, or free throw positions. After the horn to end the timeout sounds the officials should count five players on each team, and make good eye contact, before putting ball in play. A hand up in the air by the nonadministering official means that he/she, for some reason, isn't ready to start play.

Remember the words of the late UCLA basketball coach, John Wooden, “It's the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen”.
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Last edited by BillyMac; Thu Oct 04, 2018 at 04:15pm.
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