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Old Thu Feb 07, 2019, 08:10pm
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Ball-side Mechanics

I have seen ball-side mechanics mentioned in both 2 and 3-person mechanics manuals (NFHS pp. 17, 44-45, IAABO pp. 25, 27 for 2-person ball-side mechanics, NFHS pp. 77-78, 80, IAABO 133-137 for 3-person ball-side mechanics and rotations), but officials tend to place more emphasis on 3-person ball-side mechanics (perhaps because rotations are also involved when Lead moves ball-side in a 3-person game) than on 2-person ball-side mechanics. Officials are often not taught about 2-person ball-side mechanics (those that use it, including myself, learned how to go ball-side from reading the mechanics manual and applying ABC principles).

Seeing this, and reading various online resources on basketball officiating (some of which encourage officials to go ball-side in both 3 and 2-person games) made me wonder what the purpose of ball-side mechanics are. Is the information on 2-person ball-side mechanics just dead words printed in a manual that will not see the light of day, or is there some higher reason for information on ball-side movement to be included in both the 2 and 3-person sections of high school mechanics manuals?

The most common situation where I have seen (or used) ball-side mechanics in 2-person games is on frontcourt throw-ins where the ball and most of the matchups are on Trail's side of the court. I have also gone ball-side if there is pressure in the frontcourt on Trail's side, and there are multiple matchups on Trail's side, or if a drive/pass to the post is imminent. In the 3-person games I have worked so far, I haven't had to rotate frequently, because the ball would either move quickly from one side to the other, or there would be a quick shot shortly after the ball moved away from the Lead's side, making a rotation unnecessary. In your experience, what is the most common situations for moving ball-side (and some reliable cues for ball-side movement/rotation other than ball position)?
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Old Thu Feb 07, 2019, 09:08pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ilyazhito View Post
I have seen ball-side mechanics mentioned in both 2 and 3-person mechanics manuals (NFHS pp. 17, 44-45, IAABO pp. 25, 27 for 2-person ball-side mechanics, NFHS pp. 77-78, 80, IAABO 133-137 for 3-person ball-side mechanics and rotations), but officials tend to place more emphasis on 3-person ball-side mechanics (perhaps because rotations are also involved when Lead moves ball-side in a 3-person game) than on 2-person ball-side mechanics. Officials are often not taught about 2-person ball-side mechanics (those that use it, including myself, learned how to go ball-side from reading the mechanics manual and applying ABC principles).

Seeing this, and reading various online resources on basketball officiating (some of which encourage officials to go ball-side in both 3 and 2-person games) made me wonder what the purpose of ball-side mechanics are. Is the information on 2-person ball-side mechanics just dead words printed in a manual that will not see the light of day, or is there some higher reason for information on ball-side movement to be included in both the 2 and 3-person sections of high school mechanics manuals?

The most common situation where I have seen (or used) ball-side mechanics in 2-person games is on frontcourt throw-ins where the ball and most of the matchups are on Trail's side of the court. I have also gone ball-side if there is pressure in the frontcourt on Trail's side, and there are multiple matchups on Trail's side, or if a drive/pass to the post is imminent. In the 3-person games I have worked so far, I haven't had to rotate frequently, because the ball would either move quickly from one side to the other, or there would be a quick shot shortly after the ball moved away from the Lead's side, making a rotation unnecessary. In your experience, what is the most common situations for moving ball-side (and some reliable cues for ball-side movement/rotation other than ball position)?


Ball Side Mechanics for Two-Person Crews predates the 3-Pt FG in H.S. and college (both men's and women's) and Rotation Mechanics in Three-Person Crews. It goes back to the early to mid 1980s for both H.S. and college. Meaning that it has always been the required Two-Person Mechanic in both H.S. and college for over 35 years.

I could give a $100 online seminar on Two-Person Mechanics but I just do not feel like sitting down off line to type it so that I can copy and paste it here. That said, a Two-Person Crew is nothing more than a Three-Person Crew with only a L and C or a L and T depending upon whether the L has gone Ball Side or has not gone Ball Side.

I will leave it that except to say, it really grinds my gears when Two-Person Crews do not use Ball Side Mechanics. But that is a story for another time.

MTD, Sr.
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Old Thu Feb 07, 2019, 09:14pm
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I work HS ball for an NBA ref. He teaches ball-side mechanics for 2-man. It's also what the NBA employs when they are down an official.

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Old Thu Feb 07, 2019, 10:02pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ilyazhito View Post
I have seen ball-side mechanics mentioned in both 2 and 3-person mechanics manuals (NFHS pp. 17, 44-45, IAABO pp. 25, 27 for 2-person ball-side mechanics, NFHS pp. 77-78, 80, IAABO 133-137 for 3-person ball-side mechanics and rotations), but officials tend to place more emphasis on 3-person ball-side mechanics (perhaps because rotations are also involved when Lead moves ball-side in a 3-person game) than on 2-person ball-side mechanics. Officials are often not taught about 2-person ball-side mechanics (those that use it, including myself, learned how to go ball-side from reading the mechanics manual and applying ABC principles).

Seeing this, and reading various online resources on basketball officiating (some of which encourage officials to go ball-side in both 3 and 2-person games) made me wonder what the purpose of ball-side mechanics are. Is the information on 2-person ball-side mechanics just dead words printed in a manual that will not see the light of day, or is there some higher reason for information on ball-side movement to be included in both the 2 and 3-person sections of high school mechanics manuals?

The most common situation where I have seen (or used) ball-side mechanics in 2-person games is on frontcourt throw-ins where the ball and most of the matchups are on Trail's side of the court. I have also gone ball-side if there is pressure in the frontcourt on Trail's side, and there are multiple matchups on Trail's side, or if a drive/pass to the post is imminent. In the 3-person games I have worked so far, I haven't had to rotate frequently, because the ball would either move quickly from one side to the other, or there would be a quick shot shortly after the ball moved away from the Lead's side, making a rotation unnecessary. In your experience, what is the most common situations for moving ball-side (and some reliable cues for ball-side movement/rotation other than ball position)?
I haven't worked a 2-person game in years, but when I did I rotated over frequently. It threw off some partners, didn't throw off others. But there's no reason to put up an imaginary wall at the lane line and let the trail officiate post play on his side using an inferior position.

If you ever watch NCAA officials work down a man...or NBA clips from the old days....the L worked wherever he needed. The difference is when the ball goes the other way, you have to switch sides once in a while.
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Old Thu Feb 07, 2019, 10:08pm
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Though not popular in our state, we teach the 2-person ball-side mechanic to our lower level and new officials in our little corner across the lake from where Rut lives. It gives the rotated Lead a better look at the slot between low post players on the other side of the lane from their new position on ball-side. Otherwise, they'd be straightlined on verticality plays across the other side of the lane.
Also, when they transition to 3-person games we don't have to teach them how and when to rotate--they already know.
Besides the explanation in the NFHS Officials Manual, our state's online mechanics manual illustrates this mechanic according to the attached slide.
One caveat we issue: if the Lead rotates across only to put two eyes on the competitive matchup that Trail already is covering, don't waste the effort. If the Lead rotates across, he better be getting a better look at the competitive matchup(s) that the Trail can't handle. Otherwise don't do it.
2-Person Ball Side Mechanic: MHSAA Online Officials Manual
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Old Thu Feb 07, 2019, 11:03pm
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We teach ball-side for 2-person. If there is a post up on the other side, you have a lot better chance of getting it right if you're over there vs being stacked. Ultimately, you want to be in the best spot to cover the most likely play....and often, that is the post.

If you look across, go across! (unless you're just ball watching :/ )
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Last edited by Camron Rust; Fri Feb 08, 2019 at 02:17am.
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Old Thu Feb 07, 2019, 11:21pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Camron Rust View Post
We teach ball-side for 2-person. If there is a post up on the other side, you have a lot better chance of getting it right if you're over there vs being stacked. Ultimately, you want to be in the best spot to cover the most likely play....and often, that is the post.

If you look across, go across! (unless you're just ball watching :/) )
If this comment had a "Like" button I would click on it.
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Old Fri Feb 08, 2019, 08:28am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ilyazhito View Post

The most common situation where I have seen (or used) ball-side mechanics in 2-person games is on frontcourt throw-ins where the ball and most of the matchups are on Trail's side of the court.
Use that, whether it's a throw-in or not.

It's the same general principal of when to move across as in 3-person (although you might move "back" sooner that you would in 3-person).
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Old Fri Feb 08, 2019, 09:04am
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Get Back (The Beatles, 1969) ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by bob jenkins View Post
... although you might move "back" sooner that you would in 3-person.
I once forgot to get back. After a turnover I started up the court as the new trail and after several steps spotted my partner on the same side of the court as me, and at the same time he, as the new lead, turned to look over his shoulder and spotted me. It happened several years ago but I can still remember the look on his face.
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Old Fri Feb 08, 2019, 09:54am
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Thank y'all for the great advice and info. I'll look to go over early and often (when appropriate) in both my future 2-person and 3-person games. I had always suspected that 2-person should be 3-person without the Trail, and recently started working 2-person games with that mindset, and MTD confirmed that.
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Old Sat Feb 09, 2019, 12:35am
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Going strong side will put you in better position to referee plays. I learned it along time ago and should be used more,
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Old Sat Feb 09, 2019, 12:13pm
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Two Person Rotation In The IAABO Galaxy ...

In this thread, a few members have stated that, while allowed by mechanics, many officials don't take advantage of two person ball side mechanics.

I was going to point out that even fewer take advantage of IAABO mechanics that state that the trail can initiate a frontcourt rotation in a two person game:

When pressure is applied in frontcourt, near farther sideline in trial's PCA, trail may rotate beyond the basketline toward farther sideline to provide maximum coverage. As a result of trail rotating, lead may rotate across the basketline, changing lead's PCA, and line responsibility.

But I decided to double check the wording of the mechanic. Good thing that I did because it's gone. It last appeared in the 2016-17 mechanics manual, and then disappeared in the 2017-18 mechanics manual.

Do any IAABO members remember this change being announced?
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Last edited by BillyMac; Sat Feb 09, 2019 at 03:19pm.
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Old Sat Feb 09, 2019, 02:29pm
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Maybe the bit about Trail initiating a rotation was based on the fact that a Center official with on-ball pressure between the 3-point arc and the division line can initiate a rotation by moving above the play, becoming Trail and having the Lead move across the lane. In this case, the Trail would be performing the role of the absent C official, and Lead would take over Trail's job.

I'm also surprised that many veteran officials, and even some evaluators do not know about ball-side mechanics. However, I'll still look to make ball-side strong side, whether in a 2- or 3-person crew, with partners who know, or don't know. If my partner chews me out for going ball-side, I'd sit there and think to myself that he doesn't know what he's talking about (like the JV veteran in another thread relating communication with one's partner to wearing the same color of shoelaces ).
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Old Sun Feb 10, 2019, 04:38am
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Obviously, 2-man mechanics are much older than those for 3-man. Also, the game has changed significantly. 1989 is when HS adopted the 3pt shot. The frequency of such attempts has been on the rise ever since. The old style of pounding the ball into big guys in the post isnít as popular now.

What does all of that mean? The days of 2-man at the HS level are dwindling and the need for the L to come strongside to observe post activity is also dropping drastically.

When I started officiating 20 years ago, the post players were still dominant and coming strongside was the norm. It was done almost exclusively to watch the post matchup. Now my area doesnít even teach this anymore. The L is likely better off just staying on his side. There are far more long range jumpshots and long rebounds than true post matchups. Couple that with 3-man being more prevalent and this mechanic is almost extinct.
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Old Sun Feb 10, 2019, 08:45am
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I see that the game has changed, and thus many officials have not needed to go ballside as often in 2-person crews. However, that has not stopped the same officials for coming across the lane in 3-person crews for rotations. Rotations may not be frequent, but because levels with older players still feature post play, they probably still happen because some post play remains?
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