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Old Fri Jan 13, 2006, 11:49pm
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Fourth Quarter of a varsity game and the score is 56-54 in favor of Team A. Team B has an inbounds pass under the basket with endline running privileges and 3.9 seconds on the clock. I am trail and administer the throw-in. B1 runs the baseline and throws a pass to the corner. A1 steals the inbounds pass and drives baseline and gets fouled by B1. I blow my whistle and call the foul. On the way to report the foul the trail official comes to me (I am R) and says when my whistle blew he looked at the clock and clearly saw 2.8 seconds left. The clock stopped at 1.3. We put 2.8 seconds back on the clock. A1 hits both free throws and they win 58-54.

After the game a much more veteran official in our association who was watching the game told us that our error was that we did not notice that when B1 threw the ball in the clock operator did not start the clock. Since this was so he said we should have left 1.3 secs on the clock after the foul. As we discussed it he said that someone in our crew (3-person) should have glanced at the clock when B1 inbounded the ball and noticed that the clock did not stop (I agree). Once we saw this we should have blown the ball dead (in this case right after A1 stole the inbounds pass). Since we know the clock did not start we should have taken 0.5 seconds off the clock as an estimate of how much time elapsed and then given the ball to Team A for a throw-in with 3.4 seconds remaining. Could we have done this? Even if we noticed the clock did not start we had no "definite knowledge" of how much time had come off the clock. I can see where we could whistle the ball dead and give Team A a throw-in since they had team control but how can we take off time? Could the official that notices the clock failing to start simply start a hand count and then make the adjustment off of his hand count when the foul is called on A1?

Sorry for such a long post. I think we did the correct procedure as far as putting the correct time back on the clock since the trail had definite knowledge there were 2.8 seconds on the clock. I would like some feedback on the recommendation we got after the game about not seeing the clock start.

By the way, during a time-out I did remind the timer to make sure he started the clock correctly since we had a close game. Thanks for the input.

[Edited by johnnyrao on Jan 13th, 2006 at 11:52 PM]
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Old Sat Jan 14, 2006, 01:04am
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Yes, you handled it correctly. In regard to some of the things that the observer said, it was correct. On others, he was out to lunch.

Yes, someone should have kept an eye on the clock.

No, you couldn't leave the clock at 1.3 when you didn't know it wasn't started correctly. That was a reallyu stupid comment. How can you make a judgment about time if you didn't know it didn't start properly.

Yes, the official that noticed the clock didn't start properly could have started a hand count. But he shouldn't wait more than a couple of seconds before he stops it and makes the necessary corrections.

No, you don't estimate. It's definite knowledge or nothing.
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