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Old Tue Nov 07, 2006, 07:22am
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Coverage Areas

I have found that it is interesting that in comparing the two running sports I do (Soccer and Basketball), soccer has a much less defined division between what each partner is supposed to cover for their area. Both officials, most times, appear focussed on the ball, and only if the call is way over by the other official are you supposed to hold your whistle and let them call it.

Basketball, in the 8 years I have done it, seems to be much more focussed on "If it aint in your area, don't call it". I can understand when an official chooses to pass on a call right by them that their partner should let them do so without interfering, but if the partner has obviously (or possibly...) missed a call, you're supposed to pass on this as well... presuming that you are at that time looking outside your area for whatever reason and see it.

I guess my question is - Why? Isn't the primary responsibility of the officials (beyond the issue of safety) to make sure the game is officiated fairly and the rules are administered correctly? If you are consistently focussed on your primary, and happen to see something outside it that a partner could have been screened from, why shouldn't you call it? Just because that is how the mechanics of basketball are set up? Shouldn't we be more concerned with getting the call right between partners than who is calling what where?

I guess I have officiated with the opinion "If I miss something, please catch it". I would rather get it right than worry about who is making the call - many others seem more concerned with license restrictions than necessarily getting the call right... "Don't go fishing in MY pond!"

Opinions?
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Old Tue Nov 07, 2006, 08:16am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drinkeii
I have found that it is interesting that in comparing the two running sports I do (Soccer and Basketball), soccer has a much less defined division between what each partner is supposed to cover for their area. Both officials, most times, appear focussed on the ball, and only if the call is way over by the other official are you supposed to hold your whistle and let them call it.
David,
I don't agree with that statement at all.

That may be the way it is done in your area, but soccer has a very developed coverage scheme for its referees and certainly both (or all three) are NOT supposed to watching the ball at the same time.

There is not an officiating system on the planet that is not based upon the principle of divide and conquer.

Last edited by Nevadaref; Tue Nov 07, 2006 at 08:28am.
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Old Tue Nov 07, 2006, 08:42am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drinkeii
I I guess my question is - Why? Isn't the primary responsibility of the officials (beyond the issue of safety) to make sure the game is officiated fairly and the rules are administered correctly? If you are consistently focussed on your primary, and happen to see something outside it that a partner could have been screened from, why shouldn't you call it? Just because that is how the mechanics of basketball are set up? Shouldn't we be more concerned with getting the call right between partners than who is calling what where?
There are two extremes: "Call what you see, no matter where" and "Only call in your area." Both are, imo, wrong.

According to some studies, a large percentage of calls made outside your area are wrong.

Conversely, you don't want to pass on an "OMG" call just because it wasn't in your area.

The key is knowing when to go get something, and when to let it go.
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Old Tue Nov 07, 2006, 08:45am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nevadaref
David,
I don't agree with that statement at all.

That may be the way it is done in your area, but soccer has a very developed coverage scheme for its referees and certainly both (or all three) are NOT supposed to watching the ball at the same time.

There is not an officiating system on the planet that is not based upon the principle of divide and conquer.
Well, we never discuss it - the closest they ever come to that is "Don't call things in front of your partner". Double whistles are common in our area for soccer - and honestly, I think it is a good thing, because when you have 2 whistles for the same infraction, I can say to the player when they complain "My partner saw it too.", and that often stops the complaining.

We only discuss positioning. I do have to say that I have improved my soccer officiating by looking off ball a lot more when it isn't near me, and also staying with the player who has played the ball longer after the play, like in basketball ("Stay with the shooter") - it seems to catch a lot of late, cheap stuff.
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Old Tue Nov 07, 2006, 08:48am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bob jenkins
There are two extremes: "Call what you see, no matter where" and "Only call in your area." Both are, imo, wrong.

According to some studies, a large percentage of calls made outside your area are wrong.

Conversely, you don't want to pass on an "OMG" call just because it wasn't in your area.

The key is knowing when to go get something, and when to let it go.
I'd be interested to see these "studies" - never heard anything like that before.

Problem is, with your last statement, that most guys I work with are of the "My Call, RIGHT OR WRONG" attitude - if I choose not to call it, or missed it, you don't have a right to call it in my area.

Interestingly enough - the rules state that each official has the authority to make calls. The rules DON'T state anything about where they can make calls on the floor. The case book doesn't address the issue either. So the rules of the game don't prohibit these calls. The mechanics of officiating the sport is where we find this, not in the actual rules of the sport.
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Old Tue Nov 07, 2006, 09:03am
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Originally Posted by drinkeii
Well, we never discuss it - the closest they ever come to that is "Don't call things in front of your partner". .
That is unfortunate. There always needs to be one referee watching the players who are behind the play. Look at the example of Zidane's headbutt in the WC Final! Ball watching is bad.

Quote:
Originally Posted by drinkeii
Double whistles are common in our area for soccer - and honestly, I think it is a good thing, because when you have 2 whistles for the same infraction, I can say to the player when they complain "My partner saw it too.", and that often stops the complaining..
That's will stop the player's complaints sometimes, but so will a stern word or a caution for dissent. Also you should not use this with a smart coach, if you ever get a smart coach, because the reply will be, "Who is watching the rest of the field?" Double whistles are a bad thing. They demonstrate that both of you are watching the same thing. That tells the smart players that they aren't being watched away from the ball and can get away with all kinds of stuff.

Quote:
Originally Posted by drinkeii
We only discuss positioning. I do have to say that I have improved my soccer officiating by looking off ball a lot more when it isn't near me, and also staying with the player who has played the ball longer after the play, like in basketball ("Stay with the shooter") - it seems to catch a lot of late, cheap stuff.
Good that is the stuff that you should be doing!
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Old Tue Nov 07, 2006, 09:10am
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But also, on the other hand, if a second person is watching where the active play is (which is more likely to be around the ball in soccer, where in basketball, a lot of the active play is away from the ball), you are more likely to catch things where one official is screened from something, and all of the spectators are not.

No perfect answer - except for having a set of officials like football - 7 on the field at a time - don't think we'll ever get that in soccer or basketball... "Here's your Primary Area - make sure you call only in your three square feet of court space!" - Haha
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Last edited by drinkeii; Tue Nov 07, 2006 at 09:15am.
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Old Tue Nov 07, 2006, 09:39am
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Originally Posted by drinkeii
But also, on the other hand, if a second person is watching where the active play is (which is more likely to be around the ball in soccer, where in basketball, a lot of the active play is away from the ball), you are more likely to catch things where one official is screened from something, and all of the spectators are not.
That is exactly the purpose of the the DSC. The center and the leading AR always try to box in the play. The center has the primary responsibility for the fouls, but the AR helps and the AR has the primary responsibility for offside and ball out of play, but the center helps. The trailing AR watches the players behind the centers back and away from the immediate area of play. This is why it is a superior system to the dual. In the dual you have to sacrifice something. I would rather sacrifice the one or two missed calls a game that are going to happen when the primary referee gets screened out or just misses the call, than the horrendous elbow/kick/punch behind the play. The game can survive if the first is missed, but not the second. You will have a major incident.

Quote:
Originally Posted by drinkeii
No perfect answer - except for having a set of officials like football - 7 on the field at a time - don't think we'll ever get that in soccer or basketball... "Here's your Primary Area - make sure you call only in your three square feet of court space!" - Haha
Yes, the more referees is better. That is why FIFA has gone to FOUR and the WC actually had FIVE this time around. In addition to the 4th official between the benches, there was a spare AR lurking around.
The NFHS needs to come out of the dark ages and ban the dual system. Make three the minimum.
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Old Tue Nov 07, 2006, 09:47am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nevadaref
That is exactly the purpose of the the DSC. The center and the leading AR always try to box in the play. The center has the primary responsibility for the fouls, but the AR helps and the AR has the primary responsibility for offside and ball out of play, but the center helps. The trailing AR watches the players behind the centers back and away from the immediate area of play. This is why it is a superior system to the dual. In the dual you have to sacrifice something. I would rather sacrifice the one or two missed calls a game that are going to happen when the primary referee gets screened out or just misses the call, than the horrendous elbow/kick/punch behind the play. The game can survive if the first is missed, but not the second. You will have a major incident.

We don't do the 3 whistle system, except in playoffs around here. It is always dual. Even the playoffs, it is 3 equal officials, who rotate through all three positions, switching at an opportune time approximately 1/3 and 2/3 of the way through the game. Having never worked in a R + 2 AR's system, I think I would like the fact that offsides would be easier to watch, but have trouble with having a foul, and not being able to call it because the R has to be the one who does.



Yes, the more referees is better. That is why FIFA has gone to FOUR and the WC actually had FIVE this time around. In addition to the 4th official between the benches, there was a spare AR lurking around.
The NFHS needs to come out of the dark ages and ban the dual system. Make three the minimum.
Sounds nice - don't see this happening in our area... What is the purpose of a 4th official between the benches?
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Old Tue Nov 07, 2006, 09:54am
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Originally Posted by drinkeii
Sounds nice - don't see this happening in our area... What is the purpose of a 4th official between the benches?
He handles all the substitutes, keeps the coaches and other bench personnel in order, keeps a record of the match (who scored the goals and when + which players received cards and when), and watches for misconduct out of the view of the Referee and ARs.

Even US Youth Regionals and Youth Nationals now use 4th officials. NV even has started using them at the State Cup tournament.
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Old Tue Nov 07, 2006, 10:00am
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Originally Posted by drinkeii
We don't do the 3 whistle system, except in playoffs around here. It is always dual. Even the playoffs, it is 3 equal officials, who rotate through all three positions, switching at an opportune time approximately 1/3 and 2/3 of the way through the game.
I would say that your local HS referees need to band together and tell the schools that they want the change. They can actually force it, if they are strong enough.

Quote:
Originally Posted by drinkeii
Having never worked in a R + 2 AR's system, I think I would like the fact that offsides would be easier to watch, but have trouble with having a foul, and not being able to call it because the R has to be the one who does.
You CAN signal fouls with your flag, but the center has the final say. He can wave off the ARs. The ARs are only supposed to call fouls in their quadrant. A big triangle that covers from the nearest goal post to the corner flag to midfield in that ARs corner. The AR is not supposed to be watching for fouls out of that area.
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Old Tue Nov 07, 2006, 11:15am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nevadaref
I would say that your local HS referees need to band together and tell the schools that they want the change. They can actually force it, if they are strong enough.

I doubt that we'd be able to - it was a multi-year constant push to get 3 refs for HS varsity basketball, and the schools kept refusing to pay for it.


You CAN signal fouls with your flag, but the center has the final say. He can wave off the ARs. The ARs are only supposed to call fouls in their quadrant. A big triangle that covers from the nearest goal post to the corner flag to midfield in that ARs corner. The AR is not supposed to be watching for fouls out of that area.
So you actually can't call fouls - if the R decides he doesn't want to call it, or didn't see it and doesn't want to take the word of the AR, no foul. You're just an extra set of eyes without the ability to actually make the call yourself. It would just be difficult for me to get used to.
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Old Tue Nov 07, 2006, 02:43pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drinkeii
I'd be interested to see these "studies" - never heard anything like that before.

Problem is, with your last statement, that most guys I work with are of the "My Call, RIGHT OR WRONG" attitude - if I choose not to call it, or missed it, you don't have a right to call it in my area.

Interestingly enough - the rules state that each official has the authority to make calls. The rules DON'T state anything about where they can make calls on the floor. The case book doesn't address the issue either. So the rules of the game don't prohibit these calls. The mechanics of officiating the sport is where we find this, not in the actual rules of the sport.
It's the NBA's study of their own officials. More like a report card, if you will. In grading the officials, they did a statistical analysis of the calls made in and out of a given official's primary area. They determined that calls made out of your area (in your partner's pond) were far more likely to be wrong than calls in your own primary.

Think about this next time your partner goes fishing in your pond and calls something that didn't happen (phantom fouls, travels, and double dribbles.) Ego isn't want should keep you in your primary; the desire to get the call right should do that. That doesn't mean there won't be some plays where you won't have to do it; but you should be willing to stake money that your call is right before you make it.
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Old Tue Nov 07, 2006, 05:06pm
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Originally Posted by Snaqwells
It's the NBA's study of their own officials. More like a report card, if you will. In grading the officials, they did a statistical analysis of the calls made in and out of a given official's primary area. They determined that calls made out of your area (in your partner's pond) were far more likely to be wrong than calls in your own primary.

Think about this next time your partner goes fishing in your pond and calls something that didn't happen (phantom fouls, travels, and double dribbles.) Ego isn't want should keep you in your primary; the desire to get the call right should do that. That doesn't mean there won't be some plays where you won't have to do it; but you should be willing to stake money that your call is right before you make it.
Do you have a link to this study? Also, does the study consider the fact that in the NBA, officials are not calling a game for anything other than entertaining the fans - the number of obvious "minor" things that are ignored for the sake of allowing the game to flow is pretty significant. I would be more likely to believe a study by college leagues than the NBA.
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Old Tue Nov 07, 2006, 05:14pm
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Originally Posted by drinkeii
Do you have a link to this study? Also, does the study consider the fact that in the NBA, officials are not calling a game for anything other than entertaining the fans - the number of obvious "minor" things that are ignored for the sake of allowing the game to flow is pretty significant. I would be more likely to believe a study by college leagues than the NBA.
First of all the NBA can come up with any rules and philosophies that they like. It is a league unto itself, no different than any other pro league. I do not see where you are going with that one. NCAA players are not as talented as NBA players and you cannot have the exact same ways to call a game as you do with the NBA.

Secondly, if you do not have coverage areas, you will have people calling all kinds of things that are not in position to call. Forget coverage areas, what about something as simple as an out of bounds call. Do you think a person across the court is in a better position to a toe on the line? There is a reason there are 2 or 3 of you out there.

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