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Old Tue Jan 23, 2007, 10:09pm
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Need Some Help

I have a vague question that most of you definitley cant answer because it is probably so subconsious to a lot of you. However, my problem is I miss a lot of fouls mainly because I have no idea what to be watching. Told you it was kinda vague. For example when the ball is coming down the court, I am watching the defense for fouls. However, when a player sets to shoot the ball am I supposed to watch the offense and see if someone fouls him? How about underneath when one player is trying to go up with the ball and there are 3 defenders trying to block the shot...do I watch the offense? How about on a fast break and there are 2 players next to each other running fast...what do I watch. Sorry for a tough question but any answer would help. Thanks.
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Old Tue Jan 23, 2007, 10:16pm
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First thing I'd suggest is understand your area and what your partner should be watching. Obviously you want to focus on your area. Second thing I'd suggest is what NOT to watch. Don't watch the ball (especially on the shot). Don't watch players standing on the perimeter that are not being guarded. Anticipate situations that there is often contact--close guard on the dribbler, driving to the lane, two big guys underneath jockeying for position.

When watching contact, there are some key things you need to look for when calling a foul, and I'm sure you'll get a lot of opinions on this. Any contact that displaces, dislodges, or controls another player's motion should be considered a foul. That's pretty general.

On a fast break, you have to be aware of whether the defense is in a legal guarding position (LGP) before contact is made. Then decide if any contact (either defensive or offensive) was enough to merit an advantage.

Now I'll let everybody else point out what I missed or poke holes in how I explained it!
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Old Wed Jan 24, 2007, 12:18am
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The trick is to learn to watch the whole defensive player and still focus on a specific part. Example: When a shooter is going up, especially on the perimeter, you need to watch for the hand on the arm (so you are kind of watching the ball here) and then fade out to catch their bodies on the box out.
If the ball handler is moving, you need to be even more aware of the defender's position for a block/charge. There's a lot to watch for, and it really comes with experience. Watch as much basketball as you can when you're not reffing, and try to watch for tendencies on certain plays.
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Old Wed Jan 24, 2007, 12:30am
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Anticipate the play, not the foul. Some to the best advice I was given as a young official. Take responsiblity for your area. In lower level games that can get tricky, especially if you have a weaker partner. He or she will have to sink or swim. If you are doing your job that will become evident quickly. Most likely they will be watching the movement of the ball 100% of the time. If they are receptive to help great, if not, focus on your job. GOOD LUCK!
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Old Wed Jan 24, 2007, 08:47am
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My advice would be to widen your scope to watching the whole play not just a specific part of it. Like was already said anticipate the play but NOT the foul. Take a step back and get good angles on your area of responsibility. If you see something when your in good position you will know it, and react appropriately. This definately gets easier with more experience. Expect you will boot a few calls, miss a few, and make some great calls as well. Life will go on.
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Old Wed Jan 24, 2007, 09:22am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ATLBrvs326
  1. However, when a player sets to shoot the ball am I supposed to watch the offense and see if someone fouls him?
  2. How about underneath when one player is trying to go up with the ball and there are 3 defenders trying to block the shot...do I watch the offense?
  3. How about on a fast break and there are 2 players next to each other running fast...what do I watch.
ATLBrvs326,
Please realize that, as you complete more games, the entire game will slow down for you, that you will not be thinking as much as you will be reflexively reacting to an action that you have seen many times. It will get easier.
  1. Player set to shoot -> watch for pivot foot and then watch defender for illegal contact
  2. Multiple defenders in the paint -> watch pivot; after shooting motion begins, watch defenders moving toward shooter and note any displacement or contact caused by the defenders. Shooter (moving toward a verticle defender) may initiate contact and the defender should not be penalized. From lead concentrate at your eye level and down. From Tail be watching waist height and up.
  3. 2 running players -> get an angle from front or rear to look for space (between the players). When the space disappears, see the displacement or the contact on the ball, wrist or body area.
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Old Wed Jan 24, 2007, 11:32am
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One thing that I have heard over and over through the years is to "referee the defense". By doing so, you can always tell whether an advantage was gained, and by whom it was gained.
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Old Wed Jan 24, 2007, 11:43am
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Referee the defense and don't get tunnel vision. IOW, don't get so focused on the defender, or the shooter that you can't see anything else.
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Old Wed Jan 24, 2007, 04:30pm
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One thing told to me that has helped a lot is (esp. works when you have off ball coverage) to pick out one to three competative matchups in your area and focus on them. Usually there is just one or two. That way you don't have to worry about all the players who may be in your area or not in your area. Some players are just standing there waiting for the action to come to them. You don't need to focus as much on them. Just the competative matchups.

And yes, the defense is the key to officiating. You can usually tell by watching the defender, who's foul it is. For example, on a Player control foul, the defender may have been hit in the chest with the dribbler's shoulder. You would also have noted that the defender had a LGP. Or if the defender fouls, for example, you can see him move into the shooter during a shot, or see his arms angle down on the shooter causing contact.

I also agree with Mick, first watch the pivot foot. They say referee from the feet up. So for me, it usually starts with watching the offensive player's feet, then on to the defensive player.
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