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Old Sat Jul 21, 2012, 01:44pm
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NBA Ref Schedule

Does anyone know what goes into the NBA referee schedule or possibly know someone to ask about it? I'm looking into doing a university research project.

I've read they're divided into 4 groups of 15 officials each? I've heard they do not call more than 3 games a week but also heard they do back to back days. Do they try to visit every arena at least once during the season or anything like that? Or can't see the same team twice within two weeks or anything similar? Anything else that you may know of that goes into their scheduling?

Thanks.
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Old Sat Jul 21, 2012, 04:57pm
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I think the best way to do this is to go through daily newspapers from last October through this April and get a game list for who worked and when and where. Time consuming, but you did say research! There also may be websites that have charted all this data.
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Old Sat Jul 21, 2012, 05:26pm
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Straight From The Horses Mouth ...

Contact the NBA corporate office, or the NBA official's union, directly. I'm sure that they will have a few summer interns who would be more than happy to offer information for your research project.
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Old Sun Jul 22, 2012, 01:49am
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In simplistic terms here is how the NBA schedules it's officials.

Out of the 60 officials, about a third of them are crew chiefs. They are broken down into "teams" of 15 with a supervisor, but that mostly is for development and evaluating more than scheduling. In other words, it isn't just 15 officials in a group that are scheduled for games. An official can be on a crew with any other official outside of his group.

Crews no longer stay together for long periods of time. In the past, a crew of three could work a week with each other whereas now that isn't as common an occurrance.

Generally speaking, officials tend to stay within a region. So Sunday they work in Detroit, then Monday in Milwaukee. Wednesday they may be in Indiana and Thursday in Chicago. That doesn't mean that they can't go cross country if it becomes necessary. Nor does it mean they stay in that region.

Officials cannot work more than two consecutive days. Officials cannot officiate in the same arena within 15 days. Officials cannot work the same team more than 9 times in the year (regular season).

Crews are set up before the season, though most officials will work with every other official (save for a Dan Crawford working with Joe Crawford).

The trend is to try to assemble the best crews and work to their strengths and improve upon their weaknesses. So a crew will have a seasoned veteran crew chief, experienced official and rookie for example. The better the official, the more games scheduled. The weaker the crew chief is, the more games he'll work under a more experienced crew chief.

I am by no means an expert, but have a couple years of understanding and tendencies as I myself (as an odd hobby) "schedule" the officials. Feel free to send me a private message if have any more questions
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Old Sun Jul 22, 2012, 06:35am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Victor74 View Post
In simplistic terms here is how the NBA schedules it's officials.

Out of the 60 officials, about a third of them are crew chiefs. They are broken down into "teams" of 15 with a supervisor, but that mostly is for development and evaluating more than scheduling. In other words, it isn't just 15 officials in a group that are scheduled for games. An official can be on a crew with any other official outside of his group.

Crews no longer stay together for long periods of time. In the past, a crew of three could work a week with each other whereas now that isn't as common an occurrance.

Generally speaking, officials tend to stay within a region. So Sunday they work in Detroit, then Monday in Milwaukee. Wednesday they may be in Indiana and Thursday in Chicago. That doesn't mean that they can't go cross country if it becomes necessary. Nor does it mean they stay in that region.

Officials cannot work more than two consecutive days. Officials cannot officiate in the same arena within 15 days. Officials cannot work the same team more than 9 times in the year (regular season).

Crews are set up before the season, though most officials will work with every other official (save for a Dan Crawford working with Joe Crawford).

The trend is to try to assemble the best crews and work to their strengths and improve upon their weaknesses. So a crew will have a seasoned veteran crew chief, experienced official and rookie for example. The better the official, the more games scheduled. The weaker the crew chief is, the more games he'll work under a more experienced crew chief.

I am by no means an expert, but have a couple years of understanding and tendencies as I myself (as an odd hobby) "schedule" the officials. Feel free to send me a private message if have any more questions
I would disagree when you say that most officials will work with every other official. Crew chiefs don't work with crew chiefs except in the playoffs. Maybe rarely in a regular season game will two CC's be on the same game.
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Old Sun Jul 22, 2012, 06:42am
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I would disagree when you say that most officials will work with every other official. Crew chiefs don't work with crew chiefs except in the playoffs. Maybe rarely in a regular season game will two CC's be on the same game.
I agree with Jay R here...I can't remember the last time I saw two regular CC's working together in the regular season...much less regularly.
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Old Mon Jul 23, 2012, 01:26am
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I've seen an official work at Madison Square Garden the last couple of years one night and then the next night at the Prudential Center. After all that saves money on travel for these leagues that are always complaining that they are losing money suspiciously right before the players CBA expires. Amazing how that works.
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Old Mon Jul 23, 2012, 02:30am
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You can disagree but there are too few officials on the roster to not work with another crew chief in the regular season, or some crew chiefs wouldn't get as many games scheduled. The top tier crew chiefs won't work with each other (Finals worthy, so a crew won't consist of Joe Crawford and Monty McCutchen in the regular season).

You will however see a veteran crew chief have another lesser experienced crew chief working the game (example of Dan Crawford and Rodney Mott).

Just two examples at random

02/01/12 Toronto at Boston: James Capers, David Jones and Courtney Kirkland

Better example:

02/01/12 Oklahoma City at Dallas: Ron Garretson, Michael Smith, Mark Ayotte

When an official is moved up to be a crew chief, they spend a good part of that year split between being a crew chief and serving under a strong, veteran crew chief.

And it isn't as common to have two crew chiefs on a crew during the regular season as a crew with only one crew chief. But it will happen and more times than can be considered rare. Again, top tier crew cheifs won't be on the same crews. And a new trend that seems to have emerged recently is when an official is set to retire, they go on a farewell type tour and do indeed work with each other. Happened to Joe Forte and this last year Dick Bavetta worked on crews in the regular season with officials he hasn't worked on a crew with for a while during regular season games. If you have followed Bavetta's crews the last couple seasons, he generally is the only crew chief on or had a lesser experienced crew chief working with him on the crew. Last year, he worked with virtually every official. Could also just be a huge coincidence.

Last edited by Victor74; Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 02:38am.
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Old Mon Jul 23, 2012, 02:42am
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Victor74,

Is it possible that this year is a bad example? After all officials had to work more like the players and there was not the same amount of games and a condensed schedule. Is it possible that CC worked together this year more than most considering the situations?

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Old Mon Jul 23, 2012, 03:14am
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Originally Posted by Victor74 View Post
You can disagree but there are too few officials on the roster to not work with another crew chief in the regular season, or some crew chiefs wouldn't get as many games scheduled. The top tier crew chiefs won't work with each other (Finals worthy, so a crew won't consist of Joe Crawford and Monty McCutchen in the regular season).

You will however see a veteran crew chief have another lesser experienced crew chief working the game (example of Dan Crawford and Rodney Mott).

Just two examples at random

02/01/12 Toronto at Boston: James Capers, David Jones and Courtney Kirkland

Better example:

02/01/12 Oklahoma City at Dallas: Ron Garretson, Michael Smith, Mark Ayotte

When an official is moved up to be a crew chief, they spend a good part of that year split between being a crew chief and serving under a strong, veteran crew chief.
Which is why I specifically said regular CC's...as in officials that would be designated the CC in every regular season game they officiate. I can think of 10 or so officials that would fit that bill. Of course, as JRut alluded to, with the shorten season this year, it wouldn't surprise me if on one night, due to scheduling conflicts, two regular CC's worked together.
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Old Tue Jul 24, 2012, 01:33am
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The shortened season only meant less games worked. Unlike the players having to at times play three games in three nights, officials' schedules weren't altered in that manner.

And it is normal practice to have two crew chiefs work together on the same crew during the regular season (of course, only one is designated as such for that particular game). With the shortened season, the amount of crews with at least two crew chiefs on it was less than a normal season. If averaged out, it stayed pretty much on the same scheduling as other seasons.

Season 2010-2011, 258 instances occurred (highest amount was found with Scott Foster with 26 games working with another crew chief mostly betwen Michael Smith and Tony Brothers).

For this last season, a total of 217 instances occurred (highest was found with 21 for Bill Kennedy, split pretty evenly amongst Gary Zielinski and Rodney Mott).
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