2 Christmas Gifts Basketball Officials Could Give Timers and Players

“Tis the season of giving” and basketball officials throughout the country could make timers and players jobs a little easier with the following 2 Christmas Gifts.

For Officials who are not already giving these gifts then it is something to think about giving for the coming new year.

The first gift officials could give the timer to make his/her job easier and should become a required MECHANIC.

To get substitutes into the game the official can keep the ball raised above his/her head in one of their hands with a straight arm when getting ready to put the ball at the disposal of the thrower-in or the foul shooter.

By doing this, it informs the timer that he/she may still blow the horn for a substitute so long as he/she sees the ball in the officials hand above his/her head. This reduces the confusion when the official has the ball at his/her waist and has not given the ball to the thrower-in.

Also, this gift would help the players not to start their out of bounds plays before the official gives the thrower-in the ball. This will help eliminate the jousting that goes on sometimes before the out of bounds plays start especially on the endline.

This is especially helpful when the ball is being put in play on the offensive endline where there are players standing between the official and the timer which it makes it hard for the timer to see the official and if the official has actually given the ball to the thrower-in.

Although this is not a required IAABO mechanic, IT SHOULD BE. Anything that makes it easier for an official, players and the timer, is an offical of the game, should be required and anything that gets substitutes into the game quicker with less confusion is a positive thing to do.

After all the game is really for the players.

This is not hard to do as all officials are expected to raise an arm in the air straight above their head everytime they blow the whistle, except on jumpballs.

A closed fist means stop the clock there is a have a foul and an open hand means stop the clock there is a violation or a time out.

Some officials inform the timer before the game that they are going to do this and the timer have told the official at half-time that it really helps them to make the correct decision to blow the horn to get the subs into the game.

Many timers say they do not blow the horn because they cannot see or do not know if the player making the throw-in has the ball or not, especially on the offensive endline.

Granted the official who is administrating the throw-in or foul shot should look to the table to see if their are substitutes waiting to enter the game…this simple maneuver helps both timers and officials…in case the official does not look to the table or does not see the substitutes at the table, especially when making a throw-in from an offensive endline on the opposite side of the free throw lane from the timer-scorer-table.

The second gift officials could give the players is the following: It is very positive to thank the player when they get the ball for the official on a throwin or a foul shot.

Just say, “Thank You 32”. You will be surprised that after awhile the players will actually thank you when you hand them the ball for a throw in or when you bounce the ball to them for a free throw.

The players like being thanked and they will many times make sure they get the ball for the official who is the non calling official on a foul while the offical is freezing while waiting for the reporting official to leave the reporting area, while the non administrating official is waiting. This also speeds up the game a little as the players chase the ball and that means the official does not have to get the ball.

This adds a little class to the game and it is a courteous and polite thing to do…..This is not a required mechanic, but, maybe it should be on the officials part.

Also, when players thank officials for giving them the ball, it certainly doesn’t hurt to say, “Your Welcome 32”.

These 2 gifts may seem like small things, but having been involved with the game since the second grade 65 years ago as a player, coach, official, radio/TV Color Analyst and now as a writer anything that helps the game is good for the game, especially in todays society when simple things sometimes have been forgotten.

Sometimes the little things can be very important things in anything we do, be it basketball or life. After all interscholastic athletics were put into the educational curriculum current to teach Life Lessons and Life Skills in Basketball that students cannot learn in the academic clasrooms, especially in the heat of battle.

When coaching, my players were always expected to thank the officials when the official gave them the ball for a throw-in or for a free throw. They also were expected to get the ball and run over and hand it to the official, not throw it to them on a dead ball.

I always felt a thank you always went along ways to show respect to officials and when the officials started thanking my players it showed their respect to my players.

When I thanked the officials for working the game, I always asked them if my players said thank you to them when they gave my players the ball for a throwin or a foul shot.

Officials who are not doing these two things, just try giving these 2 gifts to the players and the one gift to the timer….and see what happens…and after all it is better to give then to receive.

Merry Christmas to all those involved with Basketball.