Staying Live During a Dead Ball

main-qimg-99b92b335a3c37f47c37936a3706b359-cWhen the ball becomes dead, the officiating crew must remain ‘live’ and on high alert, says highly regarded official, interpreter and evaluator, Al Battista.

To break your concentration during this temporary break in game action because of a timeout, a violation, a free throw or free throw, etc. is a bad habit that will quickly harden and betray you at the worst opportune time.

 Dead ball officiating is about concentration and awareness.

FOULS

When calling a foul, do not turn from the play too quickly and head to the reporting area without assessing the situation that  just transpired…Read the mood of the ‘crime scene’ before striding to the score table. And as an off-official switching on fouls, be sure to observe the players, and do not concern yourself with the whereabouts of the ball. It will either carom off a wall and roll not too far away, or a kindhearted spectator will return t to you.

It is important to freeze your field of vision. There can be few things worse for an official, and a crew, for a player to be injured by a punch or a deliberate elbow, and no one saw what happened.

VIOLATIONS

Do not turn your back on an out of bounds play and when signaling a violation. Keep your eyes on all of the players.

TIME OUTS

During this stoppage of play, know the position and demeanor of all of the players as they cross paths moving towards their respective benches. Being mindful that something unsportsmanlike could occur at this time will allow you stifle any player posturing, and accurately punish the rightful offenders.

THROW-INS

Before you administer a throw in, visually “sweep the floor;” find your clocks (game and shot); make sure each team has five players on the floor; and glance at the score table to see if there are any substitutes waiting to  come in.

HARD FOULS

The calling official must hustle to, and stay with, the player that was fouled and preempt any thoughts that player may have of retaliating. The off-official(s) must move quickly into the scenario and be both a calming and authority presence that will keep any teammates of the fouled player from expressing their displeasure on the nature and severity of the foul.

Remember, dead ball officiating is all about concentration and awareness.

You must remain ‘live’ (and in a mindset of readiness) when the ball is dead. You and your crew will be ‘autopsied’ to determine how much burden you will bear for what misconduct occurred during this break in the action, so it would be in your best interest to form the good habit of being alert at all times you are on the floor.

About Tim Malloy

Tim is the co-founder of "60 Seconds on Officiating" and has over 40 years of basketball referee experience with IAABO Camden New Jersey Board 34. Tim lives in West Deptford, NJ . More Posts

6 Comments on Staying Live During a Dead Ball

  1. djbohrer@hotmail.com' Douglas J Bohrer // January 26, 2018 at 7:10 am // Reply

    Thanks Tim….very useful stuff.

  2. Excellent

  3. john@johngabe.com' John Gabriel // January 26, 2018 at 9:06 am // Reply

    Who do you think you are Mindy Rudolph? I usually light up a cigarette after calling a foul . Or check out the scoreboard to see how much damn time is left in this game. I just kid. Love your work Tim Tim. Your advice transcends all age groups of officials. You should know you were one of the best.
    John Gabriel
    Executive advisor Orlando Magic

    • When one of mankind’s strongest spirits, and one the NBA’s great thought leaders gives a thumbs up on your basketball educational content, you know you’re doing something right!
      Hard work validated…
      Thanks, John!

  4. gbecker100@aol.com' Gregg Becker // January 26, 2018 at 12:16 pm // Reply

    I am having difficulty getting your e mails. A friend is having to forward. Can you help?
    Gbecker100@aol.com

    • Hi Gregg,
      We’re told AOL and another provider are having difficulty delivery permission-based email systems like ours…We have been told, “we are working on the problem…”
      we in turn ask for your patience and please keep checking back to REF60.com; we’re publishing twice a week…

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