Refereeing 101


Editor’s Note: Introducing yet another new writer to Here’s Matt’s first post. There are a lot of video links on this one. Click them; its worth it.

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with the NBA. All pictures and videos are property of their respective copyright owners. Please don’t fine me for criticizing officials, Mr. Stern. I don’t have 25,000 dollars! I’m just joking! Really!

I recently visited to settle an argument about the kickball rule. While on the site, I stumbled upon a link to “Ask Bernie [Director of Officiating].” I thought about how helpful it was that Bernie would answer questions from referees about some of the trickier rules, but to my surprise, the page was meant for fans!

But what about our dear officials? They certainly have questions too! As a true fan, I’m here to help out the NBA in any way I can. Here’s an FAQ for some of our referees’ biggest questions because clearly they need some help.

Q: Somebody fell down. Should I blow my whistle?
A: I searched for 57 minutes, but I couldn’t locate a rule about just falling down. And I would have sworn there was! Anyways, I guess it’s hard to believe professional athletes would fall down of their own accord, but it probably happens from time to time.

Q: Does Stephon Marbury’s tattoo violate the dress code?
A: No. But every time I see Chris Anderson’s tattoo of arm-wings, I think of that Boost Mobile commercial. Flagrant 2, Blue, Number 1-1. (Click here for some more tattoos)

Q: Someone missed a shot. That’s a foul, right?
A: Yes. He should be suspended, or retire, or something.

Q: Are players allowed to punch each other in the head?
A: This rule’s caused a lot of confusion, but I’m going to break it down. Players are not allowed to punch each otherunless they’re small. It’s that simple.

Q: Allen Iverson’s got the crowd booing me. Can I hit him with a technical?
A: Come on, that was funny! Sometimes, our officials need to learn to laugh.

Q: What’s all this traveling violation stuff? Isn’t the visiting team always traveling?
A: Traveling is when you take too many steps while holding the ball.

Q: Come on! How many steps?
A: Too many!

Q: It doesn’t seem like you know…
A: Who made up these questions!

So there you have it. This should help even the best and brightest of our officials get the calls right each and every time. Except traveling. They’re on their own for that.

Matt Rogers - Bio coming soon.

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