REFEREES, SCORER’S TABLE AND COMMISSIONERS
by Valentin Lazarov
FIBA referee from 1958 to 1982 and an function of numerous direct or indirect
Honorary Member in 1976, Valentin factors. This could be illustrated with the
Lazarov became FIBA Commissioner in following pseudo-mathematical formula:
1983. A member of the FIBA Technical Q = (A + B + C + D + E + F + G + H)
Committee since 1976, he received the x X x Y x Z.
prestigious Radomir Shaper Award,
which is given for outstanding contribu- Where:
tion to basketball rules and the game of Q = Level or quality of performance of
basketball. the Official
A = Physical fitness
INTRODUCTION B = Correct criteria for physical
In the course of the last few years, we contacts
have witnessed an exceptional progres- C = Knowledge of the psychology of
sion and growing popularity of basket- players, coaches, fans
ball all over the world. D = Knowledge of the rules and
Contemporary modern basketball is a interpretations
spectacular and harmonious combina- E = Knowledge of offensive
tion of sheer speed, excellent athletic and defensive tactics
qualities, aggressive defenses, and bril- F = Teamwork
liant player techniques. G = Mechanics of Officiating
It is quite natural and logical to affirm H = Knowledge of the work of the table
that the development of the game is officials
closely connected with the development X = Coefficient for talent and
of officiating. Consequently, when one personality
speaks about "modern basketball," it is Y = Coefficient for ambition, strong
necessary to mention the term "modern will, and courage
officiating." Modern officiating means Z = Coefficient for personal chance
the birth of new and additional require-
ments for the officials. Of course, this formula is only an illus-
My intention in this article is to update tration and its aim is to show in which
and systematize the new demands and areas and on which elements the IMPORTANT REMARK
requirements for game officials, since efforts of young and ambitious referees In the following material, I am presenting
the referees are the people who are should be concentrated in order to only a brief summary for each factor,
actively involved in the application of the achieve perfection in their perform- underlining only the major points. The
latest tendencies in the development of ance on their way to becoming TOP reason for that is that each factor repre-
the game on the court. OFFICIALS. sents a separate lecture lasting between
1 and 4 hours, including diagrams and
FACTORS INFLUENCING THE PERFORMANCE The formula could also be very useful for examples from practice.
OF THE OFFICIALS highlighting the main topics in the agen-
In modern basketball, the level of the da for clinics for candidates for FIBA ref- A. PHYSICAL FITNESS
official's performance is a complex erees. The referee must follow the action on the
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court as closely as possible and be in an official cannot observe directly when a action also has a psychological effect on
optimal position in order to make accurate foul is committed, but they presume that the reaction of players, coaches, and
judgements. There is a high correlation in similar situations fouls are nearly fans. A 100% correct decision that is
between accuracy of calls and optimal always committed, so they whistle the called far away from the place of the foul
position of the official. This means that a play as a foul. or the out-of-bounds situation almost
top official must be as fast as-and in some Or, with today's players having excellent always provokes undesirable reactions.
situations even faster-the players. He technique, a call by presumption
must be in top physical condition. deprives a talented player of a brilliant The dynamic action of the players and
Very often it's the insufficient mobility of maneuver and a legitimate play in the the speed at which the ball can change
the officials that is the reason for some last second. hands requires constant concentration
calls. Being far away from the action, the The position of the official far from the by the officials during the whole game.
FIBA ASSIST MAGAZINE | 23 2006 | PAGE 31
REFEREES, SCORER’S TABLE AND COMMISSIONERS
On the other hand, the capacity for an past when the game was less dynamic one or more physical incidents of physi-
official to concentrate decreases sharply and aggressive. Nowadays, however, the cal contact between opponents.
once he becomes physically fatigued. officials' top physical condition has a However, only 10% to 15% of them are
The same is also valid for the speed of fundamental influence on their perform- sanctioned as personal fouls by the offi-
reaction of the referee, i.e. the speed of ance on the court. cials. That means that the referee's
his motor behaviour. approach to this selection must be rather
This process (showed in the diagram B. CORRECT CRITERIA FOR PHYSICAL Realistic than Literal.
below), however, could be considerably CONTACTS The art and the style of the official deal-
slowed down by some factors, of which The dynamic and attractive magnetism ing with the contact situations is gener-
the most important is physical fatigue. of modern basketball does not allow ally the most criticized area of the offici-
officials to interrupt the game too often, ating process (around 80%).
Finally, it would be useful to underline the since for both participants and fans an It is practically impossible to stop the
stimulating role of the pre-game warm- interesting game is an unbroken stream game at each personal contact since it
up (15 to 20 minutes), not only for main- of spectacular actions. The popularity will kill the attractive character of the
taining the consistent physiological con- of the game and its charm strongly game. Therefore, on the one hand we
dition of the official throughout the com- depends on the official's criteria for must try as much as possible not to dis-
petition, but also for reducing the fre- personal contact. turb the flow of the game and on the
quency and severity of muscle injuries. other we must follow strictly the rules
Statistics affirm that in contemporary and keep constant control of the game,
CONCLUSION basketball the number of physical con- as we do not want basketball game to
Top physical fitness is not theoretical in tacts have doubled and even tripled in become similar to a rugby game.
basketball officiating, but an absolute some instances. Almost every two to
necessity. It was not as important in the three seconds of the game, we witness All in all, a strict distinction should be
INPUT OUTPUT tacts, which are a
visual TRANSMISSION DECISION- TRANSMISSION COMMAND FINAL EFFECT: product of the nor-
perception OF INFORMATION MAKING OR TO CENTRAL MUSCLES WHISTLE mal course of the
of an TO BRAIN SELECTION NERVOUS OF MOUTH AND
action CENTRE BETWEEN MANY SYSTEM AND ARMS SIGNALISATION
game, and con-
DECISIONS tacts that degen-
erate into person-
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al fouls. What we understand by control of the game. CONCLUSION
"Officiating in the spirit of the game" is to Trying to apply this principle on the court, Knowledge of the spirit of the advan-
apply this quite difficult distinction suc- the Officials must be aware it is fully legal- tage/disadvantage principle and the
cessfully on the court. ized by FIBA Rules which state: "The mature and competent judgment of the
A lot in this area depends on the individual Officials should not seek to interrupt the Official in each individual contact situa-
TALENT of the official and his correct flow of the game unnecessarily in order to tion should be the KEY factor in deciding
FEELING for realistic approach. This also penalize personal contact that is inciden- whether the physical contact should or
is the boundary between the TOP and tal and which does not give to the player should not be considered as a personal
theSTANDARD referee. responsible an advantage nor place his foul (see the chart).
opponent at a disadvantage..."
Principle of Advantage / Disadvantage The final decision: "Foul or no foul" should
On the basis of all above-mentioned facts, Areas of Application be based on the answers to four basic
the classic advantage / disadvantage ▼ Attractive combinations. questions:
principle was created. It advises the offi- ▼ Direct drive towards the opponent's
cials to consider as personal fouls all basket. 1. What happened?
physical contacts which: ▼ Fast breaks. 2. Who is involved?
▼ Give an advantage to the player who ▼ Act of shooting. 3. Why did it happen or who was respon-
committed them or to his team. ▼ Passing the ball. sible?
▼ Cause a disadvantage for the oppo- ▼ Dribbling the ball. 4. WILL THIS AFFECT THE GAME?
nent's player or team. ▼ Loss of balance near boundary or cen-
I always add this very important point: ▼ Fight for position on the floor. The second part of the article
▼ Become systematic and risk leading to ▼ Loose ball on the floor. will be published
an escalation of roughness or losing ▼ Screens. on the issue N. 24 - January/February 2007.
FOR THE GAME
GAME FLOW GAME CONTROL
FIBA ASSIST MAGAZINE | 23 2006 | PAGE 33