February 6, 2006

TO: Basketball Officials

SUBJECT: Basketball Memo #4

As we head into the final week of our regular season, there are several situations that I want to communicate with you prior to the start of the tournament.  It has been a great season with many very competitive games and conference races.  I want to thank everyone for your cooperation and continued efforts towards teaching and demonstrating appropriate role modeling and sportsmanship.  Just remember that CONDUCT COUNTS!

RESUMING PLAY---Officials need to check to make sure the cheerleaders are properly off the floor prior to resuming play following a time-out or quarter break.  It is also good officiating to quickly count the number of players on the floor to make sure a team does not have too many or too few.

TIME-OUT PROCEDURE---Officials need to be careful to make sure they have a clear area away from exiting players before giving a full time-out signal.  I am seeing numerous situations where an official makes physical contact with a player who is heading for their bench when you extend your arms in making the signal.  Just take a quick look around to make sure you are clear before making that signal.

FREE THROW POSITIONING--- A player who is not occupying one of the lane spaces may be legally positioned behind the 3 point arc behind the shooter and to the free throw line extended.  They are not allowed to disconcert the free throw shooter either verbally or physically.  Remember that that player may not break the plane of the arc line until the ball has legally touched the rim---same provision as the lane space occupants.

There is no rule governing how a player chooses to be positioned within one of the lane spaces as long as she is legally within her three foot space.  Which direction she faces or how she positions her foot, etc is irrelevant as long as she is not breaking the plane of her neighboring space and she does not enter the lane too soon.

YOUNG AND INEXPERIENCED OFFICIALS---Remember that there is no substitute for getting your nose in the rule book and studying and learning the rules.  Then if you hustle and execute proper mechanics, you have a good future ahead of you.  If you get a chance to work with a veteran official or even to have a veteran official observe and critique you---take advantage of that.  Be open-minded and seek suggestions or advice from people you respect.  If you wish for someone from one of the State Offices or one of our rule interpreters to observe you, please contact us and we will attempt to make some arrangement.

FINGERNAILS---Coaches should conduct a periodic check of your players to make sure no one is presenting a dangerous situation regarding long fingernails, etc.  By rule (3-7), the referee has the power to not permit a player to participate if in his/her judgment the fingernails constitute a safety concern.

BENCH OFFICIALS--- Just remember that the timer, scoreboard operator, scorekeeper, PA announcer etc. are considered  official bench personnel.  They need to conduct themselves in a calm and professional manner.  They should not be cheering or critical of the officials or calls being made or not made.

PRE-GAME CONFERENCE---Remember that the head coach is required to attend this meeting along with your team captains.  The head coach is expected to make himself/herself available at the 12 minute mark to participate in that conference.  There is no excuse for not being there!

SPORTSMANSHIP---Everyone needs to stay on top of the sportsmanship issue as the stress level builds with conference championships and tournament berths on the line.  We need to be tuned in not only for physical actions but also verbal comments being made.  Remember that the “CONDUCT COUNTS’ protocol must be followed for all tournament games. You are required to make plans to keep spectators off the floor at the completion of all games!

All tournament assignments for teams, sites, and officials have been made for the district and regional tournaments.  Please realize that there may be a few changes or adjustments which have to be made due to geography, neutral sites for regional finals, or other conflicts.  Please review the IGHSAU web site occasionally.  Have a great tournament series!

Mike Dick
Associate Director