It is important that officials “know the drill’ when a player fouls out of the game.

The scenario goes something like this. A1 fouls B1. The covering official reports the foul to the scorer. The scorer has the timer hit the horn. The scorer tells the reporting official that the foul committed by A1 is her fifth of the game.

The next step in the process is for the official to tell the coach that A1 has committed her fifth foul. That does not have to be a long conversation, nor does the official need to go all the way to the coach’s box to deliver this information. Anywhere in the general area will do.

Simply say “That’s five fouls on A1.” Then don’t hang around and exchange pleasantries.

Next, tell A1 that she has committed her fifth foul.

Turn to the timer and ask them to start the 20 second clock for replacement of the disqualified player A1. The warning horn should sound 5-seconds into the replacement period.

The reason for this process to be done in this order is that once you inform the coach that A1 is disqualified, A1, by rule, becomes bench personnel even as she still stands on the court. Should A1 send any profanity toward the calling official, not only is she charged with a technical four, but so is her head coach, indirectly.

If A1 spouts a profane epitaph directed toward the official before the official has a chance to inform the head coach, then only she is charged with a Technical foul.

Some calling officials feel squeamish about telling the head coach that a player has fouled out. ( I hope you do not all into this category) If you do fall in that category, just begin your switch and tell the official who is going to be table side that A1 has fouled out and they will assume the responsibility of notifying the coach and A1 and then starting the replacement clock. This mechanic should be talked about in the pre-game discussion. If you live in a state that stays table side after reporting, then go replace the opposite official and he/she will do your dirty work for you,

Two or three times a season we see or hear of a crew that shot a free throw before the player who fouled out was replaced. We even saw this in a Division I collegiate game last season. Invariably, we find out that the official who administered the free throw did not know that a player had fouled out.

So, make sure the whole crew knows that a player has fouled out.

Also, do you know the substitution exception that can occur while we all wait for the replaced player to report?

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