Dave Hall is fond of saying “You manage the game or the game will manage you.”
He is so right. Most of the time when a game goes sideways it is our fault, as officials, and most of the time it was just some basic administrative task that we didn’t have the disciple enough to do correctly every time.
Here is one example of a simple officiating task that was not done and it cased the game to go south.
I saw a game last season where the offense was charged with a Technical foul for having six players on the floor. The technical was issued late in the game with the score tied.
Team A had called a time out. When team A was granted the time out A7 was at the table to substitute for A6. After the time out was over both A7 and A6 came back onto the floor. During the time out one told A6 that he had been replaced.
The officials did not count players before putting the ball at Team A’s disposal for the throw-in. The result was that Team A lost a critical possession, gave up two points of the foul shots and then Team B hit a three pointer.
Team A suffered a triple whammy, they lost the possession, they gave up two points and Team B scored, and that doesn’t take into account the fact that Team A wasted their last time out.
Yes. It is Team A’s job to make sure they don’t play with six players. But, we as officials know that we must always count the number of players on the floor after all substitutions, after all time outs and after all intermissions. Never assume a Team will start a quarter with 5 players or will return after a time out with 5 players. Count!
Make it a goal for the 15-16 season to become a game managers and player counting is a good place to start.
Manage the game!