As the lead, getting to the closed down position when the ball is at the top of the key or coming into front court across the basket line was talked about a great deal at this summer’s Dave Hall officiating camps.
Being closed down at the critical time is key to getting ball side before the ball gets to the post on the low blocks which gives the lead an open and believable look.
Officials who fail to be in the closed down position when the ball is up on top have 15 to 18 feet or more to go in their rotation compared to the twelve fee or fewer the closed down official has.
Often, the officials that don’t get closed down find themselves having to run across the lane in order to get there in time. Running promotes the bouncing of the eyeballs and makes it difficult to back out of a rotation if the situation calls for them to do so.
The clip below shows the Lead official closed down when the ball enters front court on the other side of the basket line. He starts a rotation, then pauses in the middle of the rotation when it appears that the status of the ball may change and then continues the rotation to be ball side at the appropriate time