Win, Lose or Tie

Even the fastest official is going to be beaten down the court at times, especially when the ball is stolen or intercepted up high.  When this happens the trick is to either win the race to the base line or lose the race to the base line.  What officials don’t want to do is to tie the race to the base line.  If there is a tie that often means the new lead official will be straight lined on the play.

We as officials are much better off to “lose” the race than to tie.  Losing in this case is not all bad.  It will yield a much better look than will tying.  In fact when the covering lead official realizes that he/she is not going to win he/she should begin to plan to lose and decide if he/she will be better off to just stop and observe or to “hook” in behind the shot to garner a better view of the play.  When the shooting sequence is over, find an open path to the baseline.

Don’t make this officiating mechanic a “cop out.”  Beat them there if you can.  Winning will probably yield the best look at the play.  But, if you can’t win then plan on losing to get the next best look.

The short video clip below illustrates a situation where the new lead realizes that he cannot win so he stops and gets a good look at the shot while “losing.”

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