By Hoops

This week, I thought I might really stir things up by writing about something that usually creates a great deal of discussion and debate within the basketball community - referees - and what exactly might make a 'good referee'.

Hoops decided to do some talking to players, coaches and fans and, not surprisingly, I found no shortage of people willing to express an opinion on this topic. What I found most surprising was that, out of the 15 people I surveyed with the same question at three different games, "What makes a good basketball referee?", not one mentioned anything about knowledge of the rules of basketball. It appears that the various officials clinics I see advertised, where I assume the referees get together to discuss rules and the interpretation of those rules, might not be necessary.

So what did I find out you ask? Here are some of the responses I most commonly received and, in most cases, these are quotes :

  • "someone you can talk to without being threatened with a technical"
  • "someone who doesn't think he/she is more important than anyone else at the game"
  • "someone who doesn't take it all, including him/herself, too seriously"
  • "someone who can be an official without being too officious" - I liked this one
  • "someone who seems to be giving a good consistent effort to be in position, no matter what game or level it is"
  • "someone who makes calls with confidence and who you can hear"
  • "someone who is not afraid to admit that he/she could have made a mistake"
  • "someone who seems to be enjoying refereeing the game " - I liked this one also

I also found it interesting that at least five people commented that they felt some officials do too many games and that they would like to see some other officials being given more games. I am not aware of how officials are assigned, but I have to admit that I do see the same referees at many different games and, as I heard from some people "it must be difficult to do so many games and still be sharp". However, we do know that there is an increasing number of games being scheduled and there are probably challenges covering all of them.

If I can conclude anything from this very unscientific poll, I guess it would be that, like many things in life, it appears that the ATTITUDE of the person plays a huge role in his/her ability to be what others would describe as a good basketball referee.

I would invite some of our basketball officials out there to weigh in on this topic.

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