This March Madness: Root for the Ref!

For hoop fans eager to embrace a bona fide March Madness underdog, this could be the year to finally do the unthinkable: root for the referee.

Unlike some of the tainted if successful programs run by conniving coaches featuring pampered if talented athletes, the referees actually represent virtues fans can whole-heartedly and unreservedly admire. Their mission is to administer fairness in a cutthroat environment where both sides are ceaselessly angling for an edge. Standing up for noble principles in the face of derision and abuse, the ref would seem to be exactly the kind of stalwart figure, the fearless sheriff laying down the law in Tombstone territory, that Americans normally applaud. Continue reading This March Madness: Root for the Ref!

A Tribute to the Longest-Tenured NBA Official

Inspirational stories about Dick Bavetta – 40 years in the league

Being inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame is arguably one of the greatest achievements anyone can accomplish after long-time involvement in the game we love. Ordinarily, this honor is reserved for players and coaches, but Dick Bavetta’s officiating career was anything but ordinary. As a crowning moment of his 4-decade long work, he joined an elite group of the NBA’s finest officials after his selection to the Hall of Fame in 2015. Continue reading A Tribute to the Longest-Tenured NBA Official

How to Lead a Pre-Game

One of my dear readers sent me this email the other day.

“I am the crew chief on a game this Thursday night.  High level […] game between two previous number one ranked teams […] (both were ranked number one at some point this season[…]).

My situation is that my partners on this game are 2 senior officials, one of which does primarily university men’s games.  As crew chief, I will lead the discussions regarding the pre-game and of course, engage my partners in this discussion. I expect them to participate in this important discussion. Continue reading How to Lead a Pre-Game

Your Biggest Enemy on a Game

Lots of referees hope their game will be easy. They think when there is a substantial margin between the teams, they have an easier job. Most of the times they are wrong. While a tied game seems more difficult, players have to focus on the game when they are head-to-head.

And when one team is losing by 30 points, they have nothing to lose. What’s more, they are frustrated! Continue reading Your Biggest Enemy on a Game

Steve Seibel: The Humble Power

On a hot summer afternoon in Antalya, Turkey, I had the chance to have a half an hour privately with undoubtedly one of the best referees in the world. Steve Seibel blew the whistle on FIBA Americas Championships, World Championships, Olympic Games. He was the crew chief of the final of the 2014 FIBA World Championship. Continue reading Steve Seibel: The Humble Power

9+1 Tips to Enhance In-Game Memory

How much do you remember from your last game? If someone asked you, how correctly would you be able to name the best players from each team? How often do you forget about a situation the observer tells you on the post-game?

In-game memory shows an important factor in officiating. The better memory you have, the more likely you were there and present in the game. You were focused on the situations at hand, and you were in sync with what happened. Continue reading 9+1 Tips to Enhance In-Game Memory

The Power of Cooperation

There are a lot of misconceptions about officiating. I’m sure I still have some, and the one I definitely learnt in the past couple of years is that a referee is not on the game to keep order on the court. The referee is not on the game to call everything he sees according to the rule-book. The referee is not on the game to apply proper mechanics. And the referee is definitely not on the game to be a nominee for the best actor award.

The referee is on the game to cooperate. Continue reading The Power of Cooperation

Active Mindset Wanted

Just came home from Turkey, Antalya. The place was excellent, like if people wanted to build this hotel for sports camps (and maybe they did). I was honored to be a lecturer on the 12th camp with referee icons like Costas Rigas, Carl Jungebrand, and Stephen Seibel. Continue reading Active Mindset Wanted

The 3×3 Experience

Photo credit: FIBA 3×3

I didn’t know it was so cool! Really, I must admit I had no idea how great games were there! I wasn’t alone with my thoughts on the FIBA 3×3 U18 World Championship in Debrecen last weekend. The city hasn’t seen bold basketball teams for long, and now they were happy to join the show. Continue reading The 3×3 Experience