The Art of Mechanics

I got on the bus recently and a young guy that lived in the neighborhood sat opposite me. We said hello to each other, but after a couple of stops, I noticed he kept glancing in my direction. I looked over as he looked at me and he said, “Are you a basketball referee?” I smiled, said yes and asked if I had officiated one of his games. He said no and we rode silently for another stop. Curious, I asked how he knew I was a referee. He said his uncle was a referee. I asked his uncle’s name but it wasn’t anyone I remembered. We rode another stop or two, the mystery driving me crazy, so I finally said, “How do you know I’m a referee”. He said, “You do the same thing my uncle does at home when you walk your dog”. I had to think for a moment before I realized, I practice my mechanics when I walk my dog in the evening. I don’t do it during the day, fearing people will think I’m crazy, but at night I have at it practicing my right and left hand mechanics.

I’ve been a referee for more than 20 years, but I still want to look sharp on the floor. I also work at using both hands so I never have to reach across my body to indicate direction or spot. It also means I avoid turning my back on players given certain plays and situations. The mechanics change for different levels of play so I practice that as well. There are few things worse than using the wrong mechanic during a game and, trust me, someone is sure to notice. Most importantly, crisp mechanics keeps you out of trouble. Sloppy mechanics are hard to understand by the table crew. Most often that causes them to ask you to repeat a call or a player’s number. Also, strong, sharp mechanics suggest you are clear about the call and, therefore, less likely to be challenged by a coach.

The same is true for your whistle and your voice. Blowing your whistle a mechanic. A loud, short blast always works best. Practice that as well. Wear a lanyard that matches your partner’s. Keep several types in your bag. Always have spare whistle and lanyard. “Always be Audible.” Be clear and direct in making calls and reporting information to the table and coaches. This also works well when talking to players. Your voice may be your greatest asset. Don’t be afraid to use it.

5 In 5 Quiz 6

5 referee questions in 5 minutes!

Test your Basketball I.Q.

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Respect and Basketball

A2 is fouled hard by B2 on a throw-in. The official calls the foul immediately and step towards the players. B2 walks away as A2 makes an inappropriate comment. The official says to A2, “I called the foul. I’ll watch further rough play. Calm down”. A2 turns to the official and repeats the comment. The official could have called a technical foul but didn’t. I believe the official realized A2 wasn’t being disrespectful just expressing an opinion. Is there a difference between being disrespectful and expressing an opinion? On a larger scale it might be call civil disobedience, i.e., taking a knee of raising a fist. Times have changed. 

I’ve been a referee for more than 20 years and a youth coach for 15 years. I’ve seen and felt the change. But often it doesn’t mean players don’t respect the official but simply they believe they have the fight to express their opinion. It doesn’t matter whether it’s right, wrong or inappropriate. It’s a perceived “right”. I am not condoning bad behavior, simply noting the change. If any action rises to the level of disrespect, it should be called. Nothing less should be expected or tolerated.

5 In 5 Quiz 5

5 referee questions in 5 minutes!

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Wayne Rodgers Services

It is with great sorrow and regrets that we announce the passing of our fellow official Wayne Rogers.

Funeral services for Wayne Rogers will be held Tuesday December 8th 2020.

Foster Phillips Funeral Home.

179-24 Linden Blvd Queens, NY 11434.

Viewing 9:00AM

Services 10:00AM

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A Working Basketball Official

A Work In Progress by Charles Lloyd

The following suggestions are based on the experiences of basketball officials and are not intended to be the complete or definitive list. Your suggestions and additions are encouraged.


1. Prepare your official’s equipment and bag at least 48 hours before game time, whenever possible. Make sure everything is cleaned and pressed! Take extra shoelaces.

2. When packing your bag, start with your feet and as you move towards your head, place the respective items in your bag as you “name” them on your body.

3. Avoid traveling with your partner(s) to the same assigned game. If you are delayed, neither official will arrive “on-time.”

4. Whenever possible, get the telephone number of game site and/or coach, site coordinator in the event, you are delayed or unable to cover your assignment.

5. Never accept an assignment that you cannot possibly get to on time.

6. Never take a later assignment that is so close to your first game, which may delayed or go into overtime.

7. Never turn back an assignment for a higher paying assignment.

8. Always leave enough time to arrive at the game site at least one [1) hour before game time. Don’t get the label” Don’t worry, he’s/she’s always late.”

5 In 5 Quiz 4

5 referee questions in 5 minutes!

Test your Basketball I.Q.

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Filed under Comments, HS Basketball, IAABO, Officials, PSAL

The New S.N.A.P.


Thursday 12-10-2020

Welcome to the SUBOA New Applicant Program. We’ve made changes. We had to because of Covid-19. We also wanted to embrace the the world we now know so classes are offered via Zoom, Google Classroom and in conjunction with IAABO University. We feel IAABO University provides a robust online learning opportunity which we can enhance with “hands-on” education. Okay, computer contact isn’t hands-on but we still provide learning on a personal, face to face way with the ability for you to ask and answer questions. Please, take advantage of our 50 years of training basketball officials!

  • NYSUBOA SNAP Fee – $100 – Live, online lessons and email support.
    • Includes Rule &  Case Book. 
  • NYSUBOA Floor Fee – $50 – Floor work provides mechanics, game practice and floor exam. Students must provide their own uniform.* 
  • IAABO University – $50 fee – for online class and certification exam.
  • NYSUBOA Member Fee – First year FREE!
  • $50 due before first class – Class Fee Total – $200
  • Pre-Registration Required. 

Class includes NYSUBOA – SNAP Lessons (10) in conjunction with IAABO Sessions (10). NYS-SNAP Lessons REINFORCE IAABO U Sessions online by “Teaching the Book Rule By Rule”. Review, Test Prep and IAABO Certification Test included. 

NYSUBOA SNAP Online Learning – Class Dates 

Thursdays – December 10, 17, January 7, 14, 21, 28, February 4, 11.

IAABO U – Online Learning – Mondays – self paced – MANDATORY. All student questions submitted by email Monday and Tuesday to NYSUBOA Instructors will be answered by email before Thursday NYS-SNAP Class. 

NYS-SNAP Applicants will be required to take the IAABO Certification Exam February 26, 2021. IAABO Certification due by March 1, 2021.

Class starts in December and prepares NYSUBOA SNAP applicants for AAU and Spring/Summer basketball. Work during the Spring/Summer will prepare applicants for a Fall 2021 PSAL schedule. It is assumed Covid-19 will eliminate Winter PSAL basketball. If there is a delayed season, applicants will be eligible for PSAL JV upon successful certification and completion of the NYSUBOA Floor Exam (TBA). 


William Modeste – – 914.980.7099

Fred Ellis – – 917.756.1265

Melvin Nelson – – 917.974.2590

Charles Vasser – – 347.375.4228


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