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Front Page » January 21, 2003 » Sports » The Black and White of Ref-ing
Published 4,107 days ago

The Black and White of Ref-ing


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By GARY ARRINGTON
Sports Reporter

Today let us take a look at officiating styles. Now I know what you are thinking to yourself "People in black shoes, black pants and black and white striped shirts have no style" and you may be right, but I'm not talking about if they are stylin' or not, I'm talking about how they decide what calls to make.

First, we need to define foul. By definition, a foul in basketball is the use of physical force that gives one player an advantage over another. For example, if I am a player and I run into you and knock you over as I steal the ball that probably is a foul. If I hit you, trip you, jump on you, hold you or the like, that is also probably a foul.

In reality though, a foul is a foul only if the stylin' guy says it is. If he doesn't call it, it isn't a foul. That's the way it is with other violations, they are only violations if they say they are.

In basketball, we generally have three different types of officials; the liberals, the protectionists and those who believe in equal rights.

First, in the mind of the equal rights official, everybody is guilty and everybody is going to get a foul. At the end of the game, each team will have a shot at approximately the same amount of free throws, which is probably about 25 to 30.

Next, if you get a set of liberals, you know that you are going home sooner because there will be very few free throws shot tonight. In this game the free throws again will be about the same, about 10 to 15 each.

Protectionists, on the other hand, are never a joy for anybody. Nothing they do makes sense to either team or to the fans. They have a tendency to call technical's quickly, make uneven calls and appear to be one-sided in their whistles. In this game, one team will shoot about 15 to 20 free throws while the other will double or even triple that amount.

So are officials fair? Actually most try to be, most are equal rights or liberal type officials. You just have to figure it out early in the game. Protectionists are usually not, you don't see them often but when you do you just *&%&*$#%.


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