Jump-ball situations are exciting, but unfortunately sometimes the administrating referee is unable to toss the ball properly. Analysis indicates that 50% of the violations during the jump-ball are caused by a poor toss by the referee. In other words, they could have been avoided. Tossing the ball is something that needs to be trained on a regular basis, unlike what is currently the case.
It is crucial to understand that the jumpers are tense and will react easily on any movement caused by the referee. So therefore it is crucial to avoid any unnecessary movements.
A checklist for a successful ball toss:
a. Players are tense – avoid any extra movements
b. Style of tossing the ball is irrelevant (two hands – low or high, one hand – low or high)
c. It is more important is to have one solid upward movement to toss the ball
d. Level of the ball at the start – the lower the ball is – the longer it has to travel to reach the
e. Speed & intensiveness of the toss (lower starting point – more intensive and faster)
f. No whistle in the mouth when administrating the toss.
The non-administrating referee(s) have only very limited duties during the jump-ball situations. Even
so, from time to time we still witness obvious violations or administrating error(s) that are not officiated
properly. A possible reason is that the non-active referee(s) is not ready to react to any illegal actions
by the players or administrating errors by their partner. The active mind-set is the key for appropriate
coverage. The non-active referee(s) should remind themselves (self talking) to identify illegal actions
and the proper procedures that follow in case they take place.
A checklist for a successful coverage by non-active referee(s):
a. Call back the poor toss (too low, not straight, incorrect timing)
b. Call the violation if the ball is touched by jumpers on the way up (stealing the tap)
c. Call the violation if the non-jumpers are not staying outside the circle until ball is tapped legally
by the jumper(s).
d. Controlling the game clock (10:00) and the shot clock (24’’) – ensuring they are reset where a
violation is called before the ball is legally tapped.
e. Ensuring that any throw-in as a result of a violation by the jumper is placed in the new front
court, close to the mid court line.
f. Checking that the alternating possession arrow is set properly after one of the teams has
established the first possession of a live ball