Making a call, decision making and communication

Sometimes we underestimate the value of simple basic techniques in creating the solid foundations of successful basketball officiating at the top level. When blowing the pea-less whistle it is important to have enough air (force) in a short period to enter into whistle. This creates the strong decisive sound. Given the need to communicate verbally the decision after making the call, it is imperative we retain some air in our lungs.
Therefore following key points are important:
1. Technique how to blow the whistle – strong short blow (“spit”) into the  whistle – one time.
2. Release the whistle out of the mouth after making a call.
3. Indicating the relevant signals for the decision.
4. Support your decision verbally “Foul blue 5, offensive foul; Travelling etc…”
5. Less is more – remember less and once you indicate/state something, the power of the message is stronger (practice the key words and how to articulate them clearly).

Referees are to use official signals only. Where a referee is making a decision on a play and a no call situation eventuates, referees are not to demonstrate or use other signals for the ‘no call’. This is particularly relevant in such situations where your partner sees an illegal action on the same play due to having a different angle and actually makes a call.

When calling out-of-bounds plays referee should always support their decision verbally i.e. saying “blue ball” at the same time as showing the direction. This will be very useful if you accidentally point in the wrong direction.

It is important to communicate your decision to players and other participants clearly and quickly. In act of shooting situations people are eager to know whether there will be free throws or not. To
avoid confusion in these situations referees should communicate their decision immediately by using appropriate authorized signal.

Taken from: Fiba’s IoT Manual, August 2020

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