18 ways to Help You Run & Serve the Game

1. As our confidence grows, so should our humility at twice the rate. Humility plus confidence is a beautiful combination. Those two forces are a double-edged sword. If you can filter your confidence with humility than you will avoid walking on the fine line between confidence and arrogance. Confidence is a major key in being successful but having the humility to offset that is even more crucial.

Image for post

2. Don’t lower the bar for marginal contact at the rim. Set the bar high early. Have the pain tolerance to be able to take a punch and not have a glass jaw for contact. When plays are up in the sky let athletic players be athletic.

Image for post

3. When you develop others you are developing yourself. To leave a real footprint on this craft, find a younger official that is eager to grow and teach them the good habits that you’ve learned through your experience. Find the fulfillment in the success of the ones that you’ve helped. “Your growth before mine.”

Image for post

4. Your season is not defined by your postseason assignment. Do not be discouraged if you don’t receive the postseason game you thought you deserved. There’s a lot of good officials out there. Be the first to congratulate someone on their achievements.

Conversely, don’t get overly excited if you do. You’re only as good as your last game. Don’t get gassed. Stay even keel. If you step on the basketball court every time and treat each game as a championship game, then you won’t be disappointed if you don’t receive any at the end of the season.

Image for post

5. Be a responder. Not a REACTOR. Either you are one or the other. Either you control your situation or the situation controls you. When we react, it’s a rushed answer or a forced reply. To me, it feels like there is less time being spent on the decision without critical thinking. When we react, there usually is an emotion present that can cloud our judgment. Therefore, it shows our personal face rather than our professional one.

When we respond to a situation, or play, or a question, comment or concern it reveals our professional face and it allows us to control the situation. A response is a counter punch. A response doesn’t waste any time thinking about the problem, it focuses on finding the answer. Taking a moment to process the situation first, then responding accordingly in a positive manner.

The next time you feel duress:

Take a deep breath.


Then Respond.

It will help improve your play-calling, communication, game management and much more.

Follow these order of operations on the basketball court and you will start to see and feel more patience, poise, confidence and you will be in control of the critical moments of the game. Reaction vs Response is also available in podcast form. Click below for full episode.https://cdn.embedly.com/widgets/media.html?src=https%3A%2F%2Fanchor.fm%2Fcrown-refs%2Fembed%2Fepisodes%2F48-REACTION-VS–response–A-Camp-Recap-with-SADE-ALLEN-e4iqfr&url=https%3A%2F%2Fanchor.fm%2Fcrown-refs%2Fepisodes%2F48-REACTION-VS–response–A-Camp-Recap-with-SADE-ALLEN-e4iqfr&image=https%3A%2F%2Fd3t3ozftmdmh3i.cloudfront.net%2Fproduction%2Fpodcast_uploaded_episode400%2F1276209%2F1276209-1563922597621-58556b9af1bf3.jpg&key=a19fcc184b9711e1b4764040d3dc5c07&type=text%2Fhtml&schema=anchor

Image for post

6. Coaches never behave the same way. But we have to deliver that professional service every time. The behavior of the coaches are similar to Steph Curry’s jump shot-they have unlimited range. The broad scale of personalities that we can encounter on any given night can vary like a weather forecast. Be prepared to hear a range of comments from ”this is the best crew all year” to ”you’re the worst ref I’ve ever seen” and everything else in between.

We, on the other hand have to bring a certain excellence and professionalism every single night. We hold the responsibility to be the more effective communicator for the game. There can be no lapses or inconsistencies in our service. “We treat everyone like ladies and gentlemen, not because they are. It’s because that’s what we are.”

Image for post

7. Explanations should contain basketball terminology.

Include this terminology when giving explanations to players and coaches:

Act of shooting | Airborne shooter

Freedom of movement | Displacement

Offensive initiated contact | Vertical defender

Established | Maintained | Legal guarding position

Laterally | Obliquely | Moving forward

Illegal contact | Incidental contact

Unnecessary |Excessive | Severe contact

Wind up| Impact | Follow through

Time and distance| open angle

Point of contact | closed look

Vulnerable position | Potential for injury

Jumped A to B | Jumped straight up

Verticality |Vertical plane | Defender wasn’t vertical

The shooter has the right to land| Landing space

Defender was retreating | Designated spot

Continuous motion | Before the shot

Fumble | Interrupted dribble

Player control | Team control

Point of interruption |Ball is at disposal

Correctable errors | Tap or Try for goal

Pivot foot | 3 steps

Unsportsmanlike conduct | Taunting

Clean strip | Screener too wide

Live ball | Dead ball

Image for post

8. Be genuinely happy for someone when they move up. Be the first person to congratulate a peer that moved up to the conference that didn’t hire you. These are the moments to let your humility shine and be a great partner both on and off the court.

Image for post

9. Sometimes, plays have elements of a foul but never evolve into anything illegal. For instance, the quick grab that never turns into a hold, the push off that doesn’t create any displacement, the tactile touch that doesn’t turn into a hand check. We are speaking about the incidental that never becomes illegal. Let it start-develop-finish then decide. Have a big picture view of plays.

Image for post

10. Be your own worst critic but your biggest champion. Diagnose what your weaknesses are and focus on improving them. Identify what your strengths are and triple down on them. No one has more context on you than you. Be your own biggest critic while always maintaining that ultimate self-belief.

Image for post

11. When we try to ”sell” a call it decreases our believability. We are not in the sales business and there is no reason to sell or oversell a call. As long as we are 100% certain when we blow the whistle, there’s nothing to prove. Referees oversell when they feel the need to prove that they got the call correct. If you don’t believe it, then we won’t believe it.

Just present strength, confidence, sharpness and conviction every time without over signaling. The less you overcompensate the more believable you become.

Image for post
Image for post

12. Own your third. Be selective when we call out of primary. According to Mark Wunderlich, NBA officials who call out of their primary have percentages that are lower than the worst play-caller on the staff. This means our correct call percentage on whistles outside of our primary would rank us at the very bottom. It’s important to be selective at picking and choosing which plays to call out of primary. That is one skill that can set you apart.

Here are three examples of potential plays to come get:

•plays that are game-changers.

•plays thay everyone in the gym sees except the closest official.

•During a fast break or mid-rotation when the crew is vulnerable.

There will be a few times each game that the crew will have to call out of primary. Just remember that our accuracy significantly decreases when doing so. Don’t come out of your primary to paint the corners. Throw a strike right down the middle.

Image for post
Image for post

13. Be very approachable and courteous yet firm. This is another great combination of styles to pair together. Serve them with kindess and an unwavering solidarity. This recipe will ensure that we hold and maintain the leverage.

Image for post

14. The most opportune time to approach a coach with any issues you have is following a time-out. This is one of the best moments to engage with a coach if they’re any issues that you need to address. There’s a 15–20 second window of time where you can usually catch a coach in her/his most calm state. This is when the coaches are most open to being good listenters. This is a golden opportunity for you to dictate the terms of the dialogue and RUN THE GAME. Execute this technique in a firm and courteous manner.

Image for post

15. Technical fouls should be emotionless. Our demeanor should appear calm and unphased. It can be perceived as an irritant if we point at the player that we called a technical foul on. What’s more, it can also be seen as ”taking it personal.” After you call the technical foul don’t provide any explanations until you report the foul to the table. We have to always put the game first and everything else follows.

Image for post

16. Half art/half science. Being a basketball referee is both an art and a science. The key is finding the perfect balance between both. First, you have to be a scientist. Our science is the rules, the mechanics, the positioning and any other area that develops your knowledge of the system. Once you’re a scientist then you can begin to find your way as an artist. The art is your application of the science. The play calling, the communication, the game management and the intangibles. It’s the blend of both that will make you special.

Follow me here…

You CAN’T be a great artist if you’re not a great scientist. You CAN be a great scientist but never develop as an artist.

The reason why you are a part of CROWN REFS is because you’re aspiring to be both a great scientist and an artist. Thanks for being here.

Image for post

17. Don’t let anyone’s actions or overreactions influence our decision making. Don’t get peer pressured into changing your mind when you hear yells, screams, groans, moans, complaints, disagreements and other reactions. Taking one second to doubt yourself is a complete waste of time. Stay focused, stay patient and respond accordingly.

Image for post

18. We’d rather be late and right than early and wrong. “It’s a good thing we are not on a time limit. The game is already hard enough.” That could be your response the next time a coach or player questions the timing of your whistle. It’s better to take an extra second to process and be correct on the plays that require more time to officiate.