Rule No. 2 -- Officials and their Duties
Posted Jan 30 2001 12:00AM
Section I-The Game Officials
a. The game officials shall be a crew chief and two referees. They will be assisted by an official scorer and two trained timers. One timer will operate the game clock and the other will operate the 24-second clock. All officials shall be approved by the Basketball Operations Department.
b. The officials shall wear the uniform prescribed by the NBA.
Section II-Duties of the Officials
a. The officials shall, prior to the start of the game, inspect and approve all equipment, including court, baskets, balls, backboards, timer's and scorer's equipment.
b. The officials shall not permit players to play with any type of hand, arm, face, nose, ear, head or neck jewelry.
c. The officials shall not permit any player to wear equipment which, in his judgment, is dangerous to other players. Any equipment which is of hard substance (casts, splints, guards and braces) must be padded or foam covered and have no exposed sharp or cutting edge. All the face masks and eye or nose protectors must conform to the contour of the face and have no sharp or protruding edges. Approval is on a game-to-game basis.
d. All equipment used must be appropriate for basketball. Equipment that is unnatural and designed to increase a player's height or reach, or to gain an advantage, shall not be used.
e. The officials must check the game ball to see that it is properly inflated. The recommended ball pressure should be between 7 1 /2 and 8 1 /2 pounds.
f. The crew chief shall be the official in charge.
g. If a coach desires to discuss a rule or interpretation of a rule prior to the start of a game or between periods, it will be mandatory for the officials to ask the other coach to be present during the discussion. The same procedure shall be followed if the officials wish to discuss a game situation with either coach.
h. The designated official shall toss the ball at the start of the game. The crew chief shall decide whether or not a goal shall count if the officials disagree, and he shall decide matters upon which scorers and timers disagree.
i. All officials shall be present during the 20-minute pre-game warm-up period to observe and report to the Basketball Operations Department any infractions of Rule 12A-Section IX-j (hanging on the basket ring) and to review scoring and timing procedures with table personnel. Officials may await the on-court arrival of the first team.
j. Officials must meet with team captains prior to the start of the game.
k. Officials must report any atypical or unique incident to the Basketball Operations Department by E-mail. Flagrant, punching, fighting fouls or a team's failure to have eight players to begin the game must also be reported.
Section III-Elastic Power.
The officials shall have the power to make decisions on any point not specifically covered in the rules. The Basketball Operations Department will be advised of all such decisions at the earliest possible moment.
Section IV-Different Decisions By Officials
a. The crew chief shall have the authority to set aside or question decisions regarding a rule interpretation made by either of the other officials.
b. It is the primary duty of the trail official to determine whether a field goal attempt shall count, if successful. If he does not know, he will ask the other officials for assistance. If none of the officials know, the official timer shall be asked. His decision will be final.
EXCEPTION: Period Ending Score or No-Score in Official's Manual.
c. If the officials give conflicting signals as to who caused the ball to go out-of-bounds, a jump ball shall be called between the two players involved. However, if an official offers assistance, the calling official may change the call.
d. In the event that a violation and foul occur at the same time, the foul will take precedence.
e. Double Foul (See Rule 12-B-Section VI-f).
Section V-Time and Place for Decisions
a. The officials have the power to render decisions for infractions of rules committed inside or outside the boundary lines. This includes periods when the game may be stopped for any reason.
b. When a personal foul or violation occurs, an official will blow his whistle to terminate play. The whistle is the signal for the timer to stop the game clock. If a personal foul has occurred, the official will indicate the number of the offender to the official scorer, the type of foul committed and the number of free throws, if any, to be attempted or indicate the spot of the throw-in. If a violation has occurred the official will indicate (1) the nature of the violation by giving the correct signal (2) the number of the offender, if applicable (3) the direction in which the ball will be advanced.
c. When a team is entitled to a throw-in, an official shall clearly signal (1) the act which caused the ball to become dead (2) the spot of the throw-in (3) the team entitled to the throw-in, unless it follows a successful field goal or free throw.
d. When a whistle is erroneously sounded, whether the ball is in a possession or non-possession status, it is an inadvertent whistle and shall be interpreted as a suspension-of-play.
e. An official may suspend play for any unusual circumstance (Rule 4-Section XV).
Section VI-Correcting Errors
A. FREE THROWS
Officials may correct an error if a rule is inadvertently set aside and results in the following:
(1) A team not shooting a merited free throw that will remain in play.
EXCEPTION: If the offensive team scores or shoots earned free throws as a result of a personal foul prior to possession by the defensive team the error shall be ignored if more than 24 seconds has expired.
(2) A team not shooting a merited free throw that will not remain in play. The error shall be corrected, all play shall stand and play will resume from the point of interruption with the clocks remaining the same.
(3) A team shooting an unmerited free throw.
(4) Permitting the wrong player to attempt a free throw.
a. Officials shall be notified of a possible error at the first dead ball.
b. Errors which occur in the first or third periods must be discovered and rectified prior to the start of the next period.
c. Errors which occur in the second period must be discovered and the scorer's table notified prior to the officials leaving the floor at the end of the period. The error(s) must be rectified prior to the start of the third period.
d. Errors which occur in the fourth period or overtime(s) must be discovered and rectified prior to the end of the period.
e. The ball is not in play on corrected free throw attempt(s). Play is resumed at the same spot and under the same conditions as would have prevailed had the error not been discovered.
f. All play that occurs is to be nullified if the error is discovered within a 24-second time period. The game clock shall be reset to the time that the error occurred.
EXCEPTION (1): Acts of unsportsmanlike conduct and all flagrant fouls, and points scored therefrom, shall not be nullified.
EXCEPTION (2): If the error to be corrected is for a free throw attempt where there is to be no line-up of players on the free throw lane (flagrant foul, clear path-to-the-basket foul, punching foul, away-from-the-play foul in last two minutes) the error shall be corrected, all play shall stand and play shall resume from the point of interruption with the clocks remaining the same.
B. LINEUP POSITIONS
In any jump ball situation, if the jumpers lined up incorrectly, and the error is discovered:
(1) After more than 24 seconds has elapsed, the teams will continue to shoot for that basket for the remainder of that half and/or overtime. If the error is discovered in the first half, teams will shoot at the proper basket as decided by the opening tap for the second half.
(2) If 24 seconds or less has elapsed, all play shall be nullified.
EXCEPTION: Acts of unsportsmanlike conduct, all flagrant fouls, and points scored therefrom, shall not be nullified and play will resume from the original jump ball with players facing the proper direction.
C. START OF PERIOD-POSSESSION
If the second, third or fourth period begins with the wrong team being awarded possession, and the error is discovered:
(1) after 24 seconds has elapsed, the error cannot be corrected.
(2) with 24 seconds or less having elapsed, all play shall be nullified.
EXCEPTION: Acts of unsportsmanlike conduct, all flagrant fouls, and points scored therefrom, shall not be nullified.
D. RECORD KEEPING
A record keeping error by the official scorer which involves the score, number of personal fouls and/or timeouts may be corrected by the officials at any time prior to the end of the fourth period. Any such error which occurs in overtime must be corrected prior to the end of that period.
Section VII-Duties of Scorers
a. The scorers shall record the field goals made, the free throws made and missed and shall keep a running summary of the points scored. They shall record the personal and technical fouls called on each player and shall notify the officials immediately when a sixth personal foul is called on any player. They shall record the timeouts charged to each team, shall notify a team and its coach through an official whenever that team takes a sixth charged timeout and shall notify the nearest official each time a team is granted a charged timeout in excess of the legal number. In case there is a question about an error in the scoring, the scorer shall check with the crew chief at once to find the discrepancy. If the error cannot be found, the official shall accept the record of the official scorer, unless he has knowledge that forces him to decide otherwise.
b. The scorers shall keep a record of the names, numbers and positions of the players who are to start the game and of all substitutes who enter the game. When there is an infraction of the rules pertaining to submission of the lineup, substitutions or numbers of players, they shall notify the nearest official immediately if the ball is dead, or as soon as it becomes dead if it is in play when the infraction is discovered. The scorer shall mark the time at which players are disqualified by reason of receiving six personal fouls, so that it may be easy to ascertain the order in which the players are eligible to go back into the game in accordance with Rule 3-Section I.
c. The scorers shall use a horn or other device unlike that used by the officials or timers to signal the officials. This may be used when the ball is dead or in certain specified situations when the ball is in control of a given team.
d. When a player is disqualified from the game, or whenever a penalty free throw is being awarded, a buzzer, siren or some other clearly audible sound must be used by the scorer or timer to notify the game officials. It is the duty of the score-keeper to be certain the officials have acknowledged the sixth personal foul buzzer and the penalty shot buzzer.
e. The scorer shall not signal the officials while the ball is in play, except to notify them of the necessity to correct an error.
f. Should the scorer sound the horn while the ball is in play, it shall be ignored by the players on the court. The officials must use their judgment in stopping play to consult with the scorer's table.
g. Scorers shall record on the scoreboard the number of team fouls up to a total of five, which will indicate that the team is in a penalty situation.
h. Scorers shall, immediately, record the name of the team which secures the first possession of the game.
Section VIII-Duties of Timers
a. The timers shall note when each half is to start and shall notify the crew chief and both coaches five minutes before this time, or cause them to be notified at least five minutes before the half is to start. They shall signal the scorers two minutes before starting time. They shall record playing time and time of stoppages as provided in the rules. The official timer and the 24-second clock operator shall be provided with digital stop watches to be used with the timing of timeouts and in case the official game clock, 24-second clocks/game clocks located above the backboards fail to work properly.
b. At the beginning of the first period, any overtime period or whenever play is resumed by a jump ball, the game clock shall be started when the ball is legally tapped by either of the jumpers. No time will be removed from the game clock and/or 24-second clock if there is an illegal tap.
c. If the game clock has been stopped for a violation, successful field goal or free throw attempt and the ball is put in play by a throw-in, the game clock and the 24-second clock shall be started when the ball is legally touched by any player on the court. The starting of the game clock and the 24-second clock will be under the control of the official timer.
d. During an unsuccessful free throw attempt, the game clock will be started when the ball is legally touched. The 24-second clock will be reset when player possession of the ball is obtained.
e. The game clock shall be stopped at the expiration of time for each period and when an official signals timeout. For a charged timeout, the timer shall start a digital stop watch and shall signal the official when it is time to resume play.
f. The game clock and the scoreboard will combine to cause a horn to sound, automatically, when playing time for the period has expired. If the horn or buzzer fails to sound, or is not heard, the official timer shall use any other means to notify the officials immediately. If, in the meantime, a successful field goal has been attempted or a personal foul has occurred, the Crew Chief shall consult his fellow officials and the official timer. If the official timer states that time expired before the field goal attempt left the player's hand(s), the field goal shall not count. If the official timer states that time expired before the personal foul occurred, the personal foul shall be disregarded, unless it was unsportsmanlike. If there is a disagreement between the officials and the official timer, the field goal shall count and the personal foul shall be penalized unless the officials have other personal knowledge.
g. In a dead ball situation, if the clock shows :00.0, the period or game is considered to have ended although the horn may not have sounded.
h. Record only the actual playing time in the last minute of the first, second and third periods.
i. Record only the actual playing time in the last two minutes of the fourth period and the last two minutes of any overtime period(s).