A momentary lapse in concentration catches the center official out of position to see this contact foul on the shooter.
The flow of a game, any game, has an effect on the officials and their interaction with the game. In exciting games, officials are more engaged (sometimes to a fault) and in less exciting games, officials can become disengaged (always to a fault).
There is a common philosophy that when a game is exciting, it’s time to slow down, be more patient, and take more time to process a call. However, in a slower game, or one that just doesn’t have that excitement, it’s time to ‘perk up’ and raise awareness in the game.
In the following play, while the game wasn’t exactly slow, it was settling into a moderate rhythm and the play was pretty good on both ends. After the ball had gone up and down a few times, this particular play happened. In a moment of broken concentration, slot is out of position. There is a drive to the basket, the shooter is hit on the arm, and…
Slot was not in position to referee this shot, and was definitely not able to referee the shooter’s arm, wrist to elbow. This is a contact foul in the middle of the lane that must be refereed by the slot official. Always make sure you get yourself in position, even when the game starts to slow down, or you feel yourself losing concentration. Stay Engaged!