One of the ways crews must work together is on Out of Bounds calls. How do you handle a situation where the ruling official needs help?
This is one area that one official can help out another official in making the correct ruling. Notice I didn’t say, “Here is a situation where one official can over-rule another official.” That is a very different topic and should never be done. Typically, if an official makes an error on a call, the rest of our officiating “team” is going to support the call of that partner. Never throw your partner under the bus because you will make it a very long night for the entire crew.
However, on out of bounds calls, when an official has definite information to bring to the calling official, the official is encouraged to bring that information to the calling official. This allows for there to be a conversation. The word ‘definite’ is critical here.
Let’s imagine the ball goes out of bounds on your line, the coach and the rest of the team is pointing one way (blue), and you point and say, “White ball.” Your partner approaches saying, “I think it went of the heel of 31 white.” This is not the kind of information that is going to be helpful. Now, not only is your original call being questioned, everyone in the gym is expecting for the call to be over turned and we don’t have 100% information. Only offer help on an Out of bounds call when you have 100% knowledge.
In the following video, there is one mechanics issues that would have made this call easier. The center official doesn’t quite make it down to the slot position (free-throw line extended). If he had made it to this position, he would have had the best view of this call and may have even offered information to lead about who’s ball it should be on the original call!
Now, for the final piece. The calling official is the ONLY official that can reverse the call. Sometimes we just miss it and this information saves us, but it is up to the calling official to change the call. Sound the whistle and point the new direction and we are ready to go. This is easy to do because the calling official was giving 100% information. Don’t leave them hanging with less than 100% knowledge!!!