If you haven’t started getting ready for camp, there is no better time than now!  Here is Part I of a multi-part review of some important concepts that will help you get better games…  To start us off, here is an old post about trusting your partners and refereeing your Primary Coverage Area!

Primary Coverage Area

Primary coverage areas are designed so each official can trust that the whole court is covered no matter where the ball is.  Trust your partner is refereeing in his primary coverage area, and your partner will trust you are refereeing yours.


Before the discussion of the following play, it needs to be said that this particular crew is excellent.  In watching the entire game tape, they display great communication, call selection, and game management.  However, even the best officials have a breakdown once in a while.


Play Analysis

There are several things to look at in the this video.  First, the Lead official in this video does make a call outside his Primary Coverage area.  The airborne shooter was above the free throw line extended, making this call in the PCA of the trail official.  The coach is even quick point out that the trail official was right in front of the play and you can see him ask, “Why did you make this call when you partner is right there!?”


Well, there is always more to it.  Second, the trail official didn’t move with the play and ended up straight-lined.  The contact happened on the front side of the shooter and he was unable to see what caused the shooter to fall down.  A call from him would have been a guess.  To get a better angle, he could have moved up a step as the players started to move down to the basket.  This is the idea of anticipating the play to keep an open look – Move to Improve!


The open look is the third point.   Yes, lead made the call outside his primary coverage area.  Yes, trail was in the wrong position.  However, Lead had an open look (from the camera angle, he was looking between the players) and knew 100% what caused the contact that made the airborne shooter fall down.  All of this taken together makes this call a crew saver.  The other coach would have had a much bigger problem with a no-call in this situation than this coach not being happy about where the call came from.  This is when you make the call outside of your primary coverage area – to save the crew!


And as a final note – I included the end of the video because I love how he immediately went to the coach after reporting the foul to explain what he had.   His report was very clear and everything that he does shows that he was confident in his call, then calm and collected in approaching the coach.