May 8, 2021

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NBA Referee Shortage – Playoffs at stake

NBA dealing with the ongoing NBA Referee Shortage in America is nothing new. But it seems that this time, it’s going to get way out of hand. What can be done about this?

NBA Referee Shortage

As a former competitive basketball player, I was involved in watching the NBA for nearly 20 years. As the years passed and I became more involved as a spectator and an official fan, there was only one thing that bothered me: the referee problems. The league, especially the Eastern Conference, has been notorious for having too many controversial calls to call when compared to the Western Conference.

 

In fact, there was one time when the entire game and even the coach of the defending NBA champions were questioned about some questionable calls. Don’t get me started on what an absolute mess that was for the league and the game. But it wasn’t just one team or one player; it was an entire conference. Coaches were fired, executives were asked to leave and major changes took place.

 

Now, the NBA has addressed this situation and promises to solve the NBA Referee Shortage. It’s just that not much has been done. Well, except for a new video coordinator. We saw this exact thing happen when officials didn’t call a Tom Cousin dunk. Cousin ended up with a suspension and the whole league came under fire because they hadn’t gotten that call right.

 

How can the officials let something go so bad? It’s not very likely that officials aren’t keeping up with technology and knowledge. It would only be natural to expect this from them, because they deal with the athlete’s every day. However, the refs still haven’t made any drastic improvements in call-making abilities. The player went to the free throw line and tried to shoot it. Needless to say, he misses.

 

How is that even possible? Is there a way to intentionally miss a shot in order to send a team closer to the foul line? This is yet another example of how the officiating has to get more sophisticated and better. If it weren’t for Cousin, this probably would have happened years ago.

COVID-19

As we look ahead into the future, it’s easy to see that the NCAA is going to need a few things. First of all, they need better video technology. Second, they need to hire someone who can communicate with the crew members. The last thing they need is a bunch of confused and upset officials on the sidelines. If you are a coach or an official, don’t you think that it’s time to try some technological advancements? If you use the Internet on your cell phone, why not use it to catch up on the real-time reports?

 

But what about the referees? Are they becoming too lenient when it comes to call? Are they being too lazy to penalize players for flagrant fouls? Coaches can review the plays they officiate and make comments about them before the game. It’s easy to hide all the whistles and warnings, but they can’t do that if the official camera is rolling. This will allow them to take a look at how they officiate and hopefully learn from their mistakes. It also allows them to look at things from another perspective and not have the other team know that the official is mic’d up.

 

Another possible upgrade is technology that will allow the officials to communicate with the players. Some of these devices already exist, but there is no telling how far they will evolve. If the official can see what the opposing team is up to then he or she can call a foul on the fly. This gives the official’s the advantage of a live communication with the players. It will give them time to think about a call before making it, which means a more honest and consistent officiating.