Standards for Observation

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Game Positioning/Pre-Game Positioning:  The official is in the proper position during live and dead ball situations, which includes reporting fouls, timeouts, and period intermissions.  During live ball action, the official is moving to adjust and react to developing plays and situations, always keeping proper angles to avoid being straight-lined on plays.  How did officials present themselves prior to game?  How did officials stand watching pre-game warm ups?  How did officials watch players warm-up?


NFHS Signals and Mechanics:  The official gives clear and authoritative signals in a smooth, relaxed style that projects confidence and does not draw undue attention to the official.  The official shall coordinate the voice and signals to give a professional appearance.  All signals and mechanics used are those prescribed in the NFHS Basketball Officials Manual and NFHS Basketball Rules book.  Did signals tell players and partners what is happening?  Were signals sharp to reduce possibility of confusion?


Consistency/Correctness of Calls:  The official is consistent and correct during a game (play to play, quarter to quarter, half to half) when having similar or like plays (consistency in routine calls).  Violations, fouls and no-calls at one end of the floor are consistent with the same types of plays being called in the same manner at the other end of the floor.  The official also works well with his or her partner(s) in building crew consistency during a contest when confronted with similar or like plays.  Did officials get good look at play or did official guess at call?


Decisiveness:  The official demonstrates a high level of confidence in their movements, calls, and non-calls.  The official is not timid or weak and projects confidence, decisiveness, and credibility during the contest.  Did official have good whistle quality to communicate confidence?


NFHS 2-Person or 3-Person Mechanics:  The official works the correct mechanics as prescribed in the NFHS Basketball Officials Manual during a scholastic contest.  The official uses the approved high school mechanics when working a high school game and does not use NCAA or NBA mechanics, which are different from those approved for high school play.


Crew Communications:  The official works effectively with other members of the crew through voice and signals during live and dead ball situations, with special attention given to end of period situations.  The crew comes together and discusses situations when appropriate, working together to get all plays called correctly.


Communication with Participants:  The official effectively communicates with all participants (coaches, players, substitutes, bench personnel) when appropriate.  This includes coach-official communication being done through the head coach and demonstrating a friendly, but firm, approach with all other game participants.  Did officials know the rules of management with a coach and the coaching box?


NFHS Playing Rules Application:  The official demonstrates proper understanding of the NFHS playing rules by consistently applying the rules and subsequent penalties when applicable.  The official does not confuse NFHS rules with other rule codes (NCAA, NBA) when working a scholastic contest.


Use of Common Sense:  The official demonstrates a use of common sense when applying the rules correctly and consistently.  The official understands the importance of player safety and manages the game accordingly.  The official understands the difference between fouls that have a significant impact on the play versus contact that has no bearing on the play.


Game Management:  The official maintains professional control during the contest, while not being overly aggressive or overbearing.  He/she effectively communicates as necessary with contest personnel and handles difficult situations appropriately (warnings, fouls, technicals, ejections, etc.) in light of the game situation.  Did officials take care of game, partners, and themselves?


Focus/Reaction Under Pressure/Poise:  The official has consistent concentration on the crucial elements throughout the entire game.  This includes giving attention to developing plays and situations.  The official demonstrates an awareness of all that is going on within a game and maintains positive body language during the contest, showing confidence and poise when the pressure of the game situation increases.  How did officials react to coach’s questions, crowd reaction, and to criticism in general?


Hustle/Movement:  The official displays movement with a purpose during a play to get into proper position to cover plays.  The distance to be covered by the official will often dictate the speed or method the official uses to get into position (i.e., running vs. jogging).  Was official a great "dead ball" official?  Did official keep eyes on the court and officiate the dead ball interval?


Demeanor:  The official displays a conscientious and earnest desire to carry out on-court duties.  He/she exhibits posture that reflects interest in the game.  It is taken for granted that during certain times in the game (timeouts, between periods, etc.) an official’s posture can be more relaxed, but not to the extent that a disinterest in the game is exhibited.


Appearance/Mobility:  The proper display of uniform as defined in the SDHSAA Officials Handbook is used during the game.  The uniform itself is clean and pressed, with shoes being polished.  The official demonstrates a fit and athletic appearance within the uniform.  NOTE: the only acceptable shirt for SDHSAA is the black and white striped shirt.  The official possesses the physical ability to move into proper position on the court to cover all possible plays for which they have responsibility.  Did officials keep up with the game?  Did officials jog up the floor, jog to report a foul, or stand and walk too much?


Fraternization:  The official avoids excessive, casual, and/or unnecessary conversation with coaches, student-athletes or other game personnel during the contest.  At no time is the official to converse with or address spectators during the game.