Basketball Knowledgebase

2023 AOS Basketball Meeting Content

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10/2/ 23 – Primary Coverage Areas – Steve Ramseyer
10/2/23 – Unusual game situations (Coming Soon) – Tom Glaser

10/23/23 – Handling Fights – Ron Kaye
10/23/23 – Conflict Resolution – Rich Parsons

10/30/23 – 2023-24 NFHS Basketball Rules and Points of Emphasis Updates – Dave Lopshire

Interesting Article – 25 Misunderstood Rules in High School Basketball

2023-24 NFHS Basketball Rules and Points of Emphasis Updates

Conflict Will Occur – My Mistakes & Lessons Learned – Rich Parsons , IHSA Clinician , 27 Years IHSA Basketball Official

“The trouble with referees is that they just don’t care which side wins.”  ~Tom Canterbury

Conflict Defined – Fight, Battle, War - Competitive or opposing action of incompatibles: antagonistic state or action (as of divergent ideas, interests, or persons) Mental struggle resulting from incompatible or opposing needs, drives, wishes, or external or internal demands.

Suggested Reading on Conflict Preparation – “Crucial Conversations – Tools for talking when the stakes are high”, by Kerry Patterson

Communication is Key – “The void created by the failure to communicate is soon filled with poison, drivel, and misrepresentation.” - C. Northcote Parkinson

Conflict exists between whom?

  • Between players
  • Between coaches
  • Between coaches & officials
  • Between officials – Arghh!
  • Between officials & the table crew
  • Between fans

Conflict – What do you do?

  • Pregame a must!
  • Communication is a must!
  • It is surprising that the things that are talked about in a pre-game occur at some point in the season.

Conflict – What do you do?

  • Recognize The Conflict – Voice, language, body language, expressions
  • Diffusing The Time Bomb – How Is It Done? – Communication, consistency, understand consequence of calls, work hard, humor (be careful with this)
  • Sharpen Your Skills – What Skills Are Needed? – Communication, rules knowledge, demeanor

“If I listen I have the advantage. If I speak, others have it.” – Confucius

No video of what is being said by the official! If they are both talking, who is listening?

Lessons Learned

  • As an official – One can scratch coaches – “don’t trouble, trouble!”
  • “You can’t always get what you want.”
  • Communication is key – Not lack of
  • Speak when spoken to
  • There are more important things in life than officiating a game! Faith, Family, Job
  • Is that any way to support an official?
  • Is that any way to speak to your boss?

Watch video: Full Stare Down Between Iowa Coach, Fran McCaffery, and Referee

Handling Fights – Ron Kaye


  • Preventative Officiating
  • Definition of Fighting
  • Instigatioon
  • Officials Actions
  • Fighting Situations
  • Bench Personnel Involvement
  • Complex Situations

Preventative Officiating

  • Take Control of Game to Prevent Fighting
  • Talk to Players
  • Take Action on Instigation
  • Talk to Captains
  • Talk to Head Coaches
  • Call Double Foul
  • Discuss with Game Management

Definition of Fighting

  • Rule Book 4-18, 10-5
  • Case Book 10.5
  • Fighting is a flagrant act and can occur when the ball is dead or live. Fighting includes but not limited to combative acts such as:
  • An attempt to strike, punch or kick by using a fist, hands, arms, legs or feet regardless of whether contact is made.
  • An attempt to instigate a fight by committing an unsporting act that causes a person to retaliate by fighting.
  • Fighting is a flagrant foul which means ejection.


  • Unsporting acts by themselves are technical fouls which result in two free throws for the opponent.
  • Unsporting acts which result in retaliation by fighting are considered fighting and result in a flagrant foul/ejection.

Officials Actions

  • Maintain Composure
  • Do not get involved physically. “Don’t touch players”.
  • Immediately ask Head Coaches to intercede.
  • Observe and take numbers. Who is fighting?
  • Which bench personnel entered the court?
  • Get help from Official Scorer.
  • Get together and discuss with partners.
  • How many technical fouls are issued.
  • Maximum Free Throws.
  • Assessing Official should notify assignor right after the game.
  • Assessing Official should also file a special report with the IHSA

Fighting Situations

Situation: A1 on offense sets a clean hard pick while using his forearms as protection. B1 falls to the ground yells an obscenity at A1 who continues to run down the court and says nothing.
Answer: B1 is issued a technical foul and Team A shoots two free throws and gets the ball out of bounds at the division line opposite table

Situation: After player B1 yells the obscenity at A1, A1 intentionally steps on B1’s leg A1 and falls on top of him.
Answer: A1 and B1 are both ejected for fighting. No free throws are shot. Ball put into play at point of interruption.

Situation: B2 and A2 are on the court and come in and separate the players and restore peace.
Answer: A1 and B1 are issued flagrant fouls for fighting and ejected. No free throws are shot. Ball put into play at point of interruption.

Situation: B2 and A2 who are on the court and come in to separate and throw punches at each other.
Answer: All four players are given flagrant fouls and ejected. No free throws are shot. Ball put into play at point of interruption.

Bench Personnel Involvement

  • Bench personnel who enter the court are automatically ejected.
  • Head coaches who enter the court to break up a fight are not penalized.
  • Free throws are only shot if one team has more bench players that enter the court.
  • Maximum two free throws for leaving bench and just entering the court.
  • Free throws for entering and participating in fight if number from each team are not equal (Two for each additional person).

Bench Personnel Situations

Situation: A6, A7 and A8 enter the court and fight with B6, B7 and B8
Answer: All six players are ejected and each coach is issued 3 indirect fouls and are ejected as well and must leave the vicinity. No free throws. Ball inbounded at point of interruption.

Situation: A1 and B1 start fighting in front of B1’s bench. Coach of B enters the court and breaks up the fight
Answer: A1 and B1 are ejected. No penalty for coach. No free throws. Ball inbounded at point of interruption.

Situation: A2 and B2 start fighting and A6, A7 and B6 come off the bench to break up the fight but no punches are thrown
Answer: All five players are ejected. Coach A and B are given one indirect technical foul. Due to one extra player involved team B shoots two shots and inbounds to ball at the division line opposite the table.

Situation: A3 and B3 start a fight and A6 enters to court to observe and B6 enters to court and gets involved in the fight
Answer: All 4 players are ejected. Each coach is given one indirect foul. No free throws are shot and ball in inbounded at the point of interruption

Complex Situations

Situation 1:  A1, B1 and B2 are on the court and participate in a fight. A6, A7 and B6 come off the bench to join the fight.

  • Do we shoot free throws based on the players involved in the fight?
  • How many indirect technical fouls are assessed to the coaches?
  • Are any free throws awarded based on indirect technical?
  • How many players are ejected?
  • How many team fouls are assessed to each team?
  • Where is the ball put in play?

Answer 1:

  • Team A shoots two free throws for having one less court player in the fight.
  • Team B then shoots two free throws for having one less bench person join the fight.
  • Coach A is assessed two indirect technical fouls for the two players leaving the bench and participating in the fight.
  • Coach B is assessed one indirect technical foul for the player leaving the bench and participating in the fight .
  • Six players are ejected and the coaches lose the coaching box.
  • Each team is assessed three team fouls.
  • Ball is put in play at with a throw-in by Team B at the division line opposite the table.

Situation 2:  B Coach is given a Technical foul and then A1 and B1 who are on the court get into a fight.

  • A6 come off the bench, but doesn’t participate in the fight.
  • Who is ejected from contest?
  • How many free throws shot?
  • Who inbounds the ball and where?
  • Who loses the coaching box?

Answer 2:

  • A1 and B1 are ejected for fighting. These off set, no free throws.
  • A6 is ejected for coming off the bench.
  • Coach B loses the coaching box for the direct technical foul.
  • Coach A loses the coaching box for the bench technical when A6 comes off the bench. (Indirect)
  • Two free throws are shot by team A with the lane cleared.
  • Two free throws are shot by team B with the lane cleared
  • B inbounds the ball opposite table at mid court.
  • Key is that you administer penalties in the order they occurred

Primary Coverage Areas – Steve Ramseyer

Level 1 – Two Person

Level 2 – Three Person

25 Misunderstood Rules in High School Basketball

  1. There is no 3-second count between the release of a shot and the control of a rebound, at which time a new count starts. Comment: We officials know this, however……..
  2. A player can intentionally go out of bounds and return inbounds but cannot be the first to touch the ball.  However, they cannot go out of bounds to avoid a violation.  A player who is not a dribbler in control can keep (tap) a ball inbounds, go out of bounds, and return inbounds and play the ball.
  3. There is no such thing as “over the back”. There must be contact resulting in advantage/disadvantage. Do not put a tall player at a disadvantage merely for being tall!
  4. “Reaching” is not a foul. There must be contact and the player with the ball must have been placed at a disadvantage.
  5. A player can always recover his/her fumbled ball; a fumble is not a dribble, and any steps taken during recovery are not traveling, regardless of progress made and/or advantage gained! (Running while fumbling is not traveling!) Comment: You can fumble a pass, recover it and legally begin a dribble. This is not a double dribble. If the player bats the ball to the floor in a controlling fashion, picks the ball up, then begins to dribble, you now have a violation.
  6. It is not possible for a player to travel while dribbling. Comment: Basketball Fundamental #6. Page 73 of the Rule Book.
  7. A high dribble is always legal provided the dribbler’s hand stays on top of the ball, and the ball does not come to rest in the dribblers’ hand. Comment: The key is whether or not the ball is at rest in the hand.
  8. A “kicked” ball must be intentional, and contact must be any part of the leg. Comment: MUST be intentional. We miss this too many times at the lower levels.
  9. It is perfectly legal for a player to rebound his/her own air ball, provided the official deemed the shot a legitimate shot. Comment: Case Book 4.44-B describes this play exactly.
  10. It is impossible to travel, double dribble or carry while taking the ball out for a throw in. I have seen officials tell athletes they can’t move on a throw-in. Why? This is not a rule. You have limitations but you can move. Comment: They must stay over the spot in a lateral manner. Rule 4-42-6 —- The spot is 3 feet wide and has no restrictions on depth.
  11. A ball cannot travel over the top of the back board, however, it can travel behind the backboard.Comment: The ball can pass through the poles, wires, standards, etc, provided that it does not touch anything.
  12. A defender does not have to “give the dribbler a step”. As long as legal guarding position has been established, it is up to the dribbler to avoid contact. The person with the ball should expect to be guarded.Comment: Legal guarding position is the key. Time and distance are not an issue when guarding someone with the ball. Rule 4-23-4.
  13. The sides, top, and bottom of a rectangular backboard are IN BOUNDS. Comment: Lead official should NEVER be looking to make this call…. Why?
  14. Jumpers may tap the ball simultaneously; may tap the ball twice; and when a legally tapped ball touches the floor, a player other than a non-jumper or (believe it or not) a backboard, the jump ball has ended, and either jumper may recover it! Comment: Rule 4-28-3
  15. A 10 second count continues when the defense deflects or bats the ball. Comment: The count ceases only when possession changes.
  16. A “moving screen” isn’t a violation unless there is contact. (If contact occurs, it’s a “BLOCK”, which is a foul.) Comment Rule 4-40
  17. Any contact foul during a live ball is personal, not technical! Comment: The contact can be flagrant, but never technical.
  18. Basketball is NOT a non-contact sport. Incidental contact does occur, and contact which does not create an advantage/disadvantage may be ignored. Contact on the shooter should be called. Comment: This is our bread and butter. Purely judgment. Understanding the flow or the game and the teams that are playing are paramount in you being able to determine correctly what is and what is not a foul.
  19. Any unsportsmanlike contact during a dead ball is a technical foul! Comment: See #17
  20. A defensive player does not have to be stationary to take a charge…. he or she simply must have established a legal guarding position. The defense can move backward and sideways. Comment: Legal guarding position must be established. OFFICIATE THE DEFENSE !!
  21. An intentional foul is always penalized with 2 free throws, except on a missed 3-point shot, which is awarded 3 free throws. Comment: Rule 4-19-3
  22. When an airborne shooter commits a player control foul, his/her successful try for goal cannot be allowed, regardless of whether the try was released before or after the foul! Comment: Rule 4-1
  23. Lifting the pivot foot does not constitute a travel unless the ball handler puts the pivot foot back on the floor prior to beginning a passing, or shooting the ball! The pivot foot cannot be lifted before the dribble is started. Comment: We miss this too many times! Hold your whistle until you see what transpires.
  24. It is not goaltending if, after contacting the backboard, the ball is touched by a defensive player, provided the ball has not reached it’s apex and it is not inside the cylinder. Comment: It is legal for a defender in the normal course of trying to block a shot, to contact the backboard with his hand. This is not basket interference. It is a technical foul only if, in your judgment, the contact with the backboard was intentional in nature with no real attempt to block the shot.
  25. Basket Interference occurs when: a player touches the ball or basket (net included) when the ball is ON or within the basket; touches the ball when it is touching the cylinder having the ring as its lower base; touches the ball outside the cylinder while reaching through the basket from below. Goal Tendingoccurs when: a player touches the ball during a try or tap while it is in its downward flight entirely above the basket ring level and has the possibility of entering the basket in flight; or an opponent of the free thrower touches the ball outside the cylinder during a free throw attempt. Comment: Touching the net is only a violation if the ball is in contact with the rim, or is within the basket. It is not a violation if the net is touch while the ball is in the cylinder. Again, the lead official should never have to make this call.