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Friday, 01 July 2022
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Frank Irvins' Blogs

NBA Summer League: Video Break-down #1

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Let's look at the Trail position in this play.  Could the Trail be better in the PA?  Where is a good place for the Trail to officiate this play?

Generally, you'd want to stay on the court.  In this instance, it would be okay for the Trail to be off the court to referee the play momentarily.  But what would happen if there were players or even coaches that might be in the way?

Probably a better position adjustment would be to at the 29' hugging the sideline instead of being off the court.  Going down too low, will risk getting beat down on a fast break.

Great speed by the Trail.

Please let me know your thoughts.


Fouls at the End of the Game

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Gentry-NBCA-2018-site-.jpgOn January 6, 2020, Alvin Gentry and Pelicans hosted a game against Quin Snyder and the Utah Jazz.  It was an excellent game to watch as the Utah Jazz pulls off winning an impressive 11 out of 12 games.  The officials on the game were Crew Chief Kane Fitzgerald (#5), Referee 1 Mitchell Ervin (#27) and Referee 2 Matt Myers (#43).  We’re going to review the last play of the game as some critics claims that our crew for the game missed a foul at the end of the game.  We’d like your feedback as to how you feel about this article, the correct no-call or in-correct no call, and even if there was a call who would be the calling official towards the end of the game.

Take a moment to watch the final clip of the game before you read on.




With only 5.4 seconds remaining in the game, Brandon Ingram from the Pelicans rebounds off of a missed 3 pointer by Bojan Bogdanovic from the Jazz and races pass everyone up the court.  You can tell from the intensity in his body that he was going to take the ball straight to the basket.  As he went up for the layup he was denied by Rudy Gobert as time expired. Ingram believe he was fouled on the play and should have received 2 foul shots with little time remaining on the game clock. 


On the replay, it was clear that Gobert hacks Ingram across the arm while there's still time left on the clock. Or if you look closely at the image which is right before he was hit across the arm.  Does that look like he is loosing control of the ball?  Does this image shows that the shot is being attempted to be shot off of his arms instead of his hands?   However, the referees didn't call a foul, and the Jazz celebrated their win.  There was an official review at the end of the game.  The review was not because of the non-call, but to make sure that there were no time remaining on the clock when the ball fell out of bound. 

In that specific play, Kane Fitzgerald was the new lead, Matt Meyers was in the slot and Mitchell Ervin came up at the end as the new trail official.  Our crew did a great job in the game, but that last play was a tough play.  As an official, you should already visualize Fitzgerald’s angle on the play.  What do you think?  Was there enough on that play for Fitzgerald to put Ingram on the line to tie the game?  Or even better that that.  Do you think there was a chance for that ball to be scored successful?


Take a look at the top angle on that play, which tells the best story.  The top angle shows Gobert’s body pushes Ingram as Ingram drives to the basket.  In a different replay shows that if Kane was on the table side of the baseline, he might have a better look on that play.  It might be enough for Fitzgerald to call a foul.

As an official I think we’ve all been at a point in the game which we accidently tune out of the game here and there.  Innocently, most of the time nothing was missed, as the exchanges in baskets back and forth from both teams hypnotizes you into a cruise control trance.  It doesn’t take much of you losing your concentration, but for a split second in the game for you to miss an unnatural play.  The worst part of it all, is it was right in front of you, which you and the whole crew missed the play.  So, do you think that Fitzgerald missed the foul on this play?

As we freeze this play, you can see that lead had a great look at that play.  The slot also possesses a great angle which if a secondary whistle was to be called would be a good call from the slot.  But is there a foul in this play.  We’ve always believed considering time, possession and score of the game, this is one that you want the team to win the game and not be decided by free throws for a foul call at the end of the game.  Then again there was an image early in the article which we showed Ingram losing control of the ball on the shot attempt.  A foul call would have bailed Ingram out of bad shot, to tie the game.  Unless it was something that was egregious or non-basketball play, this is the play of the game that Ingram needed to shine.  He had to finish this shot without the help of the referees.

Of course your questions, comments and suggestions are all welcome.   Please keep it civilized.


Missed Goaltend Call

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 We have another controversial ending to a game which involves Rudy Gobert, of whom we reviewed another controversial game ending play against the Pelicans in the previous article.  Unbelievable!  This time, its Gobert being tangled up against Damien Lillard.  Same scenario for Gobert as before against the Pelicans.  On February 7, 2020, the Jazz are up 2 points against the Portland Trailblazers with 19.5 seconds left in regulation.  Lillard drove into the lane and put up a shot off the glass that was still in flight towards the rim before Rudy Gobert slapped the ball against the glass.  A no-call on the play meant Lillard’s shot was recorded as a block instead of a goal tend.  That basket would have tied the game at 116-116 with 10 seconds remaining in regulation.  Instead the Blazers were forced to foul and would go on to lose the game.  If you want to watch the full game highlight here’s the link below. 












Our crew for the game were Crew Chief Josh Tiven (#58), Referee Brian Forte (#45) and Umpire JB DeRosa (#62) all of whom are excellent officials.  There were tweets all over Twitter clearly showing Gobert hit the ball while it was in flight.  Not only that, but the Last 2 Minute report also confirmed that Jazz wing Joe Ingles fouled Lillard with just over a minute left in the game.  No foul called.  By no mean that the missed goaltend and foul took the win away from Portland.  That’s why we play the game.  Anything can happen at any moment which can change the momentum.  It’s NBA basketball.  Let’s talk about dealing with the aftermath of a tough game. 


Sure, we all know that our crew missed calls in the final minutes of the game that were very crucial.  We’re not going to talk about the missed call, you can find discussions of that on Twitter.  Sometimes things get away from all of us when intensity rises in a game. Typically, from the middle to the end of the season, bad habits and fatigue become visible in our game.  If you’re a seasoned enough official, you’ve gone through a few games in your career where the ending just doesn’t feel right.  But let’s all learn from this game as an official. 

Let’s talk about the goaltend.  Brian Forte was the lead on table-side, JB DeRosa was in the slot, and Josh Tiven trailed the play.  At 13.3 seconds we can see the heads of the Trail and the Slot Officials were looking at the top of the play.  Definite missed call by both preferable officials.  Seldom call from the Lead, that if Forte was positioned closer to the court, he may have enough in his vision to have a cadence opinion on that play. 


Sometimes that even happens from teammates on the same team.  B3 goes up for a shot at the free throw line.  A2 and A3 are under the basketball ready for a rebound, as well as B1.  A2 and A3 are caught staring at each other thinking that the other was going to get the easy defensive rebound.  Instead B1 easily puts the shot back for the easy rebound and 2 points.  In our instance of that play, all 3 Officials may have a good look at that goal-tend, but all 3 Officials thought one of the other 2 were going to make the call.  Either way, our crew screwed up.

After a game like this, you can only imagine what may be going through your head an official.  Did we fail as a crew?  What could we have done differently?  And if the game ended really bad, you know you’ll still hear about it later on down the road.  Some of us take some time to get over a game ending with that type of intensity.  Then there are some that might even lose sleep for a week or two.  Let’s talk about some ways to help deal with the aftermath of a tough game.


Game Film

In the NBA the crew has the capabilities to review film immediately after the game.  At the collegiate level and below, you may not get those opportunities.  When you get those opportunities to review film that should be first on your list.  Look at your positioning.  One of the key moments of missing a call is being in the wrong position.  Whether its position along the baseline/sideline or depth into the court.



Working out relieves pressure and stress.  Whether your favorite workout is yoga, weight or cardio, a good routine is always recommended 2 to 3 hours per day.  This keeps your stamina up as when intensity rises during the game, your concentration is trained to stay on tact till the end of the game. fit-young-african-american-woman-working-out-with-royalty-free-image-1568749516.jpg 


Good Meal

As Officials, we work hard.  From the moment the first whistle to start the tip all the way till the final whistle which ended the game, we have put every effort and energy into the game.  On the nights that things get out of hand are the nights which we have worked the hardest.  Having a good meal will reward yourself of actually managing yourself through a tough game. 


Consulting with another Official

One of the best remedies to getting over a tough game is to get it off your chest.  Consult with another Official about the play.  After that, move on!  Keep in mind, as an Official, it is never a good idea to talk about your game through social media.  As an Official to the game your duties are not only limited to being on the court, but also off the court.  Although the jurisdiction of your job is limited within the confines of the game, your life off the court will hinder your reputation as an Official.  Social media is never our friend. 



I’m pretty sure you all have some different strategies that you use to get over a tough game.  Or if you have a comment about the game, please share it with our family. 




Court Coverages

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Let’s imagine a very familiar event which we’ve all should have seen once or twice in our 20140512__0513copcrash1.jpglifetime.  At the corner of Jay Street and 4th Ave, there was a car accident.  The collision occurred in the middle of the intersection.  Luckily, there was a pedestrian on each corner of the crosswalks who all saw the same accident.  Would you be surprised if I told you that the 4 pedestrians all reported 4 different stories of the 3-car accident?  This is a simple psychology which can be applied to just about any incident in life.  A single incident can produce multiple outcomes from multiple angles.  In basketball, a good officiating crew will witness the same accident and report the same outcome on every play. 

During the 2018/2019 season, the defending champions Golden State Warriors played a home game against the Houston Rockets.  Kevin Durant attempted to save the ball going out of bounds which ball outofbiybds.pngmade its way into Stephen Curry’s hands. He took three steps out of bounds along the baseline before knocking the ball back in.  Klay Thompson recovered the 50/50 ball and threw it to Curry, who took a step in and knocked down an open mid-range jump shot to give the Warriors a 134-132 lead with 23.1 seconds left in overtime. 

If you want to read the article about the game completely on SBNATION by Kristian Winfied @ (https://www.sbnation.com/2019/1/4/18168003/kevin-durant-out-of-bounds-video-referees-warriors-rockets).  In the point of this article, it doesn’t matter who wins the game, we’re talking about floor coverage.  Tre Maddox, John Goble, and Tony Brown were the three officials in the game.  Tre Maddox (No. 73) was the one closest official to the play. 

Undeniably Tre is still considered as an excellent official, as he was one of many which went through our program.  We’ve had Tre as a guest speaker many times in the past years.  This doesn’t mean that Tre is not allowed to make mistakes, because he is only human.  Believe that Tre has already review the play and know what he needs to done to be better for the future.  At this controversial moment, would it be okay for Tre to go to his partners for help?  Should John Goble have an opinion on the play as he was at the Slot position.  How about in the Trail? Should Tony Brown come Maddox and say something?  Or is this something that Tre needs to burn on his decision?  Coming to the IPABOA camp, we teach you how, when and why you need to change your position on the floor, as well as how to handle these out of control moments. 

I hope to see you all at camp.



Frank Irvin

IPABOA, Floor Coverage Specialist

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