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Kentucky Basketball: What It Takes To Be A Referee


It was 1891, James Naismith had just finished his peanut butter and jelly sandwich and he decided he was going to publish some rules to a new game. A game in which today has evolved into a whole new spectrum from what it used to be. Thats basketball.

There were 13 rules to which he published, and they are as follows:

1.) The ball may be thrown in any direction with one or both hands.

2.) The ball may be batted in any direction with one or both hands.

3.) A player cannot run with the ball. The player must throw it from the spot on which he catches it, allowance to be made for a man who catches the ball when running at a good speed if he tries to stop.

4.)The ball must be held in or between the hands; the arms or body must not be used for holding it.

5.)No shouldering, holding, striking, pushing, or tripping in any way of an opponent. The first infringement of this rule by any person shall count as a foul; the second shall disqualify him until the next basket is made or, if there was evident intent to injure the person, for the whole of the game. No substitution shall be allowed.

6.) A foul is striking at the ball with the fist, violation of rules three and four and such described in rule five

7.) If either side makes three consecutive fouls, it shall count a goal for the opponents (consecutive means without the opponents in the mean time making a foul).

8.) A goal shall be made when the ball is thrown or batted from the grounds into the basket and stays there (without falling), providing those defending the goal do not touch or disturb the goal. If the ball rests on the edges, and the opponent moves the basket, it shall count as a goal.

9.)When the ball goes out of bounds, it shall be thrown into the field of play and played by the first person touching it. In case of dispute the umpire shall throw it straight into the field. The thrower-in is allowed five seconds. If he holds it longer, it shall go to the opponent. If any side persists in delaying the game, the umpire shall call a foul on that side.

10.)The umpire shall be the judge of the men and shall note the fouls and notify the referee when three consecutive fouls have been made. He shall have power to disqualify people according to Rule 5.

11.)The referee shall be judge of the ball and shall decide when the ball is in play, in bounds, to which side it belongs, and shall keep the time. He shall decide when a goal has been made and keep account of the baskets, with any other duties that are usually performed by a scorekeeper.

12.)The time shall be two fifteen-minute halves, with five minutes rest between.

13.) The side making the most points in that time is declared the winner.

As you can see there were not that many rules. These were the original rules for basketball, and since there has been a lot more rules added.

With all the rules however you will need someone to enforce these rules. Enter referees. They are in the game to make fair judgements on the happenings of the game. They are human so they will not make every call  correctly. Referees are also there to keep the peace between opposing forces.

Today, there are 3 refs on the court at one time. Thus making it easier to stay on top of the game (did you catch my pun there?)

It is tough for anyone to even remember 5 rules, let alone a lot, so the refs have that responsibility to worry about. They also have the responsibility to keep the time for the game. Another responsibility they have is making fair judgements. An aspect about making a fair judgement is that they are not always right and they have to deal with spoiled big kids yelling at them and overpaid coaches yelling at them.

So refs have a lot on their plate. And the next time you make a comment about refs not doing their job, remember everything I just said. Its not easy and we have to give them the benefit of the doubt.

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