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2012-13 NC Memos Archive
  • 2/27/2013

    Men's College Basketball Officials, Coaches, and Administrators:

    There is a recurring illegal play that I am seeing with increasing frequency, that I would like to call to your attention.  When a player or a teammate of the team that has just scored, takes the ball out of the net and throws it to the official, they are NOT exhibiting good sportsmanship but rather they are deliberately attempting to slow down the transition offense of the team that was just scored upon.  This type of play certainly falls under the auspices of Rule 4-17-1-d.

    I would like to suggest that the first time you see this play occur, you give the offending player the benefit of the doubt and tell him to "leave the ball alone.”  Subsequent attempts to throw the ball to the official after a made basket should be dealt with by using a formal "delay of game warning" (4-17-2) and then to assess a Class B technical foul to the offending player (10-6-1-m).  This type of play will be a focus point during the NCAA Tournament.

    I am copying the leadership team at the National Association of Basketball Coaches and asking them to distribute this memo to all coaches at all levels ASAP.

    Please continue to know that the NCAA values the many contributions all of you make to the game.  Good luck to all of you for the balance of the regular season and the post season.


    John W. Adams
    NCAA National Men's Basketball Officiating Coordinator

  • 1/21/2013

    To:  Men's Basketball Officials
    From:  John W. Adams

    Greetings from Indianapolis.  Instead of traveling to a game this past weekend, I decided to stay home and I watched several games on television.  Here are some of my observations:

    1.   By and large the television talent is supportive of officials.  I think it helps when we work with them on nuances of the rules and it certainly helps to explain difficult rulings to them when the opportunity presents itself.

    2.   There is some really good officiating going on out there!  I witnessed great attention to Freedom of Movement initiatives, officials working very hard to get in good position to see plays, adequate communication with coaches, when needed, and a real effort to finish games correctly and fairly.

    3.    Here are some things I noticed we can improve on:

    a.   Chucking cutters is a foul!  Call it please.

    b.  When the Lead official is transitioning to the new Trail, his position should be near the sideline (see Mechanics Manual p. 40,41).  All weekend long I watched officials in transition, meander down the center of the court and then sprint to the sideline.  Unless you are moving to cover a play in the middle of the court, stay near the sideline!

    c.   When coaches are clearly and completely out of the coaches box and on the floor, coaching their teams, start by asking them to stay in the coaches box.  Next time they are clearly and completely out of the coaches box, and you have made an effort to ask them to comply with the rules, issue them a warning.  If that doesn’t work, you should penalize the offending coach with a Class B technical foul per 10-6-2-f-1.  I believe you will find good support from your coordinators for sensibly enforcing this rule.

    d.   Per 9-9-1a and 2a, there is still a 3 second rule in effect.

    e.   I saw quite a few incorrect out of bounds calls made.  If you think you can help your partner with definite information about the play, go help him.

    f.  Finally, the trail official should be visibly counting the 10 seconds a team is permitted to have control of the ball in the back court.  Remember, that count and the shot clock are not always the same.

    4.   Book recommendation: A Higher Call by Adam Makos and Harry Alexander.

    Try to stay current with the video bulletins, Art Hyland’s memos and the Officiating Conference Call bulletins, when they are posted.  As always, thanks for your dedication to our game and your willingness to continue to do what you can to improve college basketball officiating.

  • 12/28/2012

    To:  Men's Basketball Officials
    From:  John W. Adams

    New Year’s greetings from Indianapolis.   As I reflect on the first two months of the season, there are a few observations I would like to share with you.

    1.   The Regional Advisors and I have attended and/or evaluated 150+ games to date.  We have filed observations on 300+ different officials.  Very few officials have requested a copy of their evaluations.  To reiterate, if you want to see a copy of your evaluation, send an email to  The cutoff for requesting observations for November and December is January 2, 2013.

    2.   Don’t give up on the concept of Freedom of Movement.  If illegal contact adversely effects a player’s Rhythm, Speed, Balance or Quickness it is a foul and should be called.

    3.   I haven’t seen much improvement in officiating block charge plays to date.  Remember these “check list” items: Was the defender in legal guarding position and did he move legally to maintain his position prior to contact?  If he meets those conditions, don’t penalize him for good, legal defense.  On the other hand, if after establishing legal guarding position he moves up and into the player he is guarding or slides under an airborne shooter or passer, he is guilty of a blocking foul.  Remember also, that it is the responsibility of the Center official to give the Lead official definite information about the position of a secondary defender in relation to the Restricted Area arcif it will help get the play right.

    4.   I have to assume there is still some confusion over what constitutes legal uniforms including undergarments.  Please review p. 42, 3-6-1.  Long sleeve t-shirts are not permitted unless bench personnel of that player’s team, have a written waiver from the SRE to wear a long sleeve T-shirt.  At no time is it permissible to wear a T-shirt with any logo, decorations, trim, patches, lettering or numbers.  The excuse that “we have been wearing them all season” does not hold water, and the offending player needs to remove the non-compliant garment at say, the next time out.

    5.   Play 4 in the recent YMTC video bulletin certainly created a buzz. In addition to citing Rule 4-65 as the reference to why there is no reset, let me add the following thoughts.

    1. A dunk attempt is a try (4-73-5).

    2. The held ball prevented the release of the ball on the dunk attempt.

    3. Per 4-65, even though there was a try, there was no release of the ball, therefore the requirement for a shot clock re-set was not met.

    4. You need both rules so that a player can shoot the ball, and while the balls in the air if the shot clock horn sounds, his team can avoid a violation until it is determined if the try is successful or the ball strikes the ring or flange.

    Thank you again for all your very thoughtful comments on this play.

    6.   I had the good fortune to read Killing Kennedy, by Bill O’Reilly, last week.  It’s a fascinating look at the assassination of John F. Kennedy on 11/22/63.  It was one of those events that people in my generation can still remember exactly where they were when they learned the news.

    7.   Happy New Year!  May 2013 be a better year than the last.  May you and your families experience good health and good fortune.  Please know that everyone involved in the business of college basketball values your contributions.  You are all “Good for the Game”.

  • 12/26/2012

    To:  Men's Basketball Officials
    From:   John W. Adams

    Answers to You Make the Call:

    Play 1. Flagrant 1 foul. 4-29-2-c-3 p52
    Play 2. Basket interference. 4-5-2-d p46
    Play 3. No basket. 4-73-4 p64 + Art Hyland memo 12/6/12
    Play 4. No reset. 4-65 p62.  Use AP for possession for held ball.  Ball to Duke with no reset.

  • 11/28/2012

    To:  Men's Basketball Officials
    From:  John W. Adams

    Thank you to those officials who emailed me and challenged my interpretation of the 2nd "tripping" play in Video Bulletin No.3.  I have decided to remove that play due to its ambiguity and also, Rule 4, Section 40, Art. 3 does not support a "no foul" call as this contact, albeit inadvertent, DID prevent his opponent from participating in normal offensive movements (i.e. dribbling the ball). 

    My apologies for creating any confusion on this type of play for those of you that have already viewed VB No.3 as my goal is never to post an ambiguous play AND to post only those plays whose outcomes are clearly supported by the rules.

    If you have any further questions or comments, please email me at .

  • 11/15/2012

    To:  Men's Basketball Officials
    From:  John W. Adams

    Dear Officials,

    The Regional Advisors and I have begun attending and observing games on TV.  If you think you might have been evaluated or want to check and see if you were, please email me at and I will check our data bank and forward you the evaluation if we have one.

    You might notice that I have posted the Mechanics Power Point used in the Regional clinics on the Central Hub, upper right side, under NOTES.

    Please send me any video clips from games you have worked, that might be good teaching points for the over 2000 officials who are registered on the NCAA Men's Basketball Officiating web site.

    Finally, please review the rule I have highlighted.

    Rule 3, Section 6, Article 1 states An undershirt is considered part of the game jersey and must be a color similar to that of the game jersey defined by the neutral zone. In addition, the sleeves and neckline of the undershirts shall be unaltered. Both sleeves shall be of the same length and not extend beyond the elbows. No logos, decorations, trim, commemorative patches, letter or numbering may be used on an undershirt.

    The only exceptions to this rule must be in the form of a written waiver from the Secretary Rules Editor, which must be carried by a member of the bench personnel of the player wearing the non-compliant undershirt. Contrasting stitching, athletic manufacturer's logos etc. are not permitted.

  • 10/22/2012

    To:  Men's Basketball Officials
    From:   John W. Adams


    I would like to remind you that the 2012 Rules and Mechanics test goes LIVE on 10/22/12 and CLOSES at 11:59 pm on 11/27/12.  This year, the passing grade has been raised to 85%. 

    I received a correspondence from a high school teacher in Louisburg, KS who teaches a class called "Officiating Team Sports".  He currently has 32 students in his class and he is trying to pair up basketball officials who can answer questions and give guidance to his students via email or social media.  If you are interested in helping, please reach out to Terry Tinich at

    Finally, from time to time I have taken the liberty to recommend books, that in my opinion, are worth reading.  The first recommendation this year is When Saturday Mattered Most by Mark Beech.  The sub heading is "The Last Golden Season of Army Football" and the book chronicles the exploits of the 1958 Army team.

    Good luck with your pre-season physical and mental preparation for the coming season.

  • 10/8/2012

    To:  Men's Basketball Officials
    From:   John W. Adams

    I thought you might find the following column, reprinted with permission from the October 2012 issue of REFEREE Magazine, quite interesting.   Terry Gregson, the author, is the Director of Officiating for the NHL and he offers an interesting perspective on how to "be at your best" when officiating a sporting event.

    Kill Hope and Keep Courage Alive

    Editor’s note: The following memo by NHL Director of Officiating Terry Gregson to the league’s officials last season has been modified for all officials. It was originally featured in the 10/12 issue of Referee magazine and reprinted with permission.

    Officials often find themselves in a high-pressure environment and are constantly presented with unique situations, no matter the level. They work in an atmosphere that can be filled with emotion, speed, physicality often in a confined area and must make split-second decisions.

    In order to perform at their best, officials need to be in an ideal performance state, which means being relaxed, calm, non-threatened and confident. Body and brain act differently when a person is happy and challenged versus angry and upset. The body and mind cannot perform at a peak level with any blockers. Being mentally tough and courageous are what enable us to effectively handle pressure, a consistent element in most any sporting environment.

    Hope is a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen (or not happen). Courage is the ability or strength to do the right thing in a challenging situation.

    Sports officials operate from a mind-set of being in charge so that when the impact call has to be made, it is not a stretch to call on our courage to make it. Courage is a big part of being an official, particularly in a unique situation or late in the game. However, the level of courage necessary is much easier to attain if you officiate as you go by calling it as you see it.

    Being too tolerant or not reacting to fouls, penalties or violations puts an official in position of having to hope nothing similar happens for the remainder of a game. React to situations as they happen to avoid the “hope” mind-set. If you fall into that mind-set, immediately reset and get back on track. Do not let it slide.

    If fouls, penalties or violations are not nipped in the bud, they become things that you have to manage the rest of the game and can harm your ability to focus on your immediate task. That doesn’t mean over-officiate by making everything an infraction. An official’s quantity of calls doesn’t equate to courage, but his or her quality of calls does.

    Remain in charge with proper utilization of people and situational management skills. To be a top official, employ the following mind-set:

    Stay calm, relaxed and poised under pressure, giving a relaxed but strong presence.

    Be comfortable in your role.

    Have passion and intensity.

    Desire to make the big call.

    Show confidence.

    Always officiate from a position where you are drawing on courage and not hope.

  • 8/20/2012

    To:  Officials Working Men's College Games in 2012-13
    From:   John W. Adams

    As you may be aware, the CCA has opted NOT to continue with their exclusive arrangement of branding the pregame warm up jackets officials wear during warm ups.  As a result, EITHER a jacket WITH the CCA logo or a jacket WITHOUT the CCA logo are the required attire for officials during the pregame warm ups.

    The conversation about a possible new logo for the jackets will commence at the coordinator meetings in Indianapolis in mid September.

    The 2012-2013 Men's Basketball Officiating Mechanics Manual will state that officials may opt to wear a lightweight style of the officiating jacket and it may have the CCA logo on it or it may not.

    The decision to permit either style (logo or no logo) was arrived at so officials would NOT have to buy new jackets but rather once a decision is made on a new logo, patches can be manufactured to cover the old logo or to attach to the jackets.

    Please direct any questions you might have about this issue to me (

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