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2013-14 NC Memos Archive
  • 12/29/2014

    Happy New Year to all of you.

    The week of January 19 through the 25th has been designated Suits and Sneakers Week by Coaches vs. Cancer in conjunction with the NABC. Coaches, staffs and cheerleaders will be wearing specialized pink socks with sneakers during games that week.

    Officials are urged to participate in the event by purchasing socks through an individual volunteer, designated by the American Cancer Society for Coaches vs. Cancer.

    The socks are $13.25 per pair*, which includes shipping. Both I and Art Hyland have approved these socks for officials and players. Please visit the special website at:

    (2 Pair $25; 3 for $36; 4 for $46, all which include shipping.)

    Please consider participating in the NABC effort to raise funds for cancer research.  The wearing of these socks during that week has been approved by all the DI coordinators.  If you are a DII or DIII official, please check with your coordinator(s).
    As a two time cancer survivor, I would appreciate your consideration of this most worthy fundraiser.  All the best.
    John W. Adams
    NCAA National Men's Basketball Officiating Coordinator
  • 12/2/2014

    Post Thanksgiving Tourneys Observations:

    Like many of you, I was overwhelmed with the number of games our television partners broadcast during Thanksgiving week but I did spend an inordinate amount of time watching all or parts of numerous games.  Here's what I saw on a recurring basis:

    1.  Consistent enforcement of 10-1-4.

    2.  Slight improvement in officiating illegal contact on players moving without the ball including post play.

    3.  Very disappointing accuracy in calling block charge plays, especially at or near the basket.  Simply put, in order to draw a "charge" on an airborne player, the defensive player must establish legal guarding position prior to the offensive player leaving the floor.  If you are not sure he met this standard and a foul ensues, it is a blocking foul.  Time and again, I watched defenders, who had not met this standard, rewarded with "taking a charge".  I know this involves a change in your mind set but you must determine if the defender was legal and judge the ensuing contact with that principle in mind and not how the crash looks.

    4.  A reluctance to apply proper penalties when evaluating Flagrant 1 or Flagrant 2 fouls.  I would suggest a reading of Rule 4-15-2-c,d and also 4-18.7.  I realize the discretion of the official is involved when determining whether a foul is excessive and/or unnecessary but there is no discretion permitted to set aside a rule because of score or circumstances.  I will try to illustrate this point in future video bulletins.

    5. Finally, whatever happened to enforcing Rule 10-4-2-f on page BR 95?  At the very least ask the offending coach to stay off the floor and if that doesn't work use the "warning" procedure and in the most egregious cases, assess a Class B technical foul, if warranted.

    As always, I appreciate the work you do in trying to create a fair environment for both teams.  If you have any suggestions on how we can improve in any of the deficient areas I noted, please email me at

    John W. Adams
    NCAA National Coordinator of Men’s Basketball Officiating

  • 11/14/2014

    As we begin the 2014-15 season tonight I wish all of you good luck and good health as we embark on a 5-month run to the NCAA Tournament.  Just a couple of reminders:

    1.  Don't lose ground on the progress we made on 10-1-4.  Your diligence and willingness to embrace this rule made the game better!

    2.  Pay attention to illegal contact on players trying to move without the ball.  Understand the time and distance principles involved and when illegal contact impedes a player, call a foul!

    3.  Remember, another area of concern is rough play in the post.  It goes both ways as we must not permit offensive players to "blast" legal defenders out of the way and we must not let defensive players "wrestle" offensive players off their spots in the block.

    4.  Finally, remember the change made to the guarding rule on airborne players.  The standard is clear and if the defender does not meet it, he is an illegal defender and the ensuing contact is likely to be a blocking foul.

    Two of our broadcast partners asked me to remind you that when using the monitor to keep your head sets on so they can communicate to you that an additional view(s) are available and queued up for your review.

    Be on the lookout for an instructional video late next week and as always, please don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or issues to discuss.

    John W. Adams
    NCAA National Coordinator of Men’s Basketball Officiating

  • 3/13/2014

    If anyone is interested in becoming a certified FIBA basketball official, and thus becoming eligible to work international basketball, there are 2 upcoming certification clinics you might be interested in attending.  They are April 9-12 in the Cayman Islands and April 8-11 in Belize City, Belize. 

    Participants are responsible for travel, lodging and meals and will be expected to pass a written rules test, physical test and an English test.  If you want additional information, please contact Ellis Dawson at USA Basketball at

    I recently read John Feinstein's new book, Where Nobody Knows Your Name: Life in the Minor Leagues of Baseball.  It was terrific!

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

  • 3/10/2014

    When you have a chance, you might want to view VB #16 as it is a review of several situations and plays from the 13-14 season.  It was prepared as a "pre-post season" video bulletin to help you get ready for post season assignments.

    The answers to the 2 YMTC plays in VB#15 are:

    Play 1  It is NOT a foul in the act of shooting.

    Play 2  It IS goaltending.

    All the best for the balance of this season.

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

  • 2/25/2014

    Greetings from Indianapolis:
    Video Bulletin 14 certainly sparked some conversation.  In light of the many communications I received I think the following commentary might shed some light on one of the plays in the video bulletin:
    The play in the video bulletin titled "Technical Foul" actually has 2 possible outcomes.  If the official rules the initial foul as a common foul, prior to the start of the try, then the subsequent foul would be correctly called  a Contact Dead Ball Technical Foul (4-15-3-e p49 + 6-5-d p68) and any member of the offended team may shoot the technical foul free throws and the ball is put in play by the offended team at the division line.  However, if the official rules that the initial foul was committed while the player was in the act of shooting, the subsequent foul would be a Flagrant 1 Personal Foul as the ball is not dead when a foul is committed by an opponent of a player who starts a try for goal before the foul occurs (6-6-2 p68 + 4-15-2-c-1,2 p47).  Following the 2 shots for the common foul during the try, the same player would shoot 2 additional free throws for the F1 foul and the offended team would put the ball in play at the spot nearest to where the foul occurred.
    While I have your attention, I don't think we have made any progress in keeping coaches, who are coaching their teams, off the playing floor.  Many of these teams will be playing in the NCAA tournament in their respective divisions, and that type of "roaming" behavior will not be permitted.  Why not help these coaches get ready for postseason play?  If you are looking for cover in enforcing this rule, you can cite the memo from the NCAA DI Men's Basketball Committee and the numerous mentions I have made about this issue since the 1st of the year.
    Finally, I was recently asked by a coordinator "what is the penalty for teammates using the "N" word to each other?"  On Nov. 16, 2012-13 the following bulletin was published by Art Hyland, the Secretary-Rules Editor, titled Corrections and New Interpretations and I quote:
    "Officials guidelines in Appendix III, 1-a.-2, the use of racial slurs is noted as an example of egregious conduct which requires a technical foul without warning.  Specifically included under this terminology is the use of the "N" word by players or coaches during the game.  The word is unacceptable and should be penalized without warning.
    If you have any questions or comments, as always start with your primary coordinator and then feel free to contact Art Hyland or me for help or clarification.  All the best and finish this most challenging season on a high note!

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

  • 2/17/2014


    Please read the following very recent and important interpretations from Art Hyland, the Secretary- Rules Editor.  These interps were issued following last week's Coordinator Conference Call for DI,II and III coordinators.  If you have any questions, please direct them to your primary coordinator.

    Please click here to read Bulletin No. 3  – February 10, 2014, Teleconference Follow-Up.                  


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

  • 2/3/2014

    Greetings everyone:

    Enough with this weather!  I can never remember a winter that has been so disruptive to travel plans.  You are to be commended for the extraordinary efforts you are making to get to games.  Remember, your personal safety is important to all of us.  Make prudent decisions about travel, and please give your coordinators as much lead time as you can when you encounter problems.

    Here are a few thoughts I want to share with you:
    1.  We are doing a pretty good job on 10-1-4.  I did have a coach tell me that referees are still telling him " I don't know what is or isn't a foul any more".  If you honestly feel that way, please review the last 11 Video Bulletins.  In each one of them there are concrete, non ambiguous examples of fouls according to rule 10-1-4.  Merely "touching" a player with the ball has never been a foul but "keeping" a forearm on a ball handler, "putting" two hands on a dribbler, "continually" jabbing, and "using" an arm bar to impede ARE fouls.
    2.  We simply have to do a better job keeping coaches, who are trying to coach their teams, off the floor.  I think a review of 10-4-2-f on page 95 of the Rule Book might be in order.  While you are reading the Rule Book, please review Appendix III, Section 1, a., 1-5 on page 104.  No warning is required if a coach is either inside or outside of the coaches box engaging in egregious conduct as outlined in Appendix III.
    3.  Two comments about Video Bulletin 11 which was just posted on the officiating and coaches web site.  There is no such thing as offensive goaltending.  My thanks to Kevin Hetherington for pointing that out to me.  Also, on the Flagrant Foul play, my point was that the announcer called it an "intentional foul".  That was the "bad call".  The officials correctly called it a Flagrant I foul.  That was the "good call".
    4. General clean up items:  Is there any way we can speed up the player replacement process following a disqualification?  It's a 20 second period to comply, not an additional 60 second time out.  Is it possible to prevent every free throw from turning into a testosterone filled pushing and shoving match?  While we do a very good job policing incidents of taunting between players, I have noticed an increase in players from opposing teams going out of their way to taunt bench players and occasionally  even opposing coaches.  I know you can't see everything but try to stop this type of play before it escalates into a real problem.
    Keep fighting the good fight.  There are 64 days left in this season and I encourage you to keep working on improving all aspects of your game.  It is surprising how much you can learn from self evaluation.  If you do that, it will be good for the game.

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

  • 1/23/2014

    Greetings from a frigid Indianapolis:

    The following memo was recently sent to Commissioners, Athletic Directors, Coordinators and and released to the public by the chairman of the Men's Basketball Committee.  It further supports your efforts to improve our game by increasing freedom of movement for our players.


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

  • 1/21/2014

    Good afternoon,

    I am passing along this announcement/request from the American Cancer Society.  PLEASE CHECK WITH YOUR COORDINATORS TO SEE IF IT'S OK WITH THEM TO WEAR A PINK WHISTLE ON SATURDAY, JANUARY 25.

    All collegiate basketball officials (Divisions I, II and III) are encouraged to wear their pink whistles on Saturday, January 25th, in support of the Officials vs. Cancer campaign that runs concurrently with the Coaches vs. Cancer campaign.  Since the inception of the campaign, officials have donated more than $800K to the American Cancer Society.  Officials that would like to make a donation to the annual campaign are encouraged to do so by mailing their donation to:  IAABO, Inc., P.O. Box 355, Carlisle, PA  17013.  Please make all checks and money orders payable to:  Officials vs. Cancer. 

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

  • 1/9/2014


    Thanks to the awful weather in most of the country, I have been unable to travel and as a result, I have been watching games on TV, lots of games!

    Here's what I'm seeing:

    1. Very inconsistent enforcement of 10-1-4, especially in the back court.

    2. We are letting defenders "show their hands" but foul with the lower body.

    3.  In games where 10-1-4 is enforced fairly well, that enforcement tends to fade late in close games.

    4.  Post Play is as rough as I have ever seen it.  Not calling the 1st or second foul in these scrums, invariably leads to a "retaliation foul" later in the sequence.

    5.  There is still way too much illegal contact committed against players without the ball.  That was a 2013-14 point of emphasis.

    I listened to an announcer last night on ESPN say: "what they (officials) work on and talk about in November and December eventually goes away in January and February and we get back to playing college basketball".  Our challenge is to prove him wrong.

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

  • 12/23/2013

    Holiday Greetings from Indianapolis:

    The most recent Video Bulletin (#6) sparked some interesting conversations over the past few days.  Two plays in particular warrant some further comment.         

    The 1st flagrant foul play should have been labeled a flagrant two foul and the narration on the video now says exactly that.  

    The 2nd play that sparked some controversy was the 4th block charge play involving BYU and Wichita State.  Remember- a secondary defender may not establish initial legal guarding position in the restricted area for the purpose of drawing a player control foul/charge on a player who is in control of the ball (BR 4-17-7 page 50).  However, a secondary defender may establish initial legal guarding position outside the restricted area and may move legally to maintain legal guarding position, including backing into the restricted area.  The play shown in VB#6 is a correct interpretation of the rule.

    As we prepare for the "second season", i.e., conference play, please review these 5 reminders and incorporate them into your pregame meetings and even more importantly, into your in game officiating:

    1.  Rule 10-1-4 is very specific as to what is and isn't a foul.  All 4 provisions of the rule require the official to call a foul when he recognizes one of those acts being committed against a player with the ball.  Don't apply "frontier justice" to this rule.  Recognize these four acts for what they are.  They are fouls!  The old adage that "players will adjust" is not always true as regards 10-1-4.  Anecdotally and statistically, enforcement of 10-1-4 has been good for the game.  Stay the course, call this and other rules as written and you will be contributing to improving the game.

    2.  Exhibit enough patience to allow players to block shots.  In this increased environment of freedom of movement, there are more drives to the basket and subsequently more attempts to block shots at or near the rim.

    3.  As mentioned before, don't penalize legal defenders, moving legally to maintain guarding position, by calling blocking fouls on them when the dribbler drives "right into" them.

    4.  Remember, that the new block/charge rule (BR 4-17-4-d page 49) applies only to guarding airborne passers or shooters.  Whether or not the ball handler has begun to raise the ball to pass or shoot, is irrelevant when officiating all other block charge plays.

    5.  Rule 11-2-1-e , page 100, allows officials to use the monitor in the last 2 minutes of the game and the last 2 minutes of an overtime period to review a shot clock violation and/or an out of bounds play when there is a deflection involving two or more players.  This monitor review is solely at the discretion of the officials and while a coach may "ask" for a review, and in a very close game such a review might be prudent, he is not entitled to one and whether or not that team has any time outs left, is irrelevant.

    In this age of social media that we are all part of, I have started a Twitter account.  The content is not earth shattering as it usually involves a comment or two from a game I am attending but if you would like to follow along, my address is @jwasports1.

    Many of you continue to ask what I am reading.  Before I tell you, I would just give you a heads up that a few years ago I recommended Lone Survivor by Marcus Lutrell.  This extraordinary tale of US Navy Seal heroism will be re-told in a movie debuting 12/27 in some markets and 1/10 in all others.  I just completed reading The Guns At Last Light by Rick Atkinson. It chronicles WWII in Europe from D Day to VE Day.   I want to share with you, the last line in the book: " Yet the war and all that war contained- nobility, villainy, immeasurable sorrow- is certain to live on even after the last old soldier has gone to his grave.  May the earth lie lightly on his bones."

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all of you and your families.  May 2014 be a healthy and prosperous year for you.
  • 11/27/2013

    Happy Thanksgiving!  

    Regardless of where you are spending this Thanksgiving weekend, we should all take a moment to reflect on how fortunate we are to be involved in the great game of college basketball.  Travel safely and do your best to find some family time during the next few days.
    Here are a few observations as we close in on the end of week 3:
    1.  The Regional Advisors and I have completed quite a few observations to date.  Not too many of you have requested to see them and it dawned on me, you might not know you were being observed.  We have a search by name function so checking to see if you were evaluated is not a problem and I welcome your inquiries periodically during the season at .
    2.  Please be a regular viewer of the video bulletins.  There are three of them posted so far.
    3.  Exhibit good patience as players drive to the basket.  Allow defenders the opportunity to block shots.
    4.  Don't penalize legal defenders for moving backwards to maintain legal guarding position when contacted by a player driving to the basket.  The contact is likely to be incidental and on rare occasions, might be a player control foul.  I will continue to look for good examples and reminders of how these two plays should be officiated.
    5.  Much has been written and commented about the "new rules".  Stay the course with your enforcement of Rule 10-1-4.  Remember the rule states: "the following acts constitute a foul when committed against a player with the ball".  Merely "touching" a player does not constitute a foul but the four acts listed in 10-1-4, are fouls, period.  Your work to date in enforcing this rule has been Good for the Game.

  • 11/19/2013

    Good afternoon:

    When I was in CT two weeks ago, to meet with the folks at ESPN, I had the opportunity to have breakfast with John W. Gill, a Division I football and basketball official who wanted to run an idea for a charitable project by me.  I listened to John and fully support this project, called The Shoe Project.

    John and his church, the Bethesda Evangelical Mission in Wallingford, CT, are collecting used (but in good shape) officiating shoes, you no longer need or use, for distribution to needy children and young adults in Haiti.

    To participate in this project, please box up your shoes and send them to:
    John W. Gill, 79 Ivy Street, Branford, CT 06405.

    Thank you for your consideration of this most worthwhile cause.  If you have any questions please address them to Mr. Gill at

  • 11/15/2013

    Good afternoon:

    As we conclude week 1 of the 2013-14 season, I want to share some observations and feedback I have received:

    1.  Given the addition of Rule 10-1-4 and the associated media coverage, I couldn't be more proud of your efforts to enforce the rule as written.  While I don't have any statistics yet about the rule's possible effect on the game, I have watched and attended 10+ games this past week, and the officiating has been consistent on these 4 illegal acts in every game I have watched.  Special thanks to the many veteran officials who have "bought in" and provided such great leadership for the officiating community.  One week does not a season make, but stay the course, call the acts against the ball handler outlined in 10-1-4, Fouls, and it will be good for the game.

    2.  Teams seem to be driving the ball to the basket more often than they did in past seasons.  As a result, don't penalize legal defenders who are giving ground or trying to avoid contact by calling defensive fouls.  Be aware of dribble/drivers fending or pushing off legal defenders and officiate these plays accordingly.

    3.  Rule 10-1-4 applies to players with the ball in the back court too!

    4.  Remember, Freedom of Movement also applies to players without the ball, especially on cutters and in screening situations.

    5.  Video bulletin #1 will post today at 5pm EST.  To the best of our ability, we will try to post a bulletin every Friday at 5pm.

    6.  Be sure to read the most recent bulletin Art Hyland posted on the officiating web site.  It has some good info in it that you will need to use during this and coming seasons.

    If you have any questions or officiating issues you need help with, email me at  Be safe and have a good weekend.

  • 10/31/2013

    Good afternoon:

    Please consider this a friendly reminder that the Men's Basketball Officiating Website (ArbiterSports) will close both the rules test and the background check questionnaire on 11/8 at 11:59pm, EST.

    Along with attending one of the four regional officiating clinics, Division I officials need to complete both the test (pass with a grade of 85% or higher) and the background check questionnaire in order to be eligible for an assignment in the DI National Tournament.
    Division II, III officials must take and pass the test with an 85% grade or higher, in order to be eligible for a DII or DIII post season NCAA Tournament assignment, in any round of the tournament.

    I would suggest you make a copy of your computer screen that tells that you have successfully completed these requirements prior to the 11:59 pm, EST deadline on 11/8/13.

    If you have any questions or you are having trouble accessing or completing these requirements, please email me at

  • 10/14/2013

    To view the presentation, please click below:

  • 9/3/2013

    Good morning:

    Many of you are starting to think about the upcoming men's basketball season.  The following is a compilation of the most significant rule changes for the 2013-14 season and beyond.  Coordinators will be meeting in Indianapolis 9/13 to discuss all 28 changes to the revised Men's Basketball Rulebook. 

    Please hold your questions until at least 9/16/13 so that your coordinators have a chance to hear the presentation by the Secretary-Rules Editor.

    Click here to read the document:  Men's Basketball Rules Commmittee - 2013 Significant Changes Overview.

    All the best as the summer winds down.


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

  • 8/8/2013

    Good afternoon:

    In response to numerous questions about the schedule for the Regional Clinics you should plan on picking up your name badge or registering on site between 7:00AM and 7:50AM local time.  The clinic will start at 8:00AM and end not later than 12:30 PM. 

    If you have any questions about the clinics please email them to me at


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

  • 6/14/2013

    Please visit the Center Court Central Hub frequently to stay current on the latest Men’s Basketball officiating news and information.  On the central hub, you’ll be able to read the latest rules interpretations from the Secretary-Rules Editor and bulletins from the National Officiating Coordinator, complete your requirements to be considered for a postseason assignment, take periodic rules quizzes, and review videos of recurring plays and how they are to be officiated.

    Registration for the 2013-14 Season is now open.  To register, click the REGISTRATION Tab at the top of the page.

    This year’s NCAA Men's Basketball Officiating Exam will open on Monday, October 14 and remain open through Friday, November 8.  You will access the test by clicking the TESTING Tab.  Searchable rules and case books are available by clicking on the RULES BOOKS Tab.

    No later than September 20, the 2013-14 Men’s Basketball Officiating Video will be available on the VIDEO Tab, with all central hub videos viewable on Apple and Android mobile devices. 

    This year’s Welcome Packet includes the 2013-14 and 2014-15 NCAA Men's Basketball Rules Book, 2014 NCAA Men's Basketball Case Book, and 2013-14 Men’s CCA Mechanics Manual.  Welcome Packets will begin shipping in September.  Registered officials will receive an email from informing them of the ship date of their Welcome Packet.

    I am excited you have chosen to register with the NCAA.  If you have ideas or suggestions for improvement, please email me at

    When the officiating community is literally all on the same page, it is good for the game! 

    Have a great season!

    John W. Adams
    NCAA National Coordinator of Men’s Basketball Officiating

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