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Tuesday, March 5, 2024
The Observer

Bookstore Officiating

First, I'd like to give major thanks to all who facilitate Bookstore Basketball, even to an extent those I'm expressing my concern about in this article. And while I'll admit that it's very hard to criticize volunteer officials in a charity basketball tournament, I'd like to make some observations. First, it's obvious that officials are needed to have a final determination, otherwise games would become even more heated than they are. And while such tournaments should allow for more contact, there has to be a limit to what is allowed and a limit that remains consistent throughout the game.

My main concern is the disparity in officiating from ref to ref and court to court. While some officials make a conscience effort to follow the play up and down the court and be as consistent as possible, others lackadaisically try to officiate from the backcourt on a frontcourt possession and have an inconsistent call selection. As an example, I have seen minor hand checks called and hard contact to the basket not called. The biggest problem with this is that the quality of the game overall is degraded and contact becomes worse throughout the game. If a player can get away with holding and shoving then he thinks he can get away with even greater and sometimes maliciously intended contact. So, I propose some simple suggestions.

First, consider providing some non-monetary incentive for the officials to work hard. This could be recognizing top officials and offering those officials gift certificates to campus outlets. Secondly, bring the officials all together even 15 minutes or a half hour before the games are to begin to discuss game management like call selection and how to handle different game situations. Lastly, give officials more authority to penalize players who are insubordinate during their games; this can cut out most of the bickering and bantering by players during the game. Thanks for considering these suggestions and keep doing a great job Bookstore Commissioners. I look forward to watching the Sweet 16.


Michael Jackson
Duncan Hall
April 20 

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.