The game of basketball is not officiated only by referees, there is a whole group of officials to manage a game and to keep things on track. The group includes referee, umpires, scorer, timekeeper and shot clock operator.
Though each official has his own responsibilities but their collective motive is to run a game smoothly, to ensure the enforcement of rules and to maintain the order of the game. Below is an overview of the responsibilities of each official.
Referees are the main officials of the game. They are the ones who are actually responsible for enforcing rules and regulations and calling fouls and violations. The number of referees officiating a game depends on the level of play. In NBA, a crew chief and two referees are assigned to conduct a game and there official uniform is gray shirt and black pant. In international basketball or NCAA game, it can be either one referee and one umpire or one referee and two umpires officiate a game. They wear typical black and white stripped shirts and black pants.
Lead referee (also known as crew chief in NBA) is the in charge of the game. Normally, all two or three referees are independent in terms of making their decisions but in case of a dispute, it’s the lead referee whose verdict is considered final.
Scorer play supportive role in the game of the basketball. There can be one or two scorers in a game depending on the rules of the league and their job is to write down the stats relevant to the game. They keep a running summary of points scored, notify field goals and free throws made and missed. They also record the fouls called on each player and informs a referee if sixth fouls is called against a player (to eject him from game). Also notes the timeouts and let the referee knows if all timeouts have been used up by a team.
Timer assists referee in recording time. Generally, two timers are appointed by the league. One is official timer who operates the game clock and the other is shot clock operator who operates 24 second clock. Official timer alerts referee when each half is going to start and stops the clock when any kind of interruption occurs during a game (fouls, out of bounds, timeouts etc) while shot clock timer informs referee when a player takes 24 or more seconds to shoot a ball (keeping the ball in possession for 24 seconds or more is a violation).
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