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Section I-The Game Officials a. The game officials shall be a crew chief, referee and umpire. They will be assisted by an official scorer and two trained timers. One timer will operate the game clock and the other will operate the 24-second clock. All officials shall be approved by the Operations Department.

b. The officials shall wear the uniform prescribed by the NBA.

Section II-Duties of the Officials

a. The officials shall, prior to the start of the game, inspect and approve all equipment, including court, baskets, balls, backboards, timers and scorer's equipment.

b. The officials shall not permit players to play with any type of hand, arm, face, nose, ear, head or neck jewelry.

c. The officials shall not permit any player to wear equipment which, in their judgment, is dangerous to other players. Any equipment which is of hard substance (casts, splints, guards and braces) must be padded or foam covered and have no exposed sharp or cutting edge. All the face masks and eye or nose protectors must conform to the contour of the face and have no sharp or protruding edges. Approval is on a game-to-game basis.

d. All equipment used must be appropriate for basketball. Equipment that is unnatural and designed to increase a player's height or reach, or to gain an advantage, shall not be used.

e. The officials must check the three game balls to see that they are properly inflated. The recommended ball pressure should be between 7 1/2 and 8 1/2 pounds.

f. The crew chief shall be the official in charge.

g. If a coach desires to discuss a rule or interpretation of a rule prior to the start of a game or between periods, it will be mandatory for the officials to ask the other coach to be present during the discussion. The same procedure shall be followed if the officials wish to discuss a game situation with either coach.

h. The designated official shall toss the ball at the start of the game. The crew chief shall decide whether or not a goal shall count if the officials disagree, and he shall decide matters upon which scorers and timers disagree.

i. All officials shall be present during the 20-minute pre-game warm-up period to observe and report to the Operations Department any infractions of Rule 12A-Section VIII-J (hanging on the rim) and to review scoring and timing procedures with table personnel. Officials may await the on-court arrival of the first team.

j. Officials must meet with team captains prior to start of game.

k. Officials must report any atypical or unique incident to the Operations Department by datagram. Flagrant, punching, fighting fouls or a team's failure to have eight players to begin the game must also be reported.

Section III-Elastic Power

The officials shall have the power to make decisions on any point not specifically covered in the rules. The Operations Department will be advised of all such decisions at the earliest possible moment.

Section IV-Different Decisions by Officials

a. The crew chief shall have the authority to set aside or question decisions regarding rules made by the other officials.

b. It is the primary duty of the trail official to signal if goals count. If for any reason he does not know if the goal is made, he should ask the other officials. If none of them saw the goal made they should refer to the timer. If the timer saw the goal scored, it shall count.
EXCEPTION: Period Ending Score or No-Score in Officials Manual.

c. If the officials disagree as to who caused the ball to go out-of-bounds, a jump ball shall be called between the two players involved.

d. In the event that a violation and foul occur at the same time, the foul will take precedence.

e. Double Foul (See Rule 12-B-Section VI-f).

Section V-Time and Place for Decisions a. The officials shall have the power to render decisions for infractions of rules committed either within or outside the boundary lines. This includes periods when the game may be stopped for any reason.

b. When a foul or violation occurs, an official shall blow his whistle to terminate play and signal the timer to stop the game clock. If it is a personal foul, he shall also designate the number of the offender to the scorer and indicate with his fingers the number of free throws to be attempted.

c. When a team is entitled to a throw-in, an official shall clearly signal the act which caused the ball to become dead, the throw-in spot and the team entitled to the throw-in, unless it follows a successful goal or an awarded goal.

Section VI-Correcting Errors


Officials may correct an error if a rule is inadvertently set aside and results in the following:

(1) A team not shooting a merited free throw
EXCEPTION: If the offensive team scores or shoots earned free throws on the next possession which, occurred due to not attempting a merited free throw, the error shall be ignored.

(2) A team shooting an unmerited free throw

(3) Permitting the wrong player to attempt a free throw

a. Officials shall be notified of a possible error at the first dead ball.

b. Errors which occur in the first, second or third periods must be discovered and rectified prior to the start of the next period.

c. Errors which occur in the fourth period or overtime(s) must be discovered and rectified prior to the end of the period.

d. The ball is not in play on corrected free throw attempt(s). Play is resumed at the same spot and under the same conditions as would have prevailed had the error not been discovered.

e. All play that occurs is to be nullified if the error is discovered within a 24-second time period. The game clock shall be reset to the time that the error occurred.


(1) Acts of unsportsmanlike conduct, and points scored there from, shall not be nullified.

(2) Free throw attempt resulting from an illegal defense violation.

(3) Free throw attempt(s) resulting from a personal foul which is a clear path to the basket, or a flagrant foul penalty (1).

NOTE: The game clock shall not be reset in (2) and (3) above.


If the first period or overtime(s) begins with jumpers lined up incorrectly, and the error is discovered:

(1) After more than 24 seconds has elapsed, the teams will continue to shoot for that basket.

(2) If 24 seconds or less has elapsed, all play shall be nullified.

EXCEPTION: Acts of unsportsmanlike conduct, and points scored therefrom, shall not be nullified.

a. The game clock shall be reset to 12:00 or 5:00, respectively.

b. The 24-second clock shall be reset to 24.

(EXAMPLE: 12:00 to 11:36 or 5:00 to 4:36-Restart; 12:00 to 11:35 or 5:00 to 4:35-Do not restart.)


If the second, third or fourth period begins with the wrong team being awarded possession, and the error is discovered:

(1) After 24 seconds has elapsed, the error cannot be corrected.

(2) With 24 seconds or less having elapsed, all play shall be nullified.

EXCEPTION: Acts of unsportsmanlike conduct, and points scored therefrom, shall not be nullified.


A record keeping error by the official scorer which involves the score, number of personal fouls and/or timeouts may be corrected by the officials at any time prior to the end of the fourth period. Any such error which occurs in overtime must be corrected prior to the end of that period.

Section VII-Duties of Scorers

a. The scorers shall record the field goals made, the free throws made and missed and shall keep a running summary of the points scored. They shall record the personal and technical fouls called on each player and shall notify the officials immediately when a sixth personal foul is called on any player. They shall record the timeouts charged to each team, shall notify a team and its coach through an official whenever that team takes a sixth and seventh charged timeout and shall notify the nearest official each time a team is granted a charged timeout in excess of the legal number. In case there is a question about an error in the scoring, the scorer shall check with the crew chief at once to find the discrepancy. If the error cannot be found, the official shall accept the record of the official scorer, unless he has knowledge that forces him to decide otherwise.

b. The scorers shall keep a record of the names, numbers and positions of the players who are to start the game and of all substitutes who enter the game. When there is an infraction of the rules pertaining to submission of the lineup, substitutions or numbers of players, they shall notify the nearest official immediately if the ball is dead, or as soon as it becomes dead if it is in play when the infraction is discovered. The scorer shall mark the time at which players are disqualified by reason of receiving six personal fouls, so that it may be easy to ascertain the order in which the players are eligible to go back into the game in accordance with Rule 3-Section 1.

c. The scorers shall use a horn or other device unlike that used by the officials or timers to signal the officials. This may be used when the ball is dead or in certain specified situations when the ball is in control of a given team. The scorer shall signal the coach on the bench on every personal foul, designating the number of personal fouls a player has, and number of team fouls. NOTE: White paddles-team fouls; Red paddles-personal fouls.

d. When a player is disqualified from the game, or whenever a penalty free throw is being awarded, a buzzer, siren or some other clearly audible sound must be used by the scorer or timer to notify the game officials. It is the duty of the scorekeeper to be certain the officials have acknowledged the sixth personal foul buzzer and the penalty shot buzzer.

e. The scorer shall not signal the officials while the ball is in play, except to notify them of the necessity to correct an error.

f. Should the scorer sound the horn while the ball is in play, it shall be ignored by the players on the court. The officials must use their judgment in stopping play to consult with the scorer's table.

g. Scorers shall record on the scoreboard the number of team fouls up to a total of five, which will indicate that the team is in a penalty situation.

h. Scorers shall immediately record the name of the team which secures the first possession of the jump ball which opens the game.

i. Scorers shall record all illegal defense violations and notify the officials every time AFTER the first violation charged to each team

Section VIII-Duties of Timers

a. The timers shall note when each half is to start and shall notify the crew chief and both coaches five minutes before this time, or cause them to be notified at least five minutes before the half is to start. They shall signal the scorers two minutes before starting time. They shall record playing time and time of stoppages as provided in the rules. The timers shall be provided with an extra stopwatch to be used in timeouts, etc., other than the official game clock or watch. The official clock or scoreboard should show 12 minute periods.

b. At the beginning of the first period, any overtime period or whenever play is resumed by a jump ball, the game clock shall be started when the ball is legally tapped by either of the jumpers.

c. If, after time has been out, the ball is put in play by a throw-in or by a free throw, the game clock shall be started when the ball is legally touched by a player on the court.

d. During a jump ball, time may not be reduced from the 24-second clock or game clock if there is an illegal tap.

e. The game clock shall be stopped at the expiration of time for each period and when an official signals timeout. For a charged timeout, the timer shall start a timeout watch and shall signal the official when it is time to resume play.

f. The timer shall indicate with a controlled game horn the expiration of playing time. If the timer's signal falls to sound, or is not heard, the timer shall use other means to notify the officials immediately. If, in the meantime, a goal has been made or a foul has occurred, the crew chief shall consult the timer. If the timer agrees that time expired before the ball was in flight, the goal shall not count. If he agrees that the period ended before the foul occurred, the foul shall be disregarded unless it was unsportsmanlike. If there is a disagreement, the goal shall count or the foul shall be penalized unless the official has other knowledge.

g. In a dead ball situation, if the clock shows :00.0, the period or game is considered to have ended although the buzzer may not have sounded.

h. Record only the actual playing time in the last minute of the first, second and third periods.

i. Record only the actual playing time in the last two minutes of the fourth period and the last two minutes of any overtime period or periods.

j. Timers are responsible for contents in Comments on the Rules-Basic Principles-Section N.