Most of us love sports and it's a wonderful way to bring a pleasant distraction in our lives....especially in 2023. We cheer for our favorite team and blame the refs when they lose. The fan remembers the bad call and forgets about all the mistakes that their favorite team made along the way.

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They remember the so-so holding call but forget that THEIR team let the opponent score every single time they had the ball in the second half of the game. One stop may have been all that was needed in SB 57.

I've said this for years, "if you take care of what you can control, it usually doesn't come down to an official's call." I'm not talking about being perfect either, just make more foul shots than you miss and make most of your lay-ups.

How about this, don't put on a full-court press when you are ahead by eight with less than 2 minutes to go in the game. The only way your opponent will catch up is if you speed up the game and that's exactly what happens when you press.

No one is perfect, not the coaches, the players, or the officials. For the most part, referees officiate because they have a passion for the game. Yes, the money is nice but if that's the ONLY reason that you do it, you'll be miserable.

James Head RCCA AD
James Head RCCA AD

This is my 30th year as a basketball official with Board 49 and I've made many friends along the way. I'm proud to be a part of this group of men and women and even prouder to call many of them "my friend."

The number of officials has declined through the years and I wonder where the next generation of refs will come from. I would say that 75% of our basketball officials in the Southern Tier are over 50 years old.

Free Advice For Basketball Fans And Coaches

Here's some free advice from me, so you can take it for what it's worth. If you're a fan, try to learn some basic rules, please. I feel kind of bad for you when you are yelling out at us and it's OBVIOUS that you don't know what you're talking about.

Also, remember that you are setting an example for the kids. If you are positive as you cheer on your team or yelling negative things to the officials or coaches, they see and hear it and in the words of Rodney Atkins, "I've been watching you, dad, ain't that cool. I'm your buckaroo, I wanna be like you."

Here's some free advice for the coaches. You should officiate five games so you get the feel of what it's like. At one time, I was a coach and a referee and I think that experience made me better at both.

We aren't against you, in fact I think it's fantastic what you are doing because it isn't easy. You are in charge of the lives of so many young men and women and you are making a difference, whether you know it or not.

It's been over 40 years since I played high school basketball but I'll always remember Coach Davis at Northeast Bradford and the man that he helped me become. Thank you to all the coaches for what you do.

It's been a great 30 years with many fantastic memories on and off the court. I LOVE what I do and I can't wait to see you at the basketball games next season. I plan to keep on going as long as my body holds up...then maybe I'll become a volleyball official.

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