Still in between seasons even though basketball has really started I decided to wait till after the new year. Just can’t get into the sport so I only took 3 nights this year. I decided I’m going to talk about covering the game.

A good crew can go through a game and be unnoticed. Usually when you have two well coached/disciplined teams you rarely hear anything about the officiating crew because they didn’t have to get involved very much. One thing I have noticed is that officials (for the most part) have gotten better in the state because they are studying the mechanics manual and they know what areas to cover and allow there crew mate to cover the other areas of the field. As far as the passing game is concerned, it can’t be covered with only 5 officials. The game has changed a lot in the last 10 years. You don’t see many teams lining up and running between the tackles. Instead they spread the defense out from sideline to sideline and then throw to 5 receivers.

Now I know what you’re thinking “big deal”. Well it’s hard to cover those 10 players with 3 officials that also have other areas of responsibility. Ok say a team lines up with 5 receivers; the back judge takes two, the head linesman takes two and the line judge has 1 and when the ball is snapped the back judges pair has crossing routes or they go the opposite direction. Your line judge should give up his man take the one nearest him and the back judge gains the orphaned receiver. It’s during that time when we cant see everything. There is a delay in the switch and that’s when you can miss an offensive or defensive holding ( yes you can have defensive holding). After that play you can honestly say that you didn’t see it.

It was only a few years ago that the change was made from a 4 man crew to a 5. With the game evolving as quickly as it has don’t you think the standards in officiating should evolve as well? In the next few years hopefully officiating will evolve and you will see 7 man crews or maybe 6 man.