Many people wonder about what’s going through the mind of a referee when he calls something that didn’t happens or miss an infraction that everyone sees. You can smile or fall in desperation depending on the angle of your sight. Talking about an evaluation error, in some cases, might be paradoxical, often the difference between perception of reality (decision) and what really happens unfortunately it’s huge.

Perception is a process of elaboration of sensorial data coming from outside and their translation in complex information to be entrusted to “cognitive functions”. This is not a passive answer, fragmented, automatic, but an active and direct organization of data. Referee must manage many complex situations, in which data arrives through eyes and ears, in a three-dimensional space and as a function of time: the real marked by the clocks; the emotional conditioned by the mood; the one of perception of the objects wich moves around and how fast they change the position.

This complex process request the ability to express hypothesis (not to guess) about what happens, the elaboration of all data, associated to knowledge and experience produce choices, sometimes simple and immediate, other times complex therefore slower. At any choose should match a decision: call-no call, possibly connected with reality. Anyway in the game occurs situations which overcome the human perceptive limit, an help may arrive by the review of TV shots, but the limits imposed by the IRS protocol or by the two-dimensionality of TV images, are unable to dispel all the doubts.

At any level of officiating should match a degree of knowledge and ability to manage the largest part of the situations, It could be enough to stop for a moment, to understand what’s happens around; the teamwork increases different point of sight, from comparison should germinate the seed of equity. The main matter is to understand to have committed a blunder, and if it possible to correct it! Turn a blind eye, push ahead, sell the call, not to ask or to listen, may be an immediate analgesic, but without a specific care, in a short time the pain come back, probably harder.

The clips shows a crescendo of wrong perceptions, subjective, where the interpretation and the consequent choose leads to a, objective, wrong decision. The “physical” proxemic of the call and the signal subtract lucidity and self-critical capability; contribute to inhibit a possible help by the mates, but above all didn’t convince nobody! If not yourself.

Today the web and the television rebounds immediately the images worldwide, often with the intent to expose the actors to the public derision. Once again we try, with our rereading, to give ideas and suggestions to limit or correct the wrong perceptions, always within the rules. Understand and develop efficient knowledge and strategies to not confuse our perceptive system and cause it to fall into error. Gain the skills about the method of perceiving the external world regarding the available tools. To be able to perceive reality not only from a subjective point of sight, but also from an objective side, in the awareness that’s all is relative and has not universal value. To grow up by overtaking yourself, shifting your own limits ahead, modifying the sights angles on ourselves and others, by boosting the changing.

Clip 1 – Goal tending, interference

The 24white shoot is blocked by 0blue in his upward flight and before the ball has touched the backboard is sanctioned as a violation of GT/I from the centre ref. The call arrives in lagging behind the legal play of 0blue. The “strength” signal by the centre ref, turns off the correct evaluation of the trail ref who make a nod of assent with his head, to endorse the legality of the 0blue block shoot. During the dead ball a communication by the trail ref to his mate could repair the mistake, but may lack courage to help and correct the mate? Cancelling the wrong decision the ball will be awarded to the blue team, indicated by the possession arrow, but the basket wrongly awarded would be correctly cancelled. We don’t know if the blue coach asks for a review of IRS, opportunity not granted in that moment of the game.

Clip 2 – travelling violation

Few seconds left on the game clock, blue team is trailing by 2, 11blue jumps for a 3pts shoot, but 6yellow, although late, close the shooting space with the left arm, 11blue to not take the block shot and not having time to pass the ball, let it fall on the floor. Releasing the ball after have lifted the pivot foot 11blue has committed travelling violation. The trail ref, well placed, after have lifted the right arm to signal the attempt but miss the travelling call, then he bends over his legs and indicate with the two joined arms an imaginary point on the floor. 11blu regain the ball and release another 3pts shoot to win, but the ball bounce on the ring and the game ends. You can see in the background the centre ref who after reporting him too the 3pts attempt, drops his arm, probably comforted by safe expression of his mate, closest to the play, he decide for a no call and lift shyly half arm on the 2nd 3pts attempt. The play of 11blue is not a fumble, an eventual touch of the ball by the leg of 6yellow after the release of the ball by 11blue mustn’t change the evaluation on the violation committed. Missing the call, no decision can be taken to correct the mistake – imagine if the second attempt enters the basket? – you can only apologize!

Clip 3 – Offensive foul

Fast break 2white stops in the paint and release a shoot, while the ball enters sweetly in the net, the lead ref calls an offensive foul to 2white, guilty to have pushed 6red, and cancel the basket. The great emphasis put in the call and signal decrease lucidity and concentration, it would be enough to stop for a moment to understand that nobody has understood! 6red is convinced that he makes the foul, except then to realize reality and distance themselves with his mates. No help arrives from the other referees, turned off by the signal sureness of the lead ref? Mostly from the centre who accompany the fast break slowly, guilty in late. A brief analysis of the play, by the crew, or only an answer about the moment of the contact related to the shoot, could have light on the “lamp” to correct the error. The foul called couldn’t be cancelled, but since the contact occurs after the ball was released the 2pts must be granted. The game resume, after recording the foul and the basket on the scoresheet, with a throw in from the end line for the red team following a successful basket – white team hasn’t finish is penalties in the period – with 24” on the shot clock.