Putting Safety, Fairness and Fun First

Take your responsibility of ensuring that all games are conducted in a safe, fair and fun environment very seriously.

In basketball more than any other team sport, a number of injuries, short and long-term, can be traced back to the sneakers players wear. The demands of the sport -- extreme linear and lateral movements -- put particular pressure on the feet that in turn can affect ankles, knees and the lower back. Indeed, if a young player experiences foot pain, multiple ankle turns or sprains, pain or pressure in and around the knee, or complains of lower back pain, it's possible his or her sneakers are responsible. Blisters on the feet are also an indication the player's shoes are either too big, too small or have insufficient support around the foot and ankle.

Enhance player safety by inspecting game facilities and ensuring that players are properly equipped. Inspect the facilities, including the playing surface and surrounding area, to be sure that dangers are identified and eliminated if possible. Check for faulty or wet floors, objects that might be too close to the playing court or other problem conditions. Approve game equipment and make sure that jewelry and other hazards are removed before play starts. If a player gets hurt during a game, stop the action and make certain that injuries are attended to in a proper manner by someone other than yourself (coach, league administrator, medical representative).

Enforce the rules evenly. The rules have been designed to protect players and make the game fair. It's your job to see that the rules are followed consistently by all sides.

Protect players and coaches from threats of harm by opponents or fans. Have control over players on the court. Don't put up with excessive fouls, taunting or trash talking, which could lead to injury. Although an official's jurisdiction may not extend to spectators, at times you may need to address unrulely fan behavior.

Set the example. From the opening tip, set the right on-court tone. If you avoid letting the game get out of control verbally or physically from the outset, the chances are good that you will end up officiating a competitive, fun and rewarding game.

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