AD’S and Coaches:

Hope you have had a great holiday season - Happy New Year to you and your families!   2021 is ushering in some great basketball!!

2020 was a very challenging year for all.  Thank you for the tremendous job that each of you are doing in providing opportunities for the winter sports and the athletes. As we all know after the holidays and the Christmas break, teams begin to think about conference championships and seeding for tournament purposes.  The IGHSAU staff are always impressed with the tremendous job that our coaches and administrators are doing with our schools and athletic programs.  Keep up the awesome job!

The following information should help each of you as we prepare for the post-season.  In addition, the latest official’s memo has been included at the end of this document.  It is important that the coaches and athletic administrators are aware of some focus points that are being shared with the basketball officials by Chuck Brittain, Coordinator of Basketball Officials.

  1. QuikStats – A reminder that updates are required by Tuesday at noon of each week.
  2. Rankings – Weekly rankings will continue each Thursday of the season. 
  3. Regional Assignments – Classes 1A, 2A, and 3A assignments will be posted in the latter part of the week of February 1, 2021.  Classes 4A and 5A will be posted in the latter part of the week of February 8, 2021.
  4. Site availability – if you have not yet completed the site availability schedule for the post-season basketball games, please complete that by January 15, 2021.  Click here to view the schools that have submitted site availabilities as of today (Jan. 7). 
  5. HUDL statewide pool – As you know from previous communication, due to COVID-19 and the inability for coaches to scout in-person, the IGHSAU worked with HUDL to develop the “statewide HUDL pool” for the girls basketball season.  Girls basketball teams who were part of another conference or class pool have been transitioned into one statewide pool.  Thanks for cooperating – I know some coaches preferred to keep their own conference pool.  Please work with us this year and after the season provide some feedback on this statewide pool – as I mentioned “having a statewide pool” has been recommended by the Girls Basketball Advisory Committee several times.  This year (with the inability to scout) became an opportunity to use this available resource.  Again, thanks for your willingness to be involved.  As noted, some schools did not have the girls basketball package of HUDL – it is not required for you to go purchase the package – if you do not purchase the package, please work with schools on providing the games to your opposition through YouTube, streaming, etc.  PLEASE NOTE THAT GAMES SHOULD BE POSTED TO HUDL BY NOON FOLLOWING YOUR GAME.  IF A SCHOOL HASN’T POSTED THE GAME, PLEASE CONTACT THE COACH OF THE OPPOSING SCHOOL AND/OR AD AND ASK THEM TO PLEASE POST.  EACH COACH/AD HOLDING EACH OTHER ACCOUNTABLE IS VERY IMPORTANT – AS WE KNOW TIMES HAPPEN IN WHICH THE JOB DIDN’T GET TAKEN CARE OF AND A BRIEF REMINDER IS IMPORTANT.
  6. Post-season information – in the next couple of weeks, regional rosters and site host checklist information will be posted in your Varsity Bound account (under basketball) as we get closer to the post-season.  A reminder:  regional tickets for hosts will not be sent from the IGHSAU.  Host sites will use their regular season tickets for the regional games.  If you would like the IGHSAU to mail regional tickets to your school, please contact Sherry at [email protected]

As the IGHSAU looks to the state tournament, we are looking at some different options to make the state tournament safe and yet a great experience for our schools and student/athletes.  As we get a little closer to the start of the post-season, the IGHSAU will communicate changes/if any would need to occur.

Gary Ross, IGHSAU Associate Director and Basketball Administrator


Now that the year 2020 is behind us, hopefully we are set for some great basketball! As we all know after the holidays, teams will begin to think about conference championships and what the seeding for the tournaments will shape up to be.  That means, we as officials need to sharpen our games both on and off the court. Since our observers have not been able to attend games, we have been viewing many games on live stream, Mediacom, local networks, Hudl and of course YouTube. I can tell you that on just about any given night our observers are checking out parts of three-to-four games each for a total of about 30-40 games every night. It really has allowed us the opportunity to check in on more people and offer feedback to many more officials than in the past. I would like to add that all of these media options are available to you as well to watch yourself and self-evaluate. Following are a few items that have been brought to our attention and just some things to think about and work on as we continue through the season. Hopefully, you will find one thing in this letter to help you improve your game.

Post Season IGHSAU Assignments

In preparation for post season, please be sure to have all dates blocked in your RefView account that you are not available to work during the post-season series.  If you do not intend to work post season and your name appears on the list on our website, (COACHES AND ADMINISTRATORS/BASKETBALL and scroll to the bottom) please contact Sherry to have your name removed.  If you plan to work post season, please login to your RefView account to complete your banking information so that you will receive your electronic payment.  Questions, please contact Sherry.

2020-2021 Points of Emphasis:

Traveling Rule 4 - Section 44, page 41 and 42- officiate “feet up on the catch.”  Know the pivot foot and have a good clear view of the play and please don’t guess just because it looks like it was traveling.  When you call it know what you have.

Reporting fouls and getting to the reporting area - When you are the calling official, make clear preliminary signals at the spot of foul then move with purpose and hustle to the reporting area and then stop, gather your thoughts, take your time and give clear signals to the bench personnel. Clear crisp communication at this point will give you, your crew and your calls more credibility.

Shooters - Officiate the jump shooters all the way to the floor, when contact “CALL THE FOUL”

Ball Handlers and off ball cutters should not be impeded with excessive contact. No Hand checking, No bumping.  Call the first foul, the teams will adjust if you will stay diligent and consistent.

Post Play – To be effective, the primary coverage official must see the entire play and must call the first foul. Your absolutes - two hands on player, kneeing post player, swim move - these are automatic.

If the above are not included in your pre-game we would suggest that you implement them immediately!!

Things our observers have noticed:
We are asking officials to not talk and carry-on conversations with anyone including head coaches while the ball is alive.  Understand that these coaches may have to wait for some explanations. It is best to remember that we as officials have a job to do and our focus should be on the 10 players on the court. I might add - that if our mechanics improve, we will have fewer coaches requesting clarifications.

Preliminary signals on fouls and violations are sometimes not clear and are confusing.

We are seeing officials walking everywhere including to the reporting area and on transition. Move with purpose.

Some of our games seem inconsistent from one end of the floor to the other. We think that many are not having pre-game locker room meetings with the three of you talking through situations and how certain plays will get officiated. As a crew, establish what you plan to call to what your goal is as a group.

Things and rumors we have heard or seen that we want to clarify

  1. We are starting each and every game in Iowa with a jump ball.
  2. The clock starts when the ball is legally tapped on a jump ball.
  3. National Federation approved officiating attire is what is acceptable and expected.
  4. The ball becomes dead when entering the net from below and going through the basket.
  5. Just because it looks strange doesn’t mean it is illegal. Know the rules inside and out.
  6. Illegal game attire needs to be removed to participate - example illegal t-shirt, jewelry etc. no technical needs to be assessed just the player is not allowed in the game until they are legal.

Mental Preparation for Better Officiating

  1. Everyone can think and every great official has that ability. 
  2. When you arrive at game site start your focus, no phones, be businesslike, have quality pre-game, learn from everyone around you. 
  3. Know what your absolutes are, post play, hand check, what do we do with bodies on the floor.
  4. Think advantage/disadvantage, game interrupters that we don’t need to call. Are we too picky 
  5. Sequence events, think plays over and over the same way “video will help as well”
  6. Think: feet, defense, shot, foul, basket interference/goaltend, rebound, transition
  7. Think how do and will I get the best look possible on every play!Where are my shoulders, eyes from lead, trail, center.
  8. Fish only in my pond but be aware of others.

Official Thinking List:

  1. One play at a time.  Once a play is over move to the next.
  2. Officiate like you were going to teach officiating.
  3. Find the best qualities of other officials and incorporate those in your game.
  4. Have a constant routine from game to game, night to night.
  5. Objectively evaluate your weaknesses and understand them.
  6.  Ask for help when you do not know.
  8. Take and accept postgame critiques from fellow officials. Positive and negative!

Here is a play to ponder...

Team A is awarded an alternating possession throw-in. A-1’s throw-in pass is illegally kicked by B2.  What is the ruling? Here’s a hint - it is on page 36 of the case book.

I hope you found one thing that will help you with your game! I will close with just saying how much we appreciate your efforts, your willingness to go the extra mile to accommodate game changes, your willingness to set aside a night and then find out the game is cancelled until Monday when you had other plans. We want to thank your spouses, significant others, your children and of course your bosses who are helping make this all work. Your efforts are making this season possible and we could not do the game without you!! I hope you have a great 2021 and a successful rest of the season and hopefully we will see you in person soon.


Chuck Brittain, IGHSAU/IHSAA Coordinator of Basketball Officials