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IAABO Nassau County Board 41


SIGNALS – “The Language of the Game"

An official set of approved signals have been in place since 1945. Revisions have occurred, as needed, to conform with rule changes.

The need for having a definite set of signals and for having officials use a prescribed set of signals is obvious to everyone involved in the game.

Signals are used to communicate and should never be used to call attention to the official.

The majority of signals are used to indicate what has or is happening. No signal is needed to indicate something has not happened. The approved signals communicate needed information to partner(s), timer, scorer, players, coaches, spectators and media.

Communication and consistency in rules enforcement remain the most important elements of good and professional officiating.

The approved signals are dignified, informative and meaningful.

Signals should be given in a manner which is calm, unemotional, under control, unhurried, dignified and professional.

The use of unauthorized signals frequently confuse, as their meaning is unknown.
Repeatedly, an unauthorized signal becomes the issue when problems occur during a game. The use of additional signals, or those given in an exaggerated manner, does not help anyone. Signaling a foul or violation is no time for the official to get creative and emotional. Officials are not required to “sell rulings.” Officials are only required to be accurate in their rulings.

Problems are created when officials engage in “hit & run” officiating. This occurs when an official sounds the whistle, maybe stops the clock, and immediately leaves the site of the foul or violation without taking the time to follow the proper procedure at the site of the foul or violation. Additionally, signaling to stop the clock and have appropriate eye contact with partner(s) can avoid mix-ups and dilemmas.

At the site of the foul and violation it is expected that the player(s) involved be informed of the specifics of the ruling via approved signals.

At the reporting area the official is expected to stop then present, in a deliberate and thorough manner, the approved signals along with any accompanying information.

Be professional! Join the team! Improve the service to the game, the communication and understanding by only using prescribed and dignified signals.

Deviation from using approved signals is unacceptable.