When it comes to the game of basketball, there are a number of factors that play into each and every game on the court. Of these factors, there are some that one’s team can control, and there are some that one’s team cannot control. Factors one’s team can control include the following:

  • Your gameplan
  • Your shot selection
  • Your passes
  • Your defense
  • Your effort
  • Your heart
  • Your attitude

The factors that your team cannot control include two major things

  • The other team’s playing
  • The officiating

Let us take a look at the second one on that list. Now, before you argue every “wrong call” and blame nearly every close loss on bad officiating, let’s talk about it. There are usually two officials on the court for a GSBL game. That means two officials for 10 basketball players. That means that there are 4 eyes watching 10 players. They will not see everything! Also, keep in mind that referees are just ordinary people who are not perfect. They are just doing their best, and that is all one can ask for.

There is so much to look at in the midst of a game for the officials. From players driving to the hoop, crashing the boards, setting screens, and bodies flying on the floor, there is so much for an official to see that he cannot see it all. Therefore, it would be unfair for a player to argue with a referee when he makes (or does not make) a particular call.

I recently started officiating AAU basketball, and I must admit that it is much more difficult than it looks. There is a lot to keep track of in a fast-paced, back-and-forth game. From my years of playing, I came to realize that even though officiating has an impact on the game, it ultimately does not decide who wins. The list above that you CAN control is what decides the game. So, before you blame your team’s loss on the officiating, just recall your team’s 15 turnovers, your 7 missed layups, and the step-back, fade-away, contested 3-pointer you took with 30 seconds on the shot clock. 🙂


-Former GSBL Player and Current AAU Official