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NBA to Release Grades for Referees’ Crunch-Time Calls

If you’ve been screaming for the NBA to be more transparent in the way they hold their referees accountable, you’re in luck. The league announced Friday that they’ll start releasing reports of all calls and relevant no-calls in the final minutes of close games, according to Brian Mahoney of the Associated Press.

This practice will begin Monday and continue throughout the playoffs. The graded reports will be released by 5 p.m. ET the day after the game and will focus on plays in the last two minutes of games that were within five points at the two-minute mark, as well as all of any overtime periods.

Every call will be reviewed by a senior basketball operations manager or senior referee manager. The reports – which will be posted at NBA.com/official and the league’s media site – will have a comment and video link.

Here’s a statement from NBA executive vice president of referee operations Mike Bantom:

“Our policy in the past was pretty much to wait until we had something that was controversial enough to really garner a lot of interest and we didn’t think that that was a practical approach. And it also wasn’t very fair because they always tended to be errors that were made, so we tried to come up with a system that would allow us to provide some insight into our process and set a criteria that would allow us to be more standardized and more consistent.”

In the past, the NBA had only made announcements when a major call was deemed incorrect. This system will allow for correct calls to be noticed as well, which is something the referees had been pushing for. While releasing this information won’t change the outcomes of games, it’ll still be nice for it to be out there for people to see.


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