PBA Commissioner implements referee substitution
MANILA, Philippines – New Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Commissioner Chito Narvasa is on a mission: to make officiating understandable from game officials to coaches, all the way down to casual fans.
In his first season as Commissioner, Narvasa immediately took charge and implemented the option for referee substitution Wednesday, October 21, on opening day of the PBA's 41st season. (IN PHOTOS and VINES: PBA opens 41st season)
Instead of just 3 referees per game, an extra fourth referee will be waiting on the sidelines and can brought in at any point during the contest but only upon the discretion of the Commissioner. In the absence of Narvasa, only deputy commissioner Rickie Santos is allowed to make substitutions.
"It gives them an opportunity during the game to focus totally." Narvasa explained when he would make the judgment call to substitute a referee – "Sometimes they lose focus. So when I see them lose focus, I just bring them out, tell them what went wrong, and let them come back in." (Rappler Talk: The PBA's New Commissioner)
For now, there is no set limit to the number of times a substitution can be made. More specific rules depending on situations have yet to be established.
"It's the educational process that we're going through. It helps them (referees) understand the game a little bit more on the coaches' and players' side," said Narvasa, who also previously served as league commissioner for local collegiate leagues UAAP and NCAA. "We're getting to understand each other better. That's the whole idea."
Rain or Shine and Star were the first teams to experience the new rule during the first game of the 2016 Philippine Cup.
Painters coach Yeng Guiao, who has long been vocal about improving officiating in the PBA, is keen to take on the experiment.
"I think it's something worth trying. I think the results will prove whether it's good or not," he said. "It's always good to experiment. I guess if FIBA or NBA gets wind of this they might do it too. Maybe we're setting a trend somehow."
"But bottomline, did the officiating improve or did it create a positive outlook on all the teams? Let's give it some time and then let's make a judgment," he added, noting the new rule could be beneficial to avoid fatigue on the part of the referees.
Narvasa, who has better officiating as his major agenda for this 2016 season, substituted a referee twice during Wednesday's game as Rain or Shine went on to defeat Star. – Rappler.com