National Federation of State
High School Associations
Three Officials’ Mechanics
Primary Coverage Areas
Fouls & Switching
Time-outs & Intermission
Ball Side: The location of the ball in the normal frontcourt
offensive alignment of a team. In dividing the court down the
middle, (using the basket as a center point), end line to end line.
The side of the court where the ball is located is ball side.
Bump and Run: A technique when one official “bumps” another
official out of his/her current position and the vacating official
“runs” down into a new position.
Center Official: The outside official who is in the off-ball position,
midway between a step below the free throw line extended and
the top of the circle. The Center official may be table side or
Close Down: Movement of an official (a step or two) related to
movement of the ball. The Trail and Center close down toward the
end line; the Lead closes down toward the nearest lane line
Lead Official: The official positioned along and off the end line.
The Lead official may be table side or opposite the table, but will
be on the same side of the court as the Trail.
Move to Improve: A technique that means to move your feet
in order to improve your angle on the play. Helps to eliminate
Opposite Side: The side of court opposite the table side.
Primary Coverage Area (PCA): Area of responsibility for
each official. PCA is determined by ball location.
Rotation: A live-ball situation, whereby the location of the ball
keys a change in coverage for the officials. This is implemented
when the Lead official moves to ball side dictating a change of
position by the Center and Trail officials. The Lead should not