Bart, I have to agree with you on all points except the "time-out" count. The player can't call time-out after the count reaches "4". It's possible the ref was in motion to count "5" when the player signaled for the time-out.
I think the missed "traveling" and "out of bounds" call (with time left on the clock, but ruled game over) you referred to was in the Rutgers-St. John's game during the Big East Tournament. You're right, one of those officials was in one of yesterday's games at the end where no foul was called (Texas-Arizona ? , referee - Jim Burr ?)
A player CAN call timeout anytime during the count. The official said he was counting in his head and had reached five even though his arm had not indicated it. I'm wondering if they start counting and say one, two, three instead of zero first because is they say one when they give him the ball then they say five at the count of 4. But here is the interview with the official.
"On an in-bounds play, Texas guard Cory Joseph was whistled for a five-second violation before he could call a timeout.
Officials make chopping gestures to signal each second. After the fourth chop, Joseph clearly calls timeout. But the official still ruled it a five-second violation.
Joseph was following the chops, not the timer that is going on in the official's head.
Apparently to Cartmell, that's what Joseph needed to do.
"I had 5 seconds before the kid turned and signaled a timeout," said Cartmell. "I had to make a decision whether it was 5 seconds or a timeout and I made the decision it was 5 seconds because I had counted 5 seconds before he called timeout."
On replay, that was not the case at all.
Cartmell stopped short of his fifth chop, and blew the whistle. He was emphatic with his call that it was a five-second violation."
I have never been a referee, but I've watched a lot of games (and tonight I may stay at a Holiday Inn ;-). The broadcasters have always said the player cannot call time-out after the ref reaches the count of "4".. It is considered to be a "5 second violation" even though the count never reaches 5 seconds.
I'd have to say it was a poor explaination of the call on the ref's count. (Unless the announcers have been wrong all these years.)
I always thought that a player or coach could call time-out any time before a violation occurred. I googled the NCAA rules on basketball and while it doesn't say "anytime", it also doesn't say that the player can't call time out after the count of four. That would seem to be a "4 second" violation then. It also does say that the time STOPS when the ball leaves his hands and NOT when it touches someone in bounds. You have to remember that most of those announcers were once jocks!!
Another interesting thing I found. How many times have you seen a player along the sideline with the ball or jump to catch a ball and start to land out of bounds and call timeout before he lands out of bounds? Seems like I have seen that but not sure now. Anyway, they can't call timeout in that situation.
I'm wondering if that "no time outs after 4 seconds" isn't one of those referee agreed upon "code" things? Maybe tried to get a rule and didn't and it just became accepted procedure. They don't have stop watches and if they did couldn't be looking at them. Maybe could get electronic devices, but who would pay for them? Money is the reason that high school games don't have the shot clock. Expensive equipment and the need to hire another person to run it for each game. The big leagues don't have the electronic strike zone equipment primarily because you'd have to take the technolocy down through the minors and colleges and high schools eventually and that would obvioulsy be prohibitve.
Best sports "code" story I've heard was from a friend who attended one of the professional umpiring schools that all umps need to attend as a first step. He said that there was quite a bit of classroom time and on the first day the instructor, who was a well respected active veteran Major League umpire, said "First rule...the runner is out at first.". In other words, don't be looking for out calls...look closely for safe. If he's not, he's out. And it works. It's absolutley imazing how when the TV replay coverage slows down the play how the umps in the bigs get 999 out of 1000 of the close calls at first right.
Being a referee is just like being on a school board, it doesn't pay enough, someone is always mad at you and you are never right. Having said that, it is much more fun and satisfying to gripe about them than to agree with them.
We'ee experiencing a plague of inciteful, sometimes borderline dangerous behaviour towards high school coaches up here. Losing alot of good ones to it. Comment boards on local and regional newspapers have become sewers.
More of the net effects of the generation of Reagan/Cosby kids having moved into the business of raising children without ever having passed out of childhood themselves. Immense air of entitlement and exceptionalism everywhere, exaspirated by time and money invested in paid camps and amatuer clubs such as AAU and JO.
Consolodation of rural schools and sports pairing arrangments hasn't helped either, as confolicting parents don't have generational bonds with each other. But then too chickn#### to face up to anything so it all falls back on coaches and ADs when things such as little Johnny not seeing enough court time come up.
They just changed the rule on calling the time-out when falling out of bounds in the last couple years or so. Calling a time-out in that situation used to happen a lot.
Back when I was in high school, the ball had to be touched by an in bounds player before 5 seconds, but they changed that for college several years ago (don't have any idea how long ago though).