ACC

Why there may be unfamiliar faces officiating ACC basketball games this winter

Louisville head coach Rick Pitino, right, argues with referee Brian Dorsey during the Cardinals game against Duke in 2016.
Louisville head coach Rick Pitino, right, argues with referee Brian Dorsey during the Cardinals game against Duke in 2016. AP

Life on the road will be a little easier for basketball referees on the East Coast this winter.

After the ACC formed a men’s basketball officiating alliance in June 2016 with the Big East, Atlantic 10 and Colonial Athletic Association, four new conferences joined the alliance Thursday: the Ivy League, Patriot League, Big South and Northeast. The group will still be led by Bryan Kersey, the ACC’s supervisor of men’s basketball officiating, and his Big East counterpart John Cahill.

The eight conferences in the alliance can collaborate on officiating schedules and training and evaluation of young referees, and the primary goal of the alliance is to make officiating more consistent across conferences.

“Combining the expertise and resources of outstanding basketball conferences gives us a chance to prominently support current and future officials,” ACC commissioner John Swofford said in a press release. “Adding these important conferences will provide an even greater opportunity to build consistency and quality throughout the officiating ranks.”

The alliance makes travel schedules less disjointed for officials and also makes advancement to more important games easier for young referees by opening the door to more teams they can officiate.

For example, a referee that works an ACC game at Syracuse may no longer be needed to travel to Raleigh for an N.C. State game the next night. Instead, he could be assigned an easier trip to a Big East game in New York at St. John’s the next day, while an official who was at Davidson for an Atlantic 10 game could travel to Raleigh instead.

The alliance now includes most of college basketball’s conferences that are concentrated on the East Coast with the four latest additions, making it simple for referees to officiate several teams in the same general area for days at a time without having to take a flight.

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