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UBA referee Joseph feels Principle of Verticality and Cylinder Principle are the most misunderstood fouls

Former FIBA and current UBA referee Joseph John talks about United Basketball Alliance and it's impact on Indian basketball

Joseph John Referee UBA United Basketball Alliance Season 3 Pune
Joseph John during a UBA match in Season 3

He’s 65, and runs as much as any other young basketball player would. Meet Keralite Joseph John, the ex-International Basketball Federation (FIBA) referee. The former district level basketball player turned referee, says he’s aging and it affects his physical fitness, but his on court presence of mind and agility could give anyone a run for their money. Sportskeeda caught up this UBA Pro Basketball League referee to know more about his journey and what made in him fall in love with the game.

Sportskeeda: Were you always destined to be the world of basketball?

Joseph John: Looks like. Since my schooling days I was inclined towards this game. We were introduced to basketball at an early age in the school. The game always fascinated me. Also, I represented my school and college at various competitive levels as a player.

S: How did you switch to being a referee?

JJ: You could say it’s the love that brought me back to this game. Although, I am from Kerala, I was a Mumbaikar for a fairly long time. Even while I was working at a bank in Mumbai, I kept in touch with the game. I also played for a couple of clubs in Mumbai. Later, towards the end of my career as a basketball player, I intended to be a referee. I cleared my exam I was an official referee. In 1997, I recognised as a FIBA referee. So after I retired from the bank, I shifted back to Kerala and the game lured in again. And here I am at the UBA as a referee.

S: How has the journey been so far?

JJ: It has been good, with several ups and downs. But I am glad I stuck with basketball because it made the journey smooth for me. It taught me how to be a team player which helped me in my personal life to. Hence, I owe a lot to this game.

S: What is the hardest part of being a referee?

JJ: Off late I can say the physical fitness.

S: Referees’ are not God.. What about the time when you give wrong decisions?

JJ: Everyone has their perception, the way they see thing with their eyes. The players, coaches and referees all have a different point of view when on court. We see the things from our point of view which the players and coaches find it wrong sometimes. Also, we cannot always be right. We are humans after all. When we give a wrong decision, we try to accept the situation and move on because it’s inevitable. However, we try not to commit the same mistake again.

S: Any rules, fouls or signals that the players or coaches find it hard to understand?

JJ: The most misunderstood fouls are the Principle of Verticality and Cylinder Principle. Each player has their own imaginary cylinder over them and when someone breaks it, it’s a foul. And when we call the foul on that player he thinks he hasn’t done anything wrong. As a referee, we have to analyse situation and give an unbiased decision and that’s what we do.

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