A Message From The North Jersey Board Of Approved Basketball Officials, Inc. - IAABO Board 33

One week ago, an NJSIAA tournament game between Manasquan High School and Camden High School ended in a way that drew national media attention and resulted in a lawsuit brought by the Manasquan Board of Education. Manasquan asked a Superior Court Judge to order the NJSIAA to declare Manasquan the winner of the game because of what they viewed as an erroneous judgment call by the officials. The school’s claim was rejected three times in a span of two days: The Chancery Division of the Superior Court of New Jersey dismissed the lawsuit. A subsequent “appeal” to the Commissioner of Education was denied, as was a further appeal to the Appellate Division of the Superior Court.

These three rulings, confirming the NJSIAA’s position that the officials’ decisions exclusively determine the final score, did little to quell the media uproar.

In the final ruling, the Appellate Division of the Superior Court wrote:

While the consequences of a particular call may be unfortunate for a team, the NJSIAA’s regulations recognize the reality that game officials’ calls are frequently disputed, and that permitting such calls to be challenged on the basis of error would result in ongoing litigation, appeals, and scheduling issues, since no game could be considered final if its outcome is disputed in court as a result of an alleged error by officials.

Media reports on the controversy were rife with misleading headlines and inaccuracies regarding the final moments of the game and the aftermath, as self-appointed “experts” castigated the officials, often with crude remarks and innuendo — while remaining clueless as to the rules and regulations that govern the high school game.

We leave the last word to Manasquan head coach Andrew Bilodeau, as reported in nj.com last Friday evening:

The men and women who endeavor to officiate interscholastic athletics are people of integrity, character and love of the game. They do their absolute best, as do the coaches and players….
Source: NJ.com - Updated: Mar. 09, 2024, 8:32 a.m. |Published: Mar. 08, 2024, 8:15 p.m.

Board 33 stands behind our officials who, night after night, do “their absolute best” to get the calls right.