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The number of bad and missed calls per NBA game might shock you

In this video we explain the number of bad calls and missed calls refs have on average in an NBA game, but we STILL want to try to hold refs accountable…with your help. If you’d rather read than watch the video, checkout the text below the vid.

We want to take a few moments to address the question that you might be asking, “Why can’t RefCalls.com just watch every game and log all of the bad calls and missed calls from each game.  There can’t be that many, right?”

Well, when we first started this project, that’s what we thought, too.  We were thinking that maybe there were going to be 5 to 10 wrong calls a game, so it wouldn’t take that much time.  But when we started logging games in detail, it turned out that there were anywhere — on average — from 80 to 100 bad calls or missed calls per game!  And if you’re going to do it right, that it takes about 10-12 hours to breakdown each game!

Given that there are 1,230 NBA games in the regular season, with up to 12 to 13 games played some nights, and there are a ton of NCAA Division 1 basketball games throughout season, it’s almost impossible to expect volunteers to do this kind of work since we all have lives to live, jobs to work, or studying to do (if you’re in school).  And paying people to do this work would be very expensive.

And we can tell you from first-hand experience that it’s pretty grueling work, it’s easy to miss bad calls and wrong no-calls, and there are still many subjective calls such that each person’s analysis should be reviewed as a sanity check.

For example, we found that most people have different threshold levels on how much contact is enough to warrant a foul.  So you basically have to check everyone’s analysis to make sure the judgments are consistent across the board, and this doubles the amount of time needed to review just one game.  This is all very time-consuming and expensive to resolve, and until there is enough capital to pay analysts to log all of these calls and no-calls and double-check them for accuracy, we’re going to rely on a sample of games and calls that’s much more manageable.

One of the primary factors that makes it so time-consuming to review all of the calls and no-calls from just one game is the enormous number of MISSED TRAVELS in a game.  Based on our analysis, approximately half of the 80-100 bad calls or no-calls in a game are missed travels.

We have published another piece on why missed traveling calls are so prevalent that you can checkout later at refcalls.com/missed-travels, but the main reason is because they are difficult to detect at real speed, which means you have to watch each potential traveling call frame-by-frame to see if a travel really occurred.  This all adds to the amount of time it takes to break down a game in its entirety.

So what we decided to do is focus primarily on publishing those calls and missed calls that have the most IMPACT on the outcome of a game, and if there weren’t any that had an impact, those calls or no-calls that were just plain terrible.

If you’re new to RefCalls.com, check out our other video on how you can help us improve the game of basketball.

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