The NBA Is Trying To Squash Referee Conspiracy Theories By Listing Who Calls Every Foul On The Stat Sheet

The NBA, or Adam Silver’s NBA, as opposed to the formerly David Stern-led league, announced a very interesting move ahead of this year’s playoffs: the league will now include on every stat sheet the referee who calls each foul in the game. This move certainly will put more individual pressure and attention on each referee, but it’s a step in the right direction as far as transparency goes from the league (many fans argue that refs should have to do postgame interviews, like players and coaches). Essentially it’s an effort to squash conspiracy theories from fans and critics.

Per the NBA:

The National Basketball Association announced today that, beginning with the 2015 NBA Playoffs, referee names will be posted in the official play-by-play feeds alongside all calls reported to the table. These calls include fouls, technical fouls and all violations, such as goaltending, lane violations and three-second violations.

This initiative is the latest in the NBA’s effort to provide increased transparency in its officiating program. The addition of the referees’ names will be incorporated into play-by-play reports on,, NBA Media Central via the game books option and NBA Game Time, the official Mobile App of the NBA.

Each of the past several seasons, the playoffs have been marred to some degree by officiating controversies, and the NBA is hoping that this helps solve a few problems. It will be interesting to see if this type of move catches on with other leagues, and it will also be interesting to see how the referees compare amongst each other once the analytics community gets its hands on a decent sample size of data.