Earlier this year
Should the NBL adopt a similar no ref contact rule like AFL?
It's been a hot topic in the AFL recently with Hawkins getting suspended last week for making contact with an umpire and a couple of other incidents this weekend, all have been very minor, but AFL pretty much has a no umpires contact policy.
I had a fair few issues with the NBL refs last year, but one thing I really disliked that was an easy fix was the constant contact between refs and players/coaches in games (often even initiated by the refs). So many times you'd see refs and/or players with an arm around each other, or giving each other a pat or some form of contact.
I just think it's a bad look for a league, especially one thats had an issue with complaints about reffing. During the season I remember one game seeing a ref put his arm around Wesley a few times, having a laugh and even give him a high five and pats on the back. Wesley coincidently got a couple of lucky calls later. Not suggesting anything suss happened, but just that it's a bad look for the league.
It's not a huge issue, but an easy fix and something I think will help with the league's professionalism and integrity image. IMO there should be a no contact policy during games for players/coaches with refs. I think players and refs should be issued a small fine (don't want to see suspensions) that increases with every offence.