Heinie Wagner said:Can anyone who is an official answer if that's how you're trained? If you don't see it get tipped, but it changes directions, do you make the call based on the logic that it must have been tipped? Or do you have to see it to call it?
The discussion here has been on soccer of late (and I think of this question in particular), so I want to honestly say that I have never and will never officiate soccer...
However, tipped ball is an item in both baseball and basketball, which I do work. Particularly in hoops this comes up on boundary plays (out of bounds calls). Generally speaking, I would answer the question that yes, see it and call it... don't see it, don't call it.
I attended a basketball camp this summer for 3-person mechanics at one of our state universities and the trainers (D-1 college refs) implored us to not guess... with 3-person teams, working together and working our primary areas, the guess work should be eliminated - however, in 2-person crews, eliminating the guess work is nearly impossible, for the exact reason you cite here. There is a fairness to logically watching a change in direction and establishing that a defender (very, very) likely caused it... and calling it that way.
One subtle aspect of the training I have received in both sports is, in many cases, a call like this boils down to timing the call... that is, quite often, if I slow down my whistle and my call just a heartbeat or two (and not really more than a couple of heartbeats), the players will literally make the call for me. They get what's going on and generally want to play fair by instinct, so the player that tips a ball out of bounds will turn to run up the floor knowing they did it. Now, that said, it's competition and an edge is an edge and players play hard and yes... we have to make calls, too.
Again, my tendency and my training is to call it if I see it... If I don't see it, I can't call it.We're not there to guess - no matter how logical.
I am not perfect, though, and your angle and my angle - your judgement and my judgement won't always match up. I always hate when a runner steals 3rd base because honestly, almost 100% of the time, the 3rd base coach has a better view and angle on the play than I ever will. All I can do is my best and that means hustling and getting into the best position possible.
I will also repeat that the higher level the game, the better the officials should be... and anything below high school junior varsity, and absolutely anything below advanced middle school (i.e. 8th grade, we call it AAAA, or Quad, here) will almost always be maddeningly amateur, if not downright horrific... at or below high school levels you can count on no training or nearly no training or testing, so ... good luck.