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Salt City Hoops Ep. 51: Referee Calls, Stats, and Tendencies

On this edition of the Salt City Hoops Podcast, we talk about refereeing. Ref decisions make a large impact on every game, but are often written off as a too difficult to control. On the podcast, we talk to two experts who have studied NBA refereeing.

Our first guest is John Ball, proprietor of the @RefAnalytics Twitter account. He published a paper in this year’s Sloan Sports Analytics Conference detailing the differences between certain NBA refs and how they call the game. We talk with him about his findings, and how an NBA team might use the information he found to gain an advantage.

Then, we bring on Brett Crane, better known as @bjcseven to talk about his work charting Jazz games specifically. Are there any referees who are biased for or against the Jazz? Do refs make different calls? And why is Zach Zarba his favorite ref anyway? All that, plus a Crazy Trade Idea of the Week, on this week’s podcast!

Author informationAndy LarsenAndy Larsen is the Managing Editor of Salt City Hoops, the ESPN TrueHoop affiliate for the Utah Jazz. He also hosts a radio show and podcast every week on ESPN700 AM in Salt Lake City.Twitter