By Alice Barbosa, sportswriter, and Árbitros NBA CEO
Eighty-four referees are in the list released by the NBA last Thursday (21) for the new season. The number is six more compared to the previous period, which had 72 professionals dedicated exclusively to the league and six non-staffers, who are the officials who still share the performance in the NBA with the work in the WNBA and G League.
For the 2021/22 season, there will be 75 exclusive referees and nine without complete dedication to the men’s league. Veteran Ken Mauer appears on the list for his 36th year in the NBA, still holding some records. He is the official with the most refereed games – 2,028, in addition to 226 playoff games. In this post-regular period category, Scott Foster appears in second place with 213 entries. The Maryland native moves into season 28 of his career.
In addition to Mauer and Foster, Tom Washington is also among the longest-lived on the court, coming for 31 years on the whistle. On the other hand, John Conley, Brandon Schwab, and Danielle Scott are the part-time referees promoted to serve full-time in the league for the first time.
However, the NBA roster has some outcasts, such as Tony Brown, who is being treated for pancreatic cancer and is not expected to return to court, and Ashley Moyer-Gleich, who has four years of service in the league, remains in the maternity period.
In this season’s non-staffer referee roster, four women will serve in the NBA. Dannica Mosher was listed; Blanca Burns, Cheryl Flores, and Jenna Reneau came from the organization’s other leagues.
Even with the disclosure of the 84 names, there is an inevitable loss of two – Brown and Ashley. However, it is still a more significant amount than last season. Moreover, with movement restrictions due to the pandemic, the number of available referees will give more autonomy to the selection of matches.
Feature photo: Esto.