The Manasquan, New Jersey boys’ basketball team is the victim of poor officiating by an NJSIAA referee and two umpires in the Group II state semi-final game.

Manasquan should have been declared the winner of the game, but, instead they had their victory taken away from them.

A game-winning layup was clearly made right before the final game buzzer sounded.

The NJSIAA officiating crew initially appeared to get the call right and Manasquan thought that they had won the game 47-46.

The stakes couldn’t be higher, with the winner heading to the state championship game, and the loser going home.

However, the 3-man officiating crew decided to conference together and ultimately decided to wave off the potential winning basket and instead handed the win (unjustly) to Camden High School.

In case you’re wondering, this call is the responsibility of the trail official, not the lead official under the basket.

The NJSIAA has apologized to Manasquan High School and they have admitted that an officiating mistake was made.

However, the NJSIAA Will not allow video evidence to make a call.

The NJSIAA rule is unambiguous and perfectly clear.

No video or audio recording may be used to review or challenge the decision of a sports official.

Further, in the NJSIAA Bylaws, Article VIl, Section 1

prohibit protests based upon an official's judgment or misinterpretation (misapplication) of the playing rules.

The ruling on the court is, exclusively and by rule, what determines the game winner.

Regardless, the end result is a travesty and an injustice.

Camden made two free throws with five seconds left … to take a 46-45 lead.

Manasquan quickly inbounded the ball and a missed long range shot that was rebounded and successfully put back  just be before the buzzer sounded.

I am a former NJSIAA certified basketball official. With three game officials, who were selected to do tournament work … they should have been able to get this call right.

Officials instinctively know following a made Fred throw to be watching for a potential buzzer-beater.

The NJSIAA said the following:

(The) NJSIAA understands Manasquan's frustration regarding the outcome of last night's game. We never want a contest to end with controversy or confusion," the organization said in a statement. Here, all of the events happened within the final second of the game. One of the three officials counted the basket as beating the buzzer. The three officials then met at half court to confer. A second official saw the ball in the shooter's hands when the buzzer sounded. The officials then waved off the basket. Later, after being shown video clips, the second official agreed the basket should have counted. That said, the rules are clear -- once game officials leave the 'visual confines of the playing court,' the game is concluded, and the score is official. So, while the officiating crews' reports indicate that a post-game review of footage of the play in question convinced them that the basket should have counted, the results could not then and cannot now be changed. Unlike in college or the pros, there is no instant replay review in high school basketball in New Jersey. These are the rules of the game that all schools agree to follow, and which have been upheld on appeal. We apologize to the Manasquan team for the error.

Manasquan High Scjool posted the following on social media. X, formerly Twitter as follows:

We appreciate the NJSIAA's transparency in admitting the error in the calling of last night's Group 2 Semifinal Boys Basketball game and appreciate their apology. It is indeed frustrating, however, that the NJSIAA refuses to exercise its discretion to remedy the situation that was so obvious and well-documented. In our unwavering support of our players, coaches, and families, the District will continue to pursue any available appeals we can to vindicate the values of fair play and integrity that should be the hallmarks of interscholastic athletics.

I agree with Manasquan High School. They NJSIAA should have gotten this right.

Also, the game official who made the right call should have pushed for his call to stand.

SOURCES: NJSIAA & Manasquan High School X social media post.

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