NBA referees will be interacting with fans via Twitter for the rest of the season during select games, per Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com.
The National Basketball Referees Association had previously carried out an experiment with the concept, featuring it during a finals game last season. And the league is now set to hand supporters the opportunity to engage and question officials over plays during games, starting next week.
Windhorst writes that the feature will be available to fans for two of next week's games - Monday night's Golden State at Los Angeles Lakers on TNT and Wednesday's ESPN showdown between the San Antonio Spurs and Philadelphia 76ers.
The @OfficialNBARefs #RefWatchParty is returning next week, live from the NBA Replay Center - offering live commentary and real-time officiating insights. Get your questions answered during NBA games on @NBAonTNT and @ESPNNBA using #RefWatchParty. More details to come: pic.twitter.com/uXLS5hgMlA— NBA Referees (@OfficialNBARefs) January 17, 2019
Fans can tweet directly at @OfficialNBARefs or use the hashtag #RefWatchParty to get responses from officials watching the game.
The concept garnered positive feedback when it was launched during the finals last year and will resume next week, until the end of the regular season. However, some playoff games will also be subjected to fan query.
"NBA referees will answer questions about calls in real time over Twitter in a selection of games for the rest of the season, starting with two games next week," Windhorst's report reads.
"This season, the NBA league office has agreed to work in collaboration with the referee union on this project. As part of the deal, the tweeting referees will have access to the league's replay center in Secaucus, New Jersey, just like the officials who are on duty that evening, so they can have all the angles available to answer questions.
"The union and the NBA plan a series of these games over the next few months, including some playoff games."
What This Means
This could have broken Twitter had it been made available earlier this month when the officials completely missed Kevin Durant stepping way out of bounds to toss a ball back into play, nearly costing the Houston Rockets a game.
And, given some of the poor officiating we've all had to endure this season, it could either prove to be very useful or backfire epically.