MOST READ Maybe not all PBA fans know that there are two cameras strategically positioned in every playing venue that monitor only the referees’ actions.Yes, these cameras never blink. They record every move the referees make on the court—missed calls, noncalls and wrong calls during the game.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’SPORTSFederer blasts lack of communication on Australian Open smogPBA media bureau chief Willie Marcial said the cameras are a big help to the technical committee in determining calls during situations which require video consultations.He said the cameras also help the referees evaluate and improve their performances, while also providing real-time feedback for game officials. Now that the Philippine Basketball Association Governors’ Cup is in the semifinal phase, expect all games to be even more intense.And when the competition is at its highest level, the referees step up on their officiating and are always on their toes at any given play.ADVERTISEMENT Redemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie Thompson Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Lady Tams book last semis trip Margot Robbie talks about filming ‘Bombshell’s’ disturbing sexual harassment scene DAY6 is for everybody Mos Burger to open in Manila; teases with a pop-up View comments “The cameras are really a huge factor during games,” said Marcial. “Technical officials can monitor the entire game well and make accurate judgments.”The technical committee reviews a referee’s performance after every game. This serves as basis in determining the referee’s rating or grade level.“When a referee performs badly in consecutive games, he or she can be suspended or meted out stiff penalties,” added Marcial.But a referee can’t always be suspended or fined because of wrong calls.The technical committee looks at a referee’s position when a missed or wrong call takes place before making any decision.ADVERTISEMENT OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Jake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’ LATEST STORIES “One time during an Alaska-San Miguel game, the play happened right in front of Alaska’s bench. There was a supposed noncall on Marcio Lassiter. Alaska representative Dickie Bachmann complained at once because he was right there. When the play was reviewed, it was clear that the referee’s view was blocked and so he failed to see if there was a foul or not,” Marcial related.Marcial said this system considerably improved the performance of the referees and somehow made all the teams appreciate calls or non calls—an integral part of commissioner Chito Narvasa’s mission to make officiating understandable to fans as they are to game officials and coaches.Narvasa likewise expressed satisfaction for the above-par performance of the PBA’s pool of 16 referees in the ongoing Governors’ CupHe said none of them have been suspended or fined so far and he’s looking to cut the pool to retain the higher-grade referees during the semifinals of the season-ending third conference. It’s too early to present Duterte’s ‘legacy’ – Lacson In ‘Jojo Rabbit,’ Comedy and Drama Collide SEA Games 2019: Philippines clinches historic gold in women’s basketball PLAY LIST 05:02SEA Games 2019: Philippines clinches historic gold in women’s basketball06:27SEA Games 2019: No surprises as Gilas Pilipinas cruises to basketball gold02:43Philippines make clean sweep in Men’s and Women’s 3×3 Basketball02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award How to help the Taal evacuees Don’t miss out on the latest news and information.
Checks down in favor of plastic In some cases, consumers may still write a check, but increasingly, merchants are scanning those checks and converting them to an electronic payment. The Federal Reserve counts those checks as electronic payments and not as checks; paychecks electronically deposited in employees’ bank accounts are also included as electronic payments. Converting checks to electronic payments allows merchants to get paid quicker, and it may help reduce the number of insufficient-funds checks businesses have to deal with. Processing checks electronically is also cheaper. In 2003, about 8.9billion converted checks were reported, accounting for about 11percent of all noncash payments. At some stores that process checks electronically, such as Wal-Mart and clothing retailers the Gap and Banana Republic, the clerk hands the check back to the consumer with their receipt after scanning it and claiming an electronic payment for the store. Consumers might not realize that many of the checks they write to utilities, mortgage companies and other businesses are also being converted to electronic payments when the companies receive them, said Terri Bradford, a payments researcher with the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. The decline in check writing, combined with the increase in electronic check processing, prompted the Federal Reserve to dramatically reduce the size of its check-processing department, whose operations are covered by the processing fees it charges for handling checks and electronic transfers. Since 2003, the Fed has closed more than half of its 45 check-processing centers. By the end of 2008, only 18 will remain. Checking writing isn’t going away, though. Some transactions are still better suited to checks, such as paying the kid who mows the lawn, making a contribution to a church to have a record of charitable donations at tax time, or payments such as real-estate closings, Bradford said. Demographics also plays a role. Joe Abboud, 90, wrote a check for his groceries at Hy-Vee recently because that’s what he always does. He said he occasionally uses a credit card, but checks are just more comfortable. Another grocery customer, Cheryl Carlson, said she uses checks to keep track of her spending. When she writes a check, she always writes the amount down in her register. With the debit card, that step is easy to forget. “The only time I use my debit card is when I leave the checkbook at home,” said Carlson, who is in her 40s. Fed closes processing centers But paper isn’t going away Suited to checks Some business payments might also be better suited to checks, Bradford said. For example, writing a check instead of authorizing a wire transfer or making some other electronic payment may help a business better manage its cash flow because there is still some delay between when the check is written and when it is received. “From a cash-management purpose, I imagine some businesses would still prefer checks because of the float,” Bradford said. She doesn’t expect checks to entirely vanish. “There’s a certain segment of the population that’s going to write checks,” Bradford said. “You probably get stuck behind them in the check-out aisle.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The growing popularity of plastic is the biggest factor. From 2000 to 2003, the number of debit-card transactions nearly doubled from 8.3billion to 15.6billion, and the number of credit-card transactions jumped from 15.6billion to 19billion. Increasingly, checks also are being converted into electronic payments by merchants who prefer electronic transfers to dealing with the paper checks. For Julie O’Neill of Omaha, her credit card is simply more convenient, and all her spending is compiled on a single statement at the end of the month. When it comes time to pay bills, she turns on her computer rather than digging for stamps. “I procrastinate, so then I can go online and not have to go through snail mail,” she said. Together, credit and debit card use accounted for 43percent of all noncash payments in 2003, up from 33percent in 2000. Richard Kesterson slid his debit card out of his wallet before the grocery store cashier rang up his total. Like millions of Americans, the Omaha, Neb., man didn’t even consider paying by check. Using a debit card or paying online through his bank’s bill-pay system is easier, he said – and his bank keeps track of his spending instead. “I haven’t balanced my account in 10 years,” Kesterson said. Check writing has declined sharply since 1995. The Federal Reserve estimates that 49.5billion checks were paid in the United States in 1995; that figure dropped to 36.6billion checks paid in 2003, according to the most recent Fed studies.