With the playoffs now getting close to getting down to some serious high level competitive action I got to thinking about the officiating and how difficult it is referee an NBA game. If you take the five major team sports played in America I would rank them this way in terms of difficulty of officiating, taking into account the affect that crowds can have on officials. From Most Difficult ------------------ 1. NBA 2. NFL 3. NHL 4. MLB 5. MLS The action in the NBA is so fast and the players are so big playing on a small piece of wood that even with three officials it is very difficult to officiate The NFL of course has 7 officials on the field for only 22 guys but the physical nature of the game along with the fast movement makes it also difficult to officate. Hockey of course is such a fast game that along with the contact lends itself to making it 3rd most difficult on my list. The most difficult part of umpiring MLB are the "bang-bang" plays. I think those are more difficult than umpiring behind the plate where the umpire establishes their strike zone at the beginning of the game and that is it. However when you get a pitcher whose ball has a lot of last 5 feet movement than umpiring behind the plate can be difficult. I would put MLS last because basically most of the contact is around the ball and usually doesn't involve more than a couple of players at any one time. Not to say that officiating MLS is easy, but I think that it is not as difficult as the other 4 team sports, other than you have to be in really good physical condition to officiate MLS probably more so than any of the other 4 sports.