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PVOA is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization based in Loudoun County, Virginia, is a professional member of NASO, and dedicated to the advancement and development of youth sports.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Game Management - Get the First Illegal Act

video

Watch the clip above.  In the span of 13 seconds, we have 2 screens and a shooting foul on a drive to the basket.

Let's break down the play:

  • Is the first screen by Red #21 legal?  It's pretty close and calling it would be putting junk into the game.  
  • Is the second screen by Red #231 legal?  Definitely not.  Red #231 moved into a defender and did not give the defender time and space to avoid contact.
  • Is the foul by White #44 accurate and right?  It's close and an argument can be made either way on the contact.
The point of this video is to bring out two points:
  1. Officials must work to get the first illegal act instead of penalizing the subsequent action.  In this play, a team control foul for an illegal screen should have been called on Red #231.  White should have the ball to inbound on the sideline.  Instead, a shooting foul is called on White #44 which puts Red #10 on the line for possible 2 points.
  2. Do not make the game harder for yourself.  If the trail official in this case was refereeing the defense, then that illegal screen would've been really easy to call.  Instead, the crew exchanged an easy call for a much tougher call to make.
Much easier said than done, and that's why officials must referee the defense and avoid getting tunnel-vision.

This is a case study in game management: understand that as officials, we should always work to get the first illegal act and not punish the second act.  Coaches tend to get upset when an official's missed call results in a possible scoring opportunity for the other team.  

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Timeouts, Halftime, and Overtime













This post will talk about the topics of timeouts, halftime, and overtime.

For timeouts:
  • Types of timeouts
  • Who can call a timeout
  • Timeout reporting
  • Timeout administration
  • Resuming play

For halftime:
  • Duties during halftime
  • Resuming play

For overtime:
  • Overtime period length
  • Rules about OT periods


Note: The information listed here is according to the NFHS rulebook and may not be applicable to all leagues.  Additionally, the information listed here is not exhaustive as it will dive into particulars as it relates to stoppages of play, but this is a high-level primer on these topics.

Click on the tabs below to find out more about each topic.


There are three types of timeouts: full timeouts, 30-second timeouts, and official timeouts.  Official timeouts are called by the referees to resolve an issue such as injury, untied shoelaces, discrepancy on the scoreboard, discrepancy in the scorebook, etc.

Full timeouts are 60 seconds in length.  30-second timeouts are 30 seconds in length.  Official timeouts are indeterminate in length in order to resolve the situation that warranted the official timeout.

Number Allowed
Each team team is granted 5 timeouts for the game with the following breakdown:
  • 3 full timeouts
  • 2 30-second timeouts
Note: Each individual league may elect to supersede the number and duration of timeouts.  Please visit the rules for each individual league to find out what the specified number of timeouts are.

When Can a Timeout Be Granted
  • The offensive team can call and be granted a timeout as long as there is player control of the ball.
  • Any team can call and be granted a timeout when the ball is dead.
  • No team may be granted a timeout if there is a held ball (there is no possession).
Do not grant a timeout unless (1) you know which team is asking for it and (2) if that team is allowed to be granted the timeout.

When calling an official's timeout, use judgement.  For example, if the timeout is for untied shoelaces, it's not the best opportunity to stop play if the offensive team have an immediate opportunity to score.  In this play, after the try is successful or after the defense secures control of the ball, then a official's timeout can be granted to resolve the safety issue of untied shoelaces.

Note: If the official's timeout is for injury, play may be stopped depending on the severity of the injury even if the offensive team has an immediate opportunity to score.  Error on the side of caution and safety.

Timeout Administration
The official that grants the timeout must find out if the coach wants a full timeout or 30-second timeout and report this information to the scorer's table. The official who is not administering the timeout should get the ball and go to the inbounding spot.

Note: The official/ball should be at the inbounding spot to tell coaches/teams where the ball will be put back into play.  This allows the coach to draw up a play based on the spot.

When asking for a timeout, coaches will often just say "Timeout!" so the official granting the timeout should ask the coach "Coach, 30 or full?"  After determining what type of timeout is requested, the administering official needs to report this to the table so the scorebook keeper can track the number of timeouts taken and remaining per team.

To report the timeout, the administering official should about 10-15 feet away from the scorer's table to report the timeout.  There are three things that needs to be reported:
  1. Color of the team who the timeout is granted for
  2. Who called the timeout (Coach or player)
  3. What type of timeout it is
Examples:
        "Blue Coach, 30-second timeout"
        "Red #2, full timeout"

Reporting signals for timeouts:

Warning Horn/Whistle

A warning horn or whistle shall be sounded with 15 seconds prior to the expiration of the timeout to get the teams back onto the court.  When the timeout expires, ideally the ball should be put into play.

Do not let teams dictate the length of the timeout.  Practice game management in getting the players back on the court and play started.

The administering official is responsible for keeping track of how much time has eclipsed.  Once the warning whistle sounds, both officials have equal responsibility in getting the teams back on the court and ready for play.

Putting the Ball In Play
Following the timeout, the official inbounding the ball should sweep the floor and verify that each team has 5 players on the court.  The inbounding official should also check to verify that the other official is in the right spot and that play is going in the right direction.

After sweeping the floor, the inbounding official has the responsibility of putting the ball in play.

Full Sequence

  • A1 (Red team) has the ball and is trapped in the corner.  Coach A calls "Timeout!"
  • Official #1 acknowledges the timeout, verifies that A1 has player control of the ball.
  • Official #1 blows his whistle, puts his land up with an open hand, and says "Timeout, Red!"
  • Official #1 asks Coach A "Coach, full or 30?" to which Coach A replies "30 seconds."
  • Official #1 goes to the scorer's table to report the timeout: "Red, Coach, 30 second timeout."
  • Official #2 gets the ball and goes to the inbounding spot.
  • Official #1 waits till there is 15 seconds remaining in the timeout and blows the warning whistle to get teams ready to play.
  • Official #1 waits until the timeout is over and blows the ready to play whistle.  All of the players should be back on the court and ready to play at this time.
  • Official #2 inbounds the ball and follows the inbounding procedures.














Halftime/End of Period
After the conclusion of a period, teams have 60 seconds (essentially a full timeout) to rest and for the coaches to communicate with their players.  As with a timeout, the officials should blow the ready to play whistle with 15 seconds remaining and by the end of the 60 seconds, the teams should be ready to play.

Halftime length is determined based on each individual league and the level of play.  Typically in house leagues, it's set for 3 minutes.

Officials can use the time after the end of a period and during halftime to catch their breath, but it's an opportunity for officials to practice game management and be competent communicators.

Communicating With Each Other
  • Reflect on how the game is going.  Were there any calls that were 50/50 (marginal)?  Are there any players that are problem players?  Was there anything to note that the officials need to be on the same page on?
  • Think of how this next quarter/half will go.  Is it a close game so will players be more physical?  Is it a blow out game so do we need to practice game management?
Game Management
  • Check the score book and determine how many timeouts each team has.
  • Check the score book and determine if there are any players in foul trouble.  This is important because if a player has 4 fouls, then we shouldn't foul out the player on a ticky-tack foul.
Example:
  • Crew communication: "Hey, this is a chippy game and defenders are starting to get a little too physical on the ball handler.  Let's keep an eye out for that in the second half.  #3 on blue likes to camp in the lane and I've been warning him to get out so we need to keep an eye out on that.  This is a close game so teams will be playing more physical defense and we may get into a situation where the losing team will try to foul.  We need to be aware of that."
  • Game management: "Okay, #3 blue has 3 fouls on him and #4 red has 4 fouls on him.  Let's make sure they earn those next fouls.  If it's a foul and there's disadvantage, let's call it, but let's not call marginal contact that has no effect on the play."
  • Game management: "Hey Coach, you have 2 timeouts remaining for the game."

Overtime is a special topic. According to NFHS rules, each overtime period is 4 minutes (Rule 4-17) and an unlimited number of overtime periods will be played until a winner is determined. However, many leagues decide to supersede the NFHS rules in an effort to finish games on time. To find out what the overtime rules for each specific league, please visit the rules for each individual league.

Overtime length aside, the following principles/rules apply to overtime:

  • Overtime periods will start with a jump ball
  • Teams will go in the same direction they were going in the second half (towards their bench)
  • Unused timeouts carry over into the overtime period
  • Each team will be granted one additional full timeout
  • Personal fouls carry over into the overtime period
  • Team foul count from the second half carry over into the overtime period

Monday, October 16, 2017

Game Management - Understanding the Ramifications of Your Whistle (3 seconds)

video

Watch the clip above.  #4 for North Carolina starts out in the lane at :01 of the video and continues to be in the lane at :06 when the ball is released for a successful 3-point try.

He's in the lane for a total of 5 seconds.  But wait, isn't it a 3-second violation if an offensive player remains in the lane for more than 3 seconds?  Did the officials miss this one?

As basketball officials, we need to understand the ramifications of our whistles.  Every time we decide to put air into the whistle, we are affecting the game.  Therefore, we should careful pick when we insert ourselves into the game.

In this clip, Duke had just scored a successful 3-point try to pull within 1 point of North Carolina with a little under 9 minutes to play in the 1st half.   

While #4 did satisfy the conditions for a 3-second violation, ask yourself these questions:
  • If there is a good flow to the game (it is a fast-paced competitive game), is this the right opportunity to disrupt the flow with a 3-second call?
  • Was #4 every involved in the play?
  • Did #4 gain an advantage from being in the lane for a prolonged amount of time?
#4 was never involved in the play so never gained an advantage from being in the lane.  Making this call is not only a turnover at this point, but also taking potential points away from North Carolina.    The correct call in this situation would be a no-call.  

However, had the ball been passed to #4, then an advantage has been gained by #4 being in the lane for a prolonged amount of time.  Therefore, that would justify a 3-second call.

Just because a call is accurate, does not mean the call is right.

In this type of situation, if the coach asks: "Hey, can you keep an eye out in the lane for 3-seconds?"  The response should be: "Coach, I saw him in there, but he was not involved in the play."

This is a case study in game management: understand that there are ramifications for every whistle.  Coaches tend to get upset when officials (1) make a marginal call that gives the opposing team an opportunity to score points or (2) officials make a marginal call that takes points away from their team.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Introduction to Positioning (2 Officials)

Most games at the recreation level are officiated by, a crew of 2 officials. Each official has their own set of responsibilities depending on where they are on the court and what is happening during the game. In the 2-official system, one official will always be the LEAD OFFICIAL and the other official will always be the TRAIL OFFICIAL.

As the name suggests, the lead official leads the play.  That is, leading the players towards the basket that they are trying to score on.  The trail official trails the play.  That is, following the players up the court.  Lead and trail officials are always diametrically opposed, which is diagonally opposite of each other.  Imagine drawing a rectangular box with the officials are on opposite corners.  The goal here is to box the players in so that the officials have the best angle to see everything going on in front of them.


The picture above represents the initial starting positions of the lead and trail official in the half court set.

The lead official:
  • Is between the outer lane line and the three-point line
  • A depth of 3-6 feet (if able)
  • Has primary responsibility for the area shaded yellow in the above picture
The trail official:
  • Is at or above the top of the key
  • Works the "arc"
  • Closes down on the shot (take a step towards the basket and pickup rebounding action)
  • Has primary responsibility for the area shaded red in the above picture
From the above default positions, the officials should be in a good position to see most of the action.  However, depending on the movement of the players and especially the ball handler and primary defender, the officials should be constantly adjusting the box.  Officials should move to avoid getting stacked (straight-lined), to get a better view of the play, and be in a position to rule on a possible out-of-bounds play.

The lead official has an area of movement from the outside line of the lane all the way over to the near sideline.  The trail official "works the arc" and should stay between the center of the court and the near sideline.


The image above represents the half-court set and the movement of the officials.  What happens on the transition when the ball moves to the other side of the court?  Simple, the old lead becomes the new trail and picks up the responsibilities of the trail official.  The old trail becomes the new lead and picks up the responsibilities of the lead official.

The important thing to mention here is that while the ball is live, the two officials will always stay diametrically opposed on their lateral side of the court (the one exception is on a made basket).  Imagine folding the court in half horizontally: the official above the fold will always be above the fold while the ball is live and the official below the fold will always be below the fold while the ball is live.

In the image below, the official that's currently the lead official will always be above the blue line.  The official that's currently the trail official will always be below the blue line.  This will be true as long as the ball is live (again, the exception is on a made basket since the ball is dead when the try enters the basket).




Common Positioning Mistakes New Officials Make
  • Ball watching: Not watching the matchups in their primary area and instead focusing on the ball handler and the primary defender.
  • Not Maintaining the Box: Letting the player and the ball get outside the box without readjustment.  
  • Drifting Over: This is usually something the trail official does.  As the ball handler goes to the other side of the court, the trail official will follow instead of maintaining proper lateral positioning.  What ends up happening is both officials will be on the same lateral side of the side (sharing a sideline), leaving the other side uncovered.

To learn more about different aspects of positioning for 2 officials, click on one of the tabs below:


Just like how the court is split up into primary coverage areas for the lead and trail officials, each official has a specific job when it comes to policing the different lines on a basketball court (sideline, endline, and division line).


The lead official is always responsible for two lines: the near sideline and the near endline (See image above).

The trail official is always responsible for three lines: the near sideline, the division line, and the far endline (See image above).

The official who is responsible for the boundary line has the responsibility for out-of-bounds call.  For example, the lead should never call a backcourt violation and the trail should never call an out-of-bounds on the lead's endline.

After calling the out-of-bounds, determining what happens on the inbounds as it relates to positioning is simple:
  • If it's your line of responsibility, then you are responsible for inbounding the ball (rotate as necessary)
  • Exception: On a play in the backcourt where the defense knocks the ball out-of-bounds on the far sideline from the trail, the trail official will always inbound in this case even though the lead official is still responsible for calling the out-of-bounds

When inbounding the ball, please observe the following tips/principles:
  • If the ball goes out-of-bounds in the lane endline, move the player to outside the lane closet to the lane line where the ball went out-of-bounds to inbound.  This is to avoid the player throwing the ball and hitting the basket or backboard.
  • When inbounding on the endline in the frontcourt, the lead must give the ball to the player.
  • When inbounding on the endline in the backcourt, the trail should bounce the ball to the player.
  • When inbounding on the sideline, the lead and trail should to bounce the ball to the player.
  • The official inbounding the ball must be on the outside of the player (closer to the sideline or division line or endline).
  • Always sweep the floor prior to putting the ball in play.
In addition, when inbounding the ball, the official should move away from the player (about 5-7 feet) while administering the inbounds.  This is so that the official has a wider angle to see the whole play.

Take a look at the following examples with it relates to simple out-of-bounds.  For more complex out-of-bound plays that involves rotations, please see the Rotations tab.

Play #1: Ball goes out-of-bounds on the endline in the lane: this is a frontcourt inbound (play is going left).  The lead official should move the ball to outside the lane in order to inbound.
 


Play #2: Ball goes out-of-bounds on the endline by the lead: this is a frontcourt inbound (play is going left).  The lead official is outside of the player in this scenario as the lead official is closer to the near sideline than the player.

















Play #3: Ball goes out-of-bounds on the sideline by the trail: this is a frontcourt inbound (play is going left).  The trail official is outside of the player as the trail official is closer to the division line than the player.


Play #4: Ball goes out-of-bounds on the sideline by the trail: this is a backcourt inbound (play is going to the left).  The trail official is outside of the player as the trail official is closer to the endline than the player.



Typically, for most out-of-bound scenarios there does not need to be a rotation of the officials.

However, that is not always the case:

  • If the ball goes out-of-bounds on the lead's sideline above the free-throw line extended, the lead will rotate up to become the trail and inbound the ball as trail.  If the ball goes out-of-bounds on the lead's sideline below the free-throw line extended, the lead does not need to rotate and will bounce the ball to the inbounding player.
  • If the ball goes out-of-bounds on the trail's sideline below the free-throw line extended, the trail will rotate down and become the lead and inbound the ball as lead.  If the ball goes-out-of-bounds on the trail's sideline above the free-throw line extended, the trail does not need to rotate and will bounce the ball to the inbounding player.

Play #1: Ball goes out-of-bounds on the lead's sideline above the free-throw line extended: this is a frontcourt inbound (play is going to the left).  Since the ball is above the free-throw line extended the lead will rotate up and become trail to handle the inbounds.  The trail will rotate down and become the lead.

Note: The picture below does not reflect the correct primary area of coverage following the rotation.



















Play #2: Ball goes out-of-bounds on the trail's sideline below the free-throw line extended: this is a frontcourt inbound (play is going left).  Since the ball is below the free-throw line extended the trail will rotate down and become lead to handle the inbounds.  The lead will rotate up and become the trail.

Note: The picture below does not reflect the correct primary area of coverage following the rotation.















Play #3: Ball goes out-of-bounds on the endline opposite of the lead: this is a frontcourt inbound (play is going left).  Since the ball is on the opposite side, the lead will rotate over to the other side of the basket to handle the inbounds.  The trail will rotate to the appropriate side as well.

Note: The picture below does not reflect the correct primary area of coverage following the rotation.















Play #4: Ball goes out-of-bounds on the lead's sideline in the backcourt: this is a backcourt inbound (play is going left).  In this play, since the ball went out-of-bounds on the lead's sideline, the lead is still responsible for calling the ball out-of-bounds.  However, since it's a backcourt inbound, the trail will handle the inbound.  The trail will rotate over to the other side of the basket to handle the inbound.  The lead will rotate to the appropriate side as well.

Note: The picture below does not reflect the correct primary area of coverage following the rotation.
















Note on Crew Harmony as it Relates to Inbound Rotations
Be aware of where the ball goes out of bounds and start the rotation as necessary.

In examples #1 and #3 above, the trail official should know that the lead official will be rotating.  In this case, rotate along with the lead official.  Do not wait until the lead official is in position before realizing, "Oh, I need to rotate!"

In example #2 and #4 above, the lead official should know that the trail official will be rotating.  In this case, rotate along with the trail official.  Do not wait until the lead official is in position before realizing, "Oh, I need to rotate!"

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Live Ball and Dead Ball

This section explores the rules behind live ball, dead ball, and why understanding of when the ball is live versus dead is important.

The NFHS basketball rules book covers live ball and dead ball in Section 6-1 and Section 6-7.

Note: The information covered in this section applies to games following NFHS rules.

Please select a tab to find out more about the selected topic.


















The ball becomes live when:
  1. On a jump ball, the ball leaves the official's hands.
  2. On a throw-in, when the ball is at the disposal of the thrower.
  3. On a free-throw, when the ball is at the disposal of the free-throw shooter.
Think of it as: when the players dictate what happens next to the ball, the ball is live.

In the three situations above:
  1. When the official tosses the ball up for the jump ball, the two jumpers now decide what happens next to the ball.  The ball is live.
  2. On a throw-in, when the official gives the ball to the thrower, the thrower now decides what happens next to the ball.  The ball is live.
  3. On a free-throw, when the official gives the ball to the free-throw shooter, the shooter now decides what happens next to the ball.  The ball is live.


There are many situations in which a ball becomes dead.  Typically, a dead ball signals a brief stoppage of physical play.  Basketball is a contact sport so contact is inevitable, but there should be no physical contact during dead ball.

Ways for the ball to become dead:
  1. Following a successful try until the thrower picks up the ball and is ready to proceed with the throw in.
  2. A foul or violation occurs.
  3. The ball comes to rest on the flange of the basket or the ball gets stuck on the basket (enforcement is through the AP arrow).
  4. A held ball occurs.
  5. A timeout is granted.
  6. An official's whistle is blown.
  7. Time expires for a quarter or extra period.
There is one exception: The ball does not become dead until a shot try or tap ends, or until the airborne shooter returns to the ground (one foot lands = shooter has returned to the ground).

Correlation Between Live Ball/Dead Ball and the Clock

  • A ball being live or dead has nothing to do with the clock.
  • Just because the ball is live, does not mean the clock is started.
    • During an inbounds once the official gives the ball to the thrower, the ball is live, but the clock is stopped.
  • Just because the ball is dead, does not mean the clock is stopped.
    • On a successful try, the clock continues to run.

Timeouts

  • Only the offensive team can call a timeout when the ball is live.
  • Either team (offensive or defensive) team can call a timeout when the ball is dead.

Fouls

  • If contact occurs when the ball is dead, by rule the contact is either ignored or ruled a technical (intentional or flagrant) foul (Rule 4-19, Art 5c).
  • This means that if contact occurs between opponents during a dead ball that warrants a foul call, then that foul will be a technical (intentional or flagrant) and the procedures for a technical foul will be followed (2 free throws and possession of the ball).

Procedural

  • If the ball is dead as a result of anything other than a made basket, then the official must put the ball in play:
    • For example: If the ball goes out of bounds, the official MUST give the ball to the inbounding thrower.
    • For example: If a foul/violation is called, the official MUST give the ball to the inbounding thrower or free throw shooter.
  • Note: On a made basket, the official does not need to give the ball to the inbounding player.










Question: A1 releases the ball on a try for goal.  The try is successful.   Is the ball dead and when does it become live again?
Answer:  The ball is dead as soon as the try is successful.  The ball is not live again until it is at the disposal of the thrower.

Question: A1 releases the ball on a try for goal.  The try is successful.   As soon as the try is made, Team A coach calls a timeout.  Is this allowed?
Answer: Yes.  The ball is dead, either team may call time out.

Question: A1 releases the ball on a try for goal.  The try is successful.   B1 picks up the ball, but has not started his throw-in yet.  Team A coach calls a timeout.  Is this allowed?
Answer:  No, once B1 picks up the ball, B1 has now established player control and team control.  The ball is live and only Team B may call a timeout.

Question: A1 throws a pass that goes out of bounds.  B1 picks up the ball and proceeds to inbound it to B2.  Is this allowed?
Answer: No.  In this situation, the official must put the ball into play. The official shall blow the whistle, signal which team will have the ball, and indicate the spot of the throw-in.  The official shall then place the ball at the disposal of the thrower, which will make the ball live.

Question: B1 fouls A1.  After the whistle has blown, A1 places two hands on B1 and shoves B1.  The official rules this a common personal foul on A1.  Is the official correct?
Answer: No.  By rule, contact during dead ball is either a technical foul or is ignored.   Because A1 placed two hands on B1 and shoved B1, this cannot be considered incidental contact and must be ruled a technical foul.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Control: Player and Team

What is player control?  When is player control established?  What is team control then?  What's the difference between team control and player control?

This section explores the rules at a high level behind player control, team control, and the significance of understanding player and team control.

The NFHS basketball rules book covers team control and player control in Section 4-12.

Note: The information covered in this section applies to games following NFHS rules.

Please select a tab to find out more about the selected topic.




A team control is said to have team control:
  1. When there is player control
  2. When a live ball is being passed among teammates
  3. During an interrupted dribble
  4. When a free throw shooter has disposal of the ball
  5. When a player of the team has disposal of the ball for a throw in
Note: For #4 and #5 above, there is player control so it satisfies condition #1.

Quite simply put, during live ball, team control designates the team on offense.

Team control ends:
  1. On release of the ball for a try or tap
  2. An opponent secures control
  3. The ball becomes dead
Note: A defensive player knocking the ball away does not satisfy the conditions for ending team control.  Team control is maintained until a defensive player gains player control of the ball, thus establishing team control for his/her team.




A player has player control of the ball when that player:
  1. Is holding the ball
  2. Is dribbling the ball
No player control exists:
  1. During an interrupted dribble
  2. When there is a loose ball
  3. When the ball is dead
When a player initially secures player control of the ball, that player also secures team control for his/her team.

Correlation Between Team Control and Player Control

  • If there is player control, then there is also team control:
    • A player holding or dribbling the ball satisfies the conditions for team control
  • Even though there is team control, there may not necessarily be player control:
    • When a player releases the ball for a pass, there is no player control, but the requirements for ending team control have not been met so there is team control.
    • When a defender knocks the ball away, while the ball is loose, there is no player control, but the requirements for ending team control have not been met so there is team control.
  • If there is no team control, there is no player control.

Timeouts

  • The offensive team can only call a timeout when there is player control.
  • If there is only team control, then the offensive cannot be granted a timeout.
    • i.e. during an interrupted dribble, a deflection, or a pass, there is team control, but no player control.  Therefore, a timeout cannot be granted.
    • i.e. during a held ball, there is team control, but no player control.  Therefore, a timeout cannot be granted.

Fouls

  • While there is team control, any foul committed by the offense shall either be a team control foul or player control foul.  The significance here is that no points can be scored as a result of a team control foul or player control foul.
    • If a player commits a player control foul after a try (airborne shooter exception), the basket will be waved off if it is successful (points cannot be scored).
    • If a player commits a team control foul and the opposing team is in the bonus, then bonus free-throws are not awarded.
  • When enforcing player and team control fouls, since the foul results in a loss of possession (and loss of points if try was good) for the team, do not penalize the team twice by awarded their opponent bonus free throws.
  • Easier way to remember: the ball is always inbounded at the point of interruption following a player control or team control foul.
  • Note: Remember that team control ends on the release of the ball for a try or tap so after the shooter shoots the ball, if a foul is committed by the former offensive team, then this is not a team control foul (since team control ended) and if free throws are merited, then they are awarded.

Three-Second Violation

  • Team control is a requirement for a three-second violation.  If there is no team control, then there cannot be a three-second violation.  Once the team re-establishes team control, then the counter for a three-second violation restarts.
    • So this means if the offensive team continues to get the rebound and then immediately shoots, there cannot be a three-second violation even though offensive players are in the lane during the sequence.

Traveling Violation

  • A player has to have player control in order to travel.  Player control ends when team control ends, like on a shot.  This is why a player is allowed to catch his/own air ball.  











Question: A1 is dribbling the ball and B1 knocks the ball away.  Is there player control?  Is there team control?
Answer:  There is no longer player control because A1 is not holding or dribbling the ball.  There is team control because the conditions of ending team control have not yet been met.

Question: A1 is holding the ball when (1) A1 gets doubled teamed by B1 and B2 or (2) B1 comes in and grabs the ball such that both A1 and B1 are holding the ball.  Is Coach A allowed to call a timeout?
Answer: In scenario (1) above, there is player control so Coach A can be granted a timeout.  In scenario (2) above, there is no player control so Coach A cannot be granted a timeout.

Question: A1 is dribbling the ball and B1 knocks the ball away.  A1 fouls B1 in trying to retrieve the loose ball.  Team B is in the bonus, are free throws awarded to B1?
Answer:  The conditions of ending team control have not yet been met. Therefore, there is team control and no shots are awarded on team control fouls.  B1 will not be entitled to any free throws.

Question: A1 is dribbling the ball and B1 knocks the ball away.  B1 fouls A1 in trying to retrieve the loose ball.  Team A is in the bonus, are free throws awarded to A1?
Answer: The conditions of ending team control have not yet been met. Team A still retains team control of the ball.  B1’s foul is not a team control foul, therefore A1 will be entitled to shoot the bonus free throws.

Question: A1 goes up for the shot, releases the ball and then crashes into B1 who has established a legal guarding position.  What is the correct enforcement?
Answer: A1 is considered to be an airborne shooting until A1 returns to the ground.  A1’s contact happened before A1 returned to the ground.  This is a player control foul and the basket is disallowed.

Question: A1 goes up for the shot, releases the ball and then gets one foot on the floor before crashing into B1 who has established a legal guarding position.  What is the correct enforcement?
Answer: A1 has returned to the floor and is no longer an airborne shooter.  There is no team control or player control at this point.  Since the foul occurred after A1 has returned to the floor, a common foul shall be called on A1 and B1 will be entitled to free throws if Team B is in the bonus.

Question: Prior to A1 releasing the ball for a try, A2 fouls B2.  A1 continues the motion and the try is successful.  What is the correct enforcement?
Answer:  A2’s foul occurred prior to A1’s release of the ball for a try so there is both player control and team control.  This is a team control foul and the basket will be disallowed.

Question: After A1 releases the ball for a try, A2 fouls B2.  The try is successful.  What is the correct enforcement?
Answer:  A2’s foul occurred after A1’s release of the ball for a try so there is neither player control or team control.  A common foul shall be called on A2 and B2 will be entitled to free throws if Team B is in the bonus.

Question: After establishing player control, A1 releases the pass to A2. Upon realizing that B1 will intercept the pass, A1 asks for timeout.  Shall the official grant the requested timeout?
Answer:  No.  During live ball, there must be player control in order to be granted a timeout.  The official shall not grant a timeout in this instance.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Offense Initiated Contact - From NCAA Basketball 2016/17 Media/Fan Video

(Source: NCAA Resources YouTube Channel)




Disclaimer: The NCAA and NFHS are two different governing bodies and thus have two different set of rules when it comes to basketball.  However, a lot of principles here still apply to games following NFHS standards.

This is a video published by the NCAA where JD Collins (NCAA National Coordinator of Men's Basketball Officials) talks about the points of emphasis for men's basketball and focuses on offense initiated contact.  The NCAA and NFHS has continually stressed the importance of reducing physicality and making the game safer by recognizing and consistently penalizing illegal contact between players.  In this video, JD Collins spotlights that offense initiated contact against a defender in legal guarding position must either be a no-call or called an offensive foul if the contact is deemed egregious enough.

Let's unpack that.  

1) What is guarding?

Guarding is the act of legally placing the body in the path of an offensive opponent (NFHS Rule 4-23).  Every player is entitled to a spot on the court provided the player gets there first without illegally contacting an opponent.

2) Now that we understanding guarding, what's a legal guarding position?

A defender must obtain an initial legal guarding position in order to defend against an offensive opponent.  To obtain an initial guarding position, the defender must (NFHS Rule 4-23):
  • Have both feet touching inbounds on the playing court.
  • The front of the defender's torso must be facing the opponent.
  • The defender must have obtained that area prior to the offensive becoming airborne.
3) Now that legal guarding position is established, what can the defender do?

After establishing initial legal guarding position, the defender is now allowed to:
  • Have one or both feet on the playing court or be airborne.
  • Turn away from the opponent.
  • Move laterally or obliquely to maintain position.
  • Raise hands or jump within his/her own vertical plane (cylinder principle and principle of verticality).
  • Turn or duck to absorb the shock of imminent contact.
4) What is the defender NOT allowed to do?

Even though legal guarding position is established, the defender is not allowed to:
  • Move into an opponent causing contact.
  • Jump into an opponent causing contact.
  • Bring hands/arms down past the frame of the body or extend an arm, shoulder, hip or leg into the path of an opponent violating verticality.
  • Hand-checking/body-bumping the ball handler.
  • Be out of bounds.
  • Crowd the opponent out of an established straight-line path.

Now that we understand what a defender can and can't do, distinguishing between illegal contact by the defender and offense initiated contact becomes a little simpler.  Provided that the defender has established initial legal guarding position and has not committed an act that violates legal guarding status, contact between the ball handler should either result in a no-call or an offensive foul if contact displaces the defender in legal guarding position.