30 second time outs

Monday, March 14, 2005

Seven Basketball Rules Myths

Seven Basketball Rules Myths

A defensive player must be stationary to take a charge. Reality: Once a defensive player has obtained a legal guarding position, the defensive player may always move to maintain that guarding position and may even have one or both feet off the floor when contact occurs with the offensive player. Legal guarding position occurs when the defensive player has both feet on the floor and is facing the opponent. This applies to a defensive player who is defending the dribble.

A dribble that bounces above the dribbler's head is an illegal dribble violation. Reality: There is no restriction as to how high a player may bounce the ball, provided the ball does not come to rest in the player's hand.

A player in the backcourt who dribbles the ball across the midcourt line may not dribble it back into the backcourt. Reality: The ball and BOTH feet must be entirely in the front court to be deemed in the frontcourt. The line is considered in the backcourt. So until ALL THREE points are in the frontcourt, the ballhandler is still considered to be in the backcourt.

'Reaching in' is a foul. Reality: Reaching in is not a foul. The term is nowhere to be found in any rulebook. Why? There must be contact to have a foul. The mere act of 'reaching in,' by itself, is nothing. If contact does occur, it is either a holding foul or a pushing foul.

'Over the back' is a foul. Reality: Similar to the reaching in myth, there must be contact to have a foul. Coaches holler for over the back fouls when their shorter player has seemingly better inside rebounding position and the ball is snared by a taller opponent from behind. Penalize illegal contact; don't penalize a player for being tall.

If it looks funny, it must be traveling. Reality: The traveling rule is one of the most misunderstood in basketball. One of the basic tenets is that a player cannot travel unless that player is holding a live ball. A bobble or fumble is not 'control' of the ball, therefore, it cannot be a traveling violation. If you immediately identify the pivot foot when a player receives the ball, you're well on your way to judging traveling correctly.

The other misconception is regarding the speed of the steps. There is no mandate that the steps must be of a certain speed, and quite often a player who takes slow steps (or is a slower player) intices jeers of "traveling!"

After a player has ended a dribble and fumbled the ball, that player may not recover it without violating. Reality: A dribble ends when the dribbler catches the ball with one or both hands or simultaneously touches the ball with both hands. A fumble is the accidental loss of player control when the ball unintentionally drops or slips from a player's grasp. It is always legal to recover a fumble. The rules do not penalize clumsiness.

Referees should not make calls that decide the outcome of a game. Reality: Officials do not make calls that decide the outcomes of games. Players commit fouls and violations; officials view those infractions, judge the action and then apply the rules of the game to what they have viewed. The rules then determine the penalty. The officials do not decide the outcome of the game; the players do. If the rule results in the imposition of a penalty that determines the outcome of the game, such is life. Ask yourself this: If you would have called it in the second quarter, why not call it at the end of the game? You are a credit to the game when you are consistent from the opening tip to the final buzzer.

Actually by not calling a fouls or violation that they may normally might call - they are the ones deciding the game!

Lok's Ledger