08 October, 2019
04 October, 2020
Tough Calls
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Tough Calls - Round of 16, Game 2

MIES (Switzerland) - Each week, experts are analysing the games. In order to improve the understanding of referees' decisions and to increase the transparency towards our fans, we publish some of those "tough calls", together with an explanation.

Please find below this week's "tough calls":

Tough Call 1: Lietkabelis vs Casademont Zaragoza – Screening

Near to the end of the game, the White team is in offence. White 66 receives the ball in the 3-point area and starts a drive to the basket being guarded by Red 8. White 19 sets a screen on the defender and the referee calls a team control foul.

Article 33.7 states - Illegal screening is when the player who is screening an opponent:

  • Was moving when contact occurred.
  • Did not give sufficient distance in setting the screen outside the field of vision of a stationary opponent when contact occurred.
  • Did not respect the elements of time and distance of an opponent in motion when contact occurred.”

Outcome : Correct decision from the referees. Red 8 was moving so White 19 should have given him sufficient time and distance (he cannot take a position so near and/or so quickly in the path of a moving opponent that the latter does not have sufficient time or distance to stop or change his direction – article 33.5) when setting the screen. The contact was illegal and a team control foul was called. The ball will be awarded to the Red team for a throw-in at the place nearest to the infraction.


Tough Call 2: Telekom Baskets Bonn vs AEK – Blocking

Black 1 is dribbling to the ball going towards the opponents’ basket. White 2 tries to stop him getting into his path and a contact occurs. The referee calls a blocking foul to the defender.

Article 32.4 states - When guarding a player who is in control of the ball, the elements of time and distance do not apply.

When judging a charge/block situation involving a player with the ball, an official shall use the following principles:

  • The defensive player must establish an initial legal guarding position by facing the opponent and having both feet on the floor.
  • The defensive player may remain stationary, jump vertically, move laterally or backwards in order to maintain the initial legal guarding position.
  • When moving to maintain the initial legal guarding position, one foot or both feet may be off the floor for an instant, as long as the movement is lateral or backwards, but not towards the player with the ball.
  • Contact must occur on the torso; in which case the defensive player would be considered as having been at the place of contact first.

Outcome : Correct decision from the referees. The defensive player had established an initial legal guarding position and was moving laterally, but the contact did not occur on the torso, but on his shoulder/hip. The defensive player is not considered to be at the place of contact first and a blocking foul was committed.


Tough Call 3: Filou Oostende vs Iberostar Tenerife – Personal Foul

The Black team is going to take a throw-in at the baseline in their front court. Black 10 is trying to set a screen that will allow a team mate to receive the ball when he and Yellow 8 fall onto the floor. The referees call a team control foul to Black 10.

Outcome : Incorrect decision from the referees. The attempt to set the screen by Black 10 is a normal basketball movement. Black 10 didn’t create any illegal contact against his opponent. It was Yellow 8 who grabbed his opponent and pulled him down. As the Yellow team was already in the team foul penalty, Black 10 should be awarded 2 free throws.


Tough Call 4: Filou Oostende vs Iberostar Tenerife –UF

Yellow 22 finishes his dribble and is closely guarded by Black 94. There is a contact between Yellow 22 elbow and the defender’s face. The referee calls a team control foul and, after reviewing the IRS, the foul is upgraded to unsportsmanlike foul.

Article 46.12 states - The crew chief is authorised to use the IRS during any time of the game whether a personal, unsportsmanlike or disqualifying foul met the criteria for such a foul or shall be upgraded or downgraded or shall be considered as a technical foul.

Article 37.1.1. states - An unsportsmanlike foul is a player contact foul which, in the judgement of an official is:

  • Excessive, hard contact caused by a player in an effort to play the ball or an opponent.

Outcome : Correct decision from the referees. Black 94 was guarding the opponent in a normal basketball position, without creating any illegal contact. The contact created by Yellow 22 by extending his elbow beyond his cylinder and hitting his opponent’s face must be considered an excessive, hard contact and penalized with an unsportsmanlike foul.  Players must always take into consideration the eventual danger of their movements, especially when contact occurs in the neck/face of any opponent.


Tough Call 5: Lietkabelis vs Casademont Zaragoza –Act of Shooting Foul

White 4 receives the ball in the corner and attempts a 3 point field goal. Red 33 jumps to try to block the shot and a contact occurs. The referee calls a personal foul to White 4.

Article 33.2 states – The offensive player shall not cause contact with the defensive player in a legal guarding position by spreading his legs or arms to cause contact during or immediately after a shot for a field goal.

Outcome : Correct decision from the referees. Red 33 tried to block the shot without creating any illegal contact with the shooter. However, White 4 spread his right leg outside his cylinder and created a contact against Red 33, which had a direct effect on his possibility to continue playing. This is a personal foul by White 4. As the ball had already been released from White 4’s hands, the control of the ball by the White team had already ended. Also, the White team was in team foul penalty, so Red 33 must be awarded 2 free throws.