20 October, 2020
09 May, 2021
Tough Calls
to read

Tough Calls - Gameday 3

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: Falco Szombathely vs Pszczólka Start Lublin - Player in the air

Yellow 11 drives to the basket, jumps, passes off the ball to his teammate Yellow 9 and then crashes into Black 8. The referee calls a charging foul to Yellow 11.

Article 33.6:  A player who has jumped into the air from a place on the playing court has the right to land again at the same place. Also, he has the right to land on another place on the playing court provided that the landing place, and the direct path between the take-off and landing place, is not already occupied by an opponent at the time of take-off.

Outcome: Incorrect decision from the referees. Yellow 11 is not responsible for the contact that occurred. When Yellow 11 left the floor and jumped into the air, Black 8 was not at the spot where the contact occurred, he moved into this spot whilst Yellow 11 was already airborne, therefore not respecting his landing rights.


Tough Call 2: Tsmoki-Minsk vs Cholet - Free throw shooter

Red 24 shoots a 3-point field goal attempt from the corner. While the ball in on its flight to the basket, one of the referees calls a foul on White 15 for grabbing Red 18 whilst fighting for the rebounding position. The ball doesn’t enter the basket. This is White team’s fifth foul in the quarter.

Red 24 goes to the free throw line as he thought that the foul had been made on him during his shot. The referees inform him that the correct free throw shooter is Red 18 as he was the player who had received the illegal contact called as a personal foul.

Outcome: Correct decision from the referees. Red 18 will attempt 2 free throws.


Tough Call 3: Keravnos vs Tofas Bursa - UF

Purple 1 receives a pass in the post and makes a move to the basket. When he tries to shoot, Yellow 31 creates a contact on the shooter’s right forearm. The referee calls an Unsportsmanlike Foul.

Article 37.1.1:   An unsportsmanlike foul is a player contact which, in the judgement of a referee is:

  • Contact with an opponent and not legitimately attempting to directly play the ball within the spirit and intent of the rules.

Outcome: Correct decision from the referees. Purple 1 will be awarded 2 free throws, followed by a throw-in for the Purple Team at the throw-in line in their frontcourt with 14 seconds on the shot clock. 


Tough Call 4: Tsmoki-Minsk vs Cholet - Fake being fouled

Red team steal the ball and Red 15 drives at the basket. A contact with White 3 occurs and two referees blow their whistles at the same time.

The Centre referee calls a personal foul and the Lead referee calls a technical foul on White 3 for “fake being fouled” (white team had been given a warning before for the same reason).

In such a situation, the referees have to meet and share the information they have with their officiating crew to determine what has happened and what should be the final decision.

The Centre referee informs his partner that he had called a personal foul on White 7. The Lead referee explains that his call was for the previous action between Red 15 and White 3. The infraction that happened first must be reported.

Finally, White 3 is charged with a technical foul for “fake being fouled”. 1 free throw is awarded to any Red team player and the ball is awarded to the Red team for a throw-in at the place closest to where the ball was located when the technical foul was called with 14 seconds on the shot clock.

Article 36.2.1 (bullet 8):  A technical foul is a player non-contact foul of a behavioural nature including, but not limited to:

  • Fake being fouled.

Article 36.3.2:  The opponents shall be awarded 1 free throw. The game shall be resumed as follows:

  • The free throw shall be administered immediately. After the free throw, the throw-in shall be administered by the team which had control of the ball or was entitled to the ball when the technical foul was called, from the place nearest to where the ball was located when the game was stopped.

Article 50.2: The shot clock operator shall be provided with a shot clock which shall be stopped, but not reset, with the remaining time visible, when the same team that previously had control of the ball is awarded a frontcourt throw-in and 14 or more seconds are displayed on the shot clock as a result of a foul or violation.

Outcome: Incorrect decision from the referees. Even if the penalization for the technical foul was correct, the shot clock showed 21 seconds when the technical foul was called, so the Red team should have 21 seconds, not 14, after the throw-in.

However, the situation between Red 15 and White 3 should have been called as a blocking foul, not as a technical foul for ‘fake being fouled’.

Article 33.4:   When judging a charge/block situation involving a player with the ball, a referee shall use the following principles:

  • The defensive player must establish an initial legal guarding position by facing the player with the ball 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.
  • Having established a legal guarding position, the defensive player may turn within his cylinder to avoid injury.

In any of the above situations, the contact shall be considered as having been caused by the player with the ball.

In this situation, the condition stated in bullet point 4 is not fulfilled as the contact didn’t occur on the torso, but on the defender’s side. This is a blocking foul created by White 3. 


Tough Call 5: Falco Szombathely vs Pszczólka Start Lublin - Interference

Yellow 9 goes for a lay-up and defender Black 20 tries to block the ball. The referee calls a violation and awards the field goal.

Article 31.2.4 (bullet 3):   Interference occurs when:

  • A player reaches through the basket from below and touches the ball.

Article 31.3.2:   If the violation is committed by a defensive player, the offensive team is awarded:

  • 2 points, if the ball was released from the 2-point field goal area.

Outcome: Correct decision from the referees. Yellow 9 is awarded 2 points.