20 October, 2020
09 May, 2021
Steffen Wich (BEAR)
Tough Calls
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Tough Calls - Gameday 7

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: Tsmoki-Minsk vs Hapoel Holon - Ball returned to the backcourt

White 4 steals the ball and establishes a new control of the ball for his team. He passes the ball to White 30, who passes the ball again to White 17. However, Blue 10 jumps from his frontcourt, catches the ball while airborne and lands in his backcourt. The referees consider the action as a legal play. 

OBRI 30.1 When a player jumps from his frontcourt and gains a new team control of the ball while still airborne, the player may then land with the ball anywhere on the playing court. 

OBRI 30.2 A1 in his backcourt passes the ball to A2 in his frontcourt. B1 jumps from his frontcourt, catches the ball while airborne and lands:

  • (a) with both feet in his backcourt.
  • (b) straddling the centre line.
  • (c) straddling the centre line and then dribbles or passes the ball to his backcourt.

Outcome: Correct decision from the referees. This is not a backcourt violation by Blue team. Blue 10 established a new team control of the ball while airborne and may land anywhere on the playing court. In all 3 cases stated above, Blue 10 lands, with the ball, legally in his backcourt.


Tough Call 2: Casademont Zaragoza vs Falco Szombathely - Travelling

Red 31 receives the ball and pivots to face the basket. When he starts his dribble, one of the referees calls a travelling violation while another referee calls a personal foul on the defender, Yellow 5. After a brief discussion, the referees agreed that the travelling violation occurred before the foul. 

Article 25.1.2 A pivot is the legal movement in which a player who is holding a live ball on the playing court steps once or more than once in any direction with the same foot, while the other foot, called the pivot foot, is kept at its point of contact with the floor

Article 25.2.1 A player who catches the ball while standing with both feet on the floor:

  • The moment one foot is lifted, the other foot becomes the pivot foot.

Outcome: Correct decision from the referees. Red 31 caught the ball with both feet on the floor and lifted his right foot. From that moment his left foot became his pivot foot. He then moves his pivot foot (left) from the point of contact with the floor before the contact is created by the defender. Travelling violation.


Tough Call 3: Pszczólka Start Lublin vs Nizhny Novgorod - Offensive foul

Black 30 is bouncing the ball in the low post whilst being guarded by White 9. This player, White 9, has a legal guarding position (facing the opponent with both feet on the floor) when a contact occurs and the referee calls an offensive foul. 

Article 33.12 The principle of verticality (cylinder principle) applies also to post play.

The offensive player in the post position and the defensive player guarding him must respect each other's rights to a vertical position (cylinder).

It is a foul by an offensive or defensive player in the post position to shoulder or hip his opponent out of position or to interfere with his opponent’s freedom of movement using extended arms, shoulders, hips, legs or other parts of the body. 

Article 33.15 Pushing is an illegal personal contact with any part of the body where a player forcibly moves or attempts to move an opponent with or without the ball.

Outcome: Correct decision from the referees. Black 30 extended his arm outside his cylinder and pushed-off his opponent with his forearm. The ball shall be awarded to the White team for a throw-in from the place closest to where the infraction occurred.


Tough Call 4: Dinamo Sassari vs Bakken Bears - UF

After an unsuccessful field goal by the Blue team, the ball rebounds from the ring with White 7 and Blue 14 going after the ball. The referee turns his body and calls an out-of-bounds. 

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

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

Outcome: Incorrect decision from the referees. White 7 was standing on the court legally when Blue 14 pushed him from behind. Even if Blue 14 was making an effort to play the ball, he created an excessive, hard contact. This is an Unsportsmanlike Foul that the referee missed for not staying with the play until the end and turning his back to the play. White 7 should have been awarded 2 free throws, followed by a White team throw-in from the throw-in line in their frontcourt and 14 seconds on the shot clock.