05 October, 2021
15 May, 2022
13 Andrija Stipanovic (CLUJ)
Tough Calls
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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: EWE Baskets Oldenburg vs Besiktas Icrypex - Personal contact

Yellow 33 drives to basket when a contact occurs. The referee calls a personal foul on Black 2 and makes the decision that Yellow 33 had already started his act of shooting.

Article 47.3 When deciding on a personal contact or violation, the referees shall, in each instance, have regard for the following fundamental principles:

  • Consistency in application of advantage/disadvantage. The referees should not seek to interrupt the flow of the game unnecessarily in order to penalise incidental personal contact which does not give the player responsible an advantage nor place his opponent at a disadvantage

Outcome: Incorrect decision from the referees. Regarding basketball knowledge and the principle of advantage/disadvantage, the contact created by Black 2 doesn't have any effect on the dribbler's freedom of movement, speed, balance or quickness and no foul should have been called. 


Tough Call 2: Rytas Vilnius vs Hereda San Pablo Burgos - Foul in the act of shooting

Red 9 drives to the basket and tries to make a lay-up. Help defender Blue 77 jumps, a contact occurs and the referee calls a personal foul to Blue 77 for hitting on the shooter’s head.

Article 33.1 - The cylinder principle is defined as the space within an imaginary cylinder occupied by a player on the floor.

Article 33.2 - As soon as the player leaves his vertical position (cylinder) and body contact occurs with an opponent who had already established his own vertical position (cylinder), the player who left his vertical position (cylinder) is responsible for the contact. The defensive player must not be penalised for leaving the floor vertically (within his cylinder) or having his hands and arms extended above him within his own cylinder.

Outcome: Correct decision from the referees. Blue 77 had his arms extended above him but he created an illegal contact jumping towards the shooter (leaving his cylinder). However, the signal was not correct as the defender didn’t hit the shooter on his head. 


Tough Call 3: Happy Casa Brindisi vs U-BT Cluj-Napoca - UF

White 35 receives the ball under the basket and attempts a field goal. Blue 3 jumps to block the shot and creates an illegal contact on the shooter. The referees call a personal foul and after reviewing the IRS, they upgrade the foul to unsportsmanlike foul.

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

  • Contact with an opponent and not legitimately attempting to play the ball within the spirit and intent of the rules.
  • An excessive, hard contact caused by a player in an effort to play the ball or an opponent.

Outcome: Incorrect decision from the referees. Blue 3 created an illegal contact with his hands in his attempt to block the shot, but the contact was not excessive or hard and can be considered a normal basketball play. A personal foul should have been called on Blue 3 and 2 free throws awarded to White 35. 


Tough Call 4: JDA Dijon vs Nizhny Novgorod - Goaltending

The Black team takes a throw-in from the opponents’ baseline. Black 24 receives the ball and the referees call a foul in the act of shooting on White 11. Then, White 1 touches the ball.

Article 31.2.1 Goaltending occurs during a shot for a field goal when a player touches the ball while it is completely above the level of the ring and:

  • It is on its downward flight to the basket, or
  • After it has touched the backboard.

Article31.2.3 The goaltending restrictions apply until

  • The ball no longer has the possibility to enter the basket.
  • The ball has touched the ring.

Article 31.2.5 When:

  • A referee has blown his whistle while:
    • The ball was in the hands of a player in the act of shooting, or
    • The ball was in flight on a shot for a field goal or on a last free throw,

All restrictions related to goaltending and interference shall apply.

Outcome: Correct decision from the referees. After calling the foul, they met to decide if,

  • The ball was completely above the level of the rim
  • The ball was on its downward flight
  • If the ball still had the possibility to enter the basket.

As all three conditions were met, the basket was valid, 2 points were awarded to Black 24 plus an additional free throw. 


Tough Call 5: Happy Casa Brindisi vs U-BT Cluj-Napoca - Out of bounds & IRS

During the last 2 minutes of the fourth quarter, the ball leaves the court and the referee give the ball to the White team for a throw-in.

Article 23.1.2     The ball is out-of-bounds when it touches:

  • A player or any other person who is out-of-bounds.
  • The floor or any object above, on or outside the boundary line.
  • The backboard supports, the back of the backboards or any object above the playing court.

F 3.3      The following game situations may be reviewed when the game clock shows 2:00 minutes or less in the fourth quarter and in each overtime:

  • To identify the player who has caused the ball to go out-of-bounds.

Outcome: Correct decision from the referees. The ball touched Blue 6, who was out-of-bounds, so the White team is awarded a throw-in from the place closest to where the infraction occurred.