04 October, 2022
14 May, 2023
Tough Calls
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Tough Calls - Round of 16 | Week 2

MIES (Switzerland) - Each week, experts are analyzing 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.

Tough Call 1: Galatasaray Nef vs AEK - Charge

Red 31 drives to the basket and on his attempt to make a lay-up, a contact occurs with Yellow 15. The referees call a personal foul to Red 31 for charging.

Art. 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 court.
• 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 court 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/her 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.

Outcome: Correct decision from the referees. Yellow 15 had a legal guarding position at the moment when Red 31 jumped off the floor and the contact was against his torso.  The game shall be resumed with a Yellow team throw-in.


Tough Call 2: Rytas Vilnius vs Bahcesehir College - Unsportsmanlike Foul

White 9 drives during a transition and a contact occurs with Red 2. The referees call a personal foul to Red 2. After a short discussion, they decide to review the contact. Finally, they decide to upgrade the foul to unsportsmanlike foul.

Art. 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
    • An unnecessary contact caused by the defensive player in order to stop the progress of the offensive team in transition. This applies until the offensive player starts his/her act of shooting.

F.3.3                      The following game situations may be reviewed at any time during 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

Outcome: The initial incorrect decision was corrected after the IRS review. The contact created by Red 2 met the criteria to be considered an unsportsmanlike foul. White 9 shall be awarded 2 free throws and the game will be resumed with a White team throw-in from the throw-in line in their frontcourt and 14 seconds on the shot clock.


Tough Call 3: Rytas Vilnius vs Bahcesehir College - Screening

White 25 dribbles to his frontcourt guarded by Red 2. A contact occurs between Red 2 and White 4. The referees let the play continue.

Art.33.7               Screening is an attempt to delay or prevent an opponent without the ball from
reaching a desired position on the court.

                                Illegal screening is when the player who is screening an opponent:
• Was moving when contact occurred.
• Did not give sufficient distance in setting a 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: Incorrect decision from the referees. White 4 set a screen on a moving opponent without the ball without allowing him enough time and distance to stop or change his direction. An offensive foul should have been called and the ball awarded to the Red team for a throw-in.


Tough Call 4: JDA Bourgogne Dijon vs SIG Strasbourg - Special Situation

Blue 00 receives the ball under the basket guarded by White 1. After his shot is blocked, both players end up on the floor with some physical interaction. The referees stop the game. First, they call a technical foul to White 11 for addressing Blue 00 in a disrespectful way. Then they decide to review the IRS to check any possible act of violence. After the review, they call an unsportsmanlike foul to Blue 00 and a disqualifying foul to White 1.

Art. 36.2.1           A technical foul is a player non-contact foul of a behavioural nature including, but not limited to:

  • Disrespectfully dealing and/or communicating with the referees, the commissioner, if present, the table officials, the opponents, or persons permitted to sit on the team benches.

Art. 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.

Art. 38.1.1          A disqualifying foul is any flagrant unsportsmanlike action by players, substitutes, head coaches, assistant coaches, excluded players and accompanying delegation members.

Art. 42                  In the same game clock stopped period which follows an infraction, special situations may arise when additional infraction(s) are or have been committed.

                                All fouls shall be charged, and all penalties identified.

                                The order in which all infractions occurred shall be determined.

All equal penalties on the teams and all double foul penalties shall be cancelled in the order in which they were committed. Once all foul penalties have been entered on the scoresheet and cancelled, they are considered as never having occurred.

If a technical foul is committed, that penalty shall be administered first, regardless of whether the order of the penalties has been determined or whether the administration of the penalties has been started.

Art. 36.2              If a technical foul is committed, the opponents shall be awarded 1 free throw. The game shall be resumed as follows:

  • 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 committed, from the place nearest to where the ball was located when the game was stopped.

Outcome: First of all, incorrect decision from the referees: there was a pushing foul by White 1 on Blue 00 that was not called. Because of the push, Blue 00 made a travelling violation that was not called either.

Then, correct decisions from the referees:

  • Technical foul to White 11.
  • Unsportsmanlike foul to Blue 00 for grabbing White 1’s leg.
  • Disqualifying foul to White 1 for hitting Blue 00 in the face.

The penalty for both the unsportsmanlike foul and the disqualifying foul is 2 free throws plus possession of the ball. Equal penalties cancel each other. The game shall be resumed with one free throw for the Blue team for the technical foul: Then, a throw-in from the place closest to where the ball was located when the technical foul was called for the team that was in control of the ball at that time (White team) and the remaining time in the shot clock (21 seconds) as the technical foul was called to the team in control of the ball.