17 October, 2023
05 May, 2024
Tough Calls
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Tough Calls: Regular Season Week 4


MIES (Switzerland) - Experts analyze all BCL games each week. In order to improve the understanding of referees' decisions and to increase transparency towards our fans, we publish some of those 'tough calls', together with an explanation.

Tough Call 1: Le Mans Sarthe Basket v Falco Vulcano Szombathely - Travelling/Blocking Foul

White 0 receives the ball, drives to the basket, and makes a pass to White 23. Black 5 moves to defend him and a contact occurs. The referees call a blocking foul to Black 5.

Art.25.2.1: To start a dribble, the pivot foot may not be lifted before the ball is released from the hand(s).

Art.35.4:  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.

Outcome:  First, incorrect decision from the referees. White 0 committed a travelling violation for lifting his pivot foot before releasing the ball to start a dribble. Then, correct decision from the referees. Black 5 was responsible for the illegal contact as it did not occur on the torso.


Tough Call 2: Lenovo Tenerife v VEF Riga - Interference 

Black 3 drives to the basket and the referees call a personal foul in the act of shooting to White 45. The ball does not enter the basket, but the referees say that there is a valid basket.

Art.31.2.4:  Interference occurs when:  

- A player causes the basket to vibrate or grasps the basket in such a way that, in the judgement of a referee, the ball has been prevented from entering the basket or has been caused to enter the basket.

Outcome: Correct decision from the referees. White 24 hit the backboard in such a way that the ball was prevented from entering the basket. This is a defensive interference violation. The basket is valid and Black 3 will be awarded 1 free throw.


Tough Call 3: Darüssafaka Lassa v Cholet Basket - Blocking Foul

White 21 receives the ball and drives towards the opponents’ basket. A contact occurs with Green 7, and the referees call a defensive foul to Green 7.     

Article 33.6:  An opponent may not move into the path of a player after that player has jumped into the air.

Outcome: Correct decision from the referees. Green 7 moved into White 21 path and created a contact after the offensive player had jumped into the air. This is a blocking foul.


Tough Call 4: SL Benfica v Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem - Unsportsmanlike Foul

Black 11 passes the ball on a fastbreak to Black 5. White 13 creates a contact before Black 5 gets the ball. Afterwards, Black 5 scores. The referees cancel the basket and call an unsportsmanlike foul to Black 5.

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

· An illegal contact caused by a player from behind or laterally on an opponent, who is progressing towards the opponent’s basket and with no opponents between the progressing player and the basket, and:
· the progressing player is in control of the ball, or
· the progressing player is attempting to gain control of the ball, or
· the ball has been released on a pass to the progressing player.

This applies until the offensive player starts his/her act of shooting.

Outcome: Correct decision from the referees. The illegal contact by White 13 occurred before Black 5 could receive the ball and start his act of shooting. The contact met one of the criteria to be considered as an unsportsmanlike foul. Black 5 will attempt 2 free throws with no line-up. The game will be resumed with a Black team throw-in from the throw-in line in their frontcourt and 14 seconds on the shot clock.