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Below are the Weekly JBO Discussion Plays. 
Week of 12/2/19 Oswego 11/27 Close-Up  -- Common Foul or Intentional Foul?

Please look at the clip above and decide whether you think this should be a common foul or an intentional foul.
In my opinion, I think it should have been called an intentional foul. My explanation to the coach would be that the offensive player was in a vulnerable position when contact occurred (he had just jumped and was airborne when the defender hits him). I don’t really think the contact was overly excessive/severe, it was just when it happened that is the issue. The potential for injury is pretty high here, since the offensive player is airborne when contact occurs. Rule 4-19, Art 3.d supports you for calling this an intentional foul……..”Excessive contact with an opponent while the ball is live or until an airborne shooter returns to the floor.”

Also, this play occurs sometime in the first half, so if we don’t call this one an intentional foul early in the game we may be setting the precedent for later in the game when a similar play occurs and the contact is similar (or maybe even more severe). If we didn’t call in an intentional foul in the 1st half, it might be tough to explain to the coaches why we called it late in the game on a similar type of play.

FYI – The crew did get together and talked about the contact, but decided to go with a common foul. Also, even if you do not immediately signal an intentional foul (arms crossed in front of your forehead), you can still come together as a crew and decide to upgrade to an intentional foul or even a flagrant foul (if the act was violent enough).

**Also remember that if you did call an Intentional Foul on this play that the penalty is two FT’s and the ball to the offended team nearest the spot of the foul. Even though the ball went in and you would score the two points for the good basket, the kid who gets fouled would still get TWO FT’s under this rule. The fact that he missed or made the basket is not relevant here, as you ALWAYS get two FT’s resulting from an Intentional Foul being called.
Week of 12/9/19 Lake Park vs Downers Grove 12/5 -- Block or Charge?

1. Did the defender have legal guarding position?...............Answer: YES!! As soon as the offensive post player caught the ball, the defender had legal guarding position (two feet on the floor and facing his opponent).

2. Did the defender do anything wrong or illegal prior to contact?...............Answer: NO!! The defender does not move forward into the path of the offensive player nor does he put any hands or a forearm on the offensive player. The defender moved laterally & backwards and the offensive player initiates all the contact. The last sentence highlighted in “red” would be the answer you would give to the coach of the offensive team if he asked why you called a charge on this play and is the key component to getting this play correct!!

3. Possible Coach Question/Comment:………. “But the defender did not have his feet set and was still moving when contact occurred”? Answer from Official………….” Coach, once the defensive player has established legal guarding position, he is allowed to move laterally or sideways and does not have to have his feet set to maintain that legal position. As long as the defender does not go forward into the offensive player or commit any other illegal act, the responsibility for contact is on the offensive player”

4. GREAT JOB by the Center official (technically new Trail, but he never got a chance to rotate as foul happened as soon as Lead rotated over) by NOT blowing his whistle and letting the Lead official have the first crack at this play. If the Center official did have a whistle, he would have to “post & hold” on the foul and not signal anything right away, as he should be anticipating a whistle from the Lead official. 

5. Only thing the Lead official could have done better was post the foul first and then signal a charge/player control foul. By just “banging it out and sending it”, the odds of having a blarge on this play increase significantly. Thankfully as stated above in #4, the Center official did not have a whistle and thus there was no chance for a blarge to be called.


Week of 12/16/19 Maryland vs Marquette -- Leaving the Scene of a Foul!

Please take a look at the play above and think about all that happened during this play and what the officials could have done differently. Before I go any further, the crew on this Maryland/Marquette game is one of the best you could possibly have on a college game. All three officials have worked the NCAA Division 1 Final Four in the last two years and are three of the best officials in all of college basketball. ​

There are two BIG things to be learned from this clip:

1. NEVER leave the scene of the foul when there are still bodies on the floor. The calling official has the correct call, but too quickly leaves the area to go and report the foul. As he leaves the scene, the player on the floor gets a shoe dragged across his face which he does not like and this causes he and his teammate to react.

2. The Center official sees that there are bodies on the floor plus he and the calling official will be switching spots anyway since in Men's College you go opposite the table after reporting a foul. The old Center official realizes that the players are not yet separated and attempts to get between them before tensions escalate. What he should NOT have done is wrap up the player from behind. What happens next could have been very bad for all involved......................A little push ends up sending the ref and player to the ground where either one of them could have been hurt.

If that player would have gotten hurt, he could have potentially sued that official for grabbing him, even though the official was just trying to separate the players. Also, the official could have been seriously injured when he fell to the ground and the player landed on top of him.  

You all should have just received an e-mail on Wednesday from Sam Knox & the IHSA regarding fighting and how to handle those situations. In that e-mail it states: "Do not physically restrain or pull a player(s) away." We as officials SHOULD NEVER grab a player or pull them away. That is for the coaches, game administration or security to handle and restore order if necessary.  

Bottom line and the lessons to be learned from this clip are to not be in a hurry to leave the scene of the crime after a foul has occurred, especially if there are still bodies on the floor and do NOT ever grab or restrain a player. 


Week of 01/06/20 Judson @ St. Ambrose e  -- Takedown!

The attached clip is from a game at St. Ambrose University last weekend. This play happens early in the 1st half in front of the St. Ambrose bench.

Please watch the clip first (maybe even a couple of times) and look at each official and what we could have done differently or better to get this play right.

Lead Official - I may have initially missed a hit on the right arm of the player spinning & driving to the basket. Player from Judson misses the shot and then we have a take down on the rebound. I have the ball right in front of me and I pick up this take down action late. If Center did not have a whistle, I would have blown mine but I had no idea who took down who. I would have called a double foul and told both coaches that I had no idea who took down who, but with two bodies on the floor we need to have some sort of foul. As Lead, I could have left the White player getting the rebound and found my next competitive match up sooner so I could have helped on this foul.

Center Official - This is his call all the way, as this is the only competitive match up in his area. He is looking right at the play, but he has the worst angle of all three of us to see who grabs who. He blows his whistle, closes down quickly and uses his voice to get the players to separate. I can not give him any help/information on the foul and I am just in there to make sure nothing happens after the play. He calls a pushing foul on White #25.

Trail Official - He also has a good angle at the play, but he has started to turn and run down the court after the ball is rebounded by the defense. He does a good job of looking back at the players and he also picks up that there is a foul, blows his whistle and then puts his arm down after he sees that the Center official has a whistle and is closing down on the play. He knows that Center has the best look at this play and the play is in Center's primary, so he let's Center take the call. He was not 100% certain on who actually committed the foul, so he let's Center make the call.  

As you can see, the player in Blue actually commits the foul by grabbing the arm of the player in White and pulling him to the ground. We got this call wrong as a crew. I think this play really shows how having the best angle can make all the difference in the world in getting calls correct and how based on where you are positioned on the floor can make it easier or more difficult to get calls correct. Luckily for us we have had both teams many times in the past and while the St. Ambrose coach initially complains, he lets it go and moves on to the next play. This game went into OT and St. Ambrose ended up winning 81-77.
Week of 01/13/20 UIS vs Rockhurst -- Block in Back

Here is another good play to look at from a Div. II game at the University of Illinois-Springfield vs. Rockhurst.

Once again a lot going on in this play. First thing is the common foul that should have been called on Gold #24. He just completely displaces Blue #2 in going for the loose ball. This is a FOUL and needed to be called. Just because the ball is loose does not mean that all bets are off and anything goes. If someone gains an advantage or someone is put at a disadvantage during a loose ball scrum..............IT IS A FOUL!

Next, Gold #24 appears to hit the face of Blue #13 (who is on the ground). This contact is hard to see in real time and may have been incidental, but it is what causes the next reaction of the two legged sweep and take down of Gold #24. Both the Center & new Lead official do a good job of closing down and getting near the players to make sure that this situation does not escalate. The new Lead comes in using his voice to let the players know that he is there. This crew got together and correctly assessed an Intentional Foul (F1 in college) to Blue #13.

Ruling: Gold #24 would shoot two FT's and then the Gold team is going to get the ball nearest the spot of the ball for a spot throw in.

Moral of this Story - Had the first foul been called on Gold #24 for displacing Blue #2 during the loose ball situation at the start, none of this other stuff would have happened. The first foul was missed, but the crew did a good job of not letting the rough play continue by calling the Intentional Foul on Blue #13.

Another point to think about is that I am sure this crew started watching Gold #24 & Blue #13 very closely for the rest of this game to make sure that there was no "payback" for what just happened in the clip. Find out who the knuckleheads are in your game, keep an extra eye on them and DO NOT let them screw up your game!!
Week of 01/20/20 St. Olaf vs Augsburg - Last Second Shot Scenario

Please look at the clip below of a Div. III game in MN two days ago on Jan. 22nd between St. Olaf and Augsburg.  

End of game play - St. Olaf is down 1pt and are inbounding the ball under their own basket with .2 sec left on the game clock. By rule, we should all know that they can ONLY tap the ball with .3 sec or less on the game clock. If the game clock was at .4 sec or higher, then they could catch and shoot.

Watch the above play from YouTube (if you have not already seen it) and then look at my comments below.

The tap by the St. Olaf player was definitely good and should have counted. Since all three officials are waving off the basket, it appears they must have gotten together and talked about that a tap was all that is allowed with .3 sec or less left on the game clock (this part they were correct on). 

Where they messed up is that they thought a tap can only be made with one hand (looks like the player in game clip actually kind of “volleyball sets” the ball into the basket with two hands). This is why I think all 3 of them wave it off, although it looks kind of awkward with all three officials flapping their arms at the same time (only one official who is opposite the table should be waving off or counting the goal).

Perfectly legal to tap with a hand(s) per Rule 4-41, Art. 5 which states:

"A tap for goal is the contacting of the ball with any part of a player's hand(s) in an attempt to direct the ball in to his/her basket."

Great play to look at and learn from. Also a good reminder that at the end of a close game, if possible, the entire crew should ALWAYS try and get together and talk about any possible scenarios that might come up on a last second shot attempt. This way you can be prepared and not be caught off guard when a play like this happens.  

The official statement from the St. Olaf Athletic Dep't is below:

https://athletics.stolaf.edu/news/2020/1/24/general-statement-on-end-of-st-olaf-augsburg-mens-basketball-game.aspx

Week of 01/27/20 Texas Tech Game - Running the Baseline 

The play above happened in a college game at Texas Tech a few weeks ago. As you can see below in the announcement from the IHSA this is a LEGAL play in high school, but ONLY if the team can run the baseline. If the throw-in is a spot throw-in, this play would be a violation. I am sure some coach will try to run this play (most likely at the end of a quarter or especially at the end of a game), so hopefully after watching this clip you will know what is about to happen and know how to correctly adjudicate the play.

From the IHSA website in the Officials Center under Case Situations from the week of January 20, 2020 ...

Recently, our office was asked to offer guidance on this particular play. After reviewing the rule book and discussing the play with the NFHS, this is a legal play when the in-bounding team can run the baseline. Rule 7-5-7 provides the rule coverage for this play. However, this is only a legal play when the in-bounding team can run the baseline. If the end line throw-in is a spot throw-in, this play would be a violation.