I was just talking about this yesterday. The call allows teams to play horribly lazy perimeter defense as long as somebody is quick enough to run and stop in front of a driver. Totally agree with eliminating the call, except of course for absolutely blatant attempts by the offensive player to clear out a defender with a non-basketball move (i.e. push/shove).
Death to the charge!
Tom Crean disagrees with you. He says it's not lazy defense, it's good coaching.
Being a hoops player myself, the worst is when offensive players just blast down the lane out of control and run into defensive players. If the defense doesn't have their feet set, it is a foul on them even though **cough** the dwayne wades of the world are completely out of control on their drives. The other part of this is the ass push (think Shaq or MSU's Nix). They just ass bump people out of the way. Should be a foul. Flopping is stupid, lazy defense is no good, but the out of control offensive players are as much part of the problem.
Couldn't agree more.
It drives me nuts to see OP's like this. As if offensive players are untouchable angles made of glass, and contact should always be the defender's fault.
How about some offensive players learn a pullup jumper from 8 feet instead of lowering their shoulder and going to the basket, knowing that most of the time the call will be in their favor?
I think that charges should be called more often. If the defender is in a spot, but shuffles his feet just a little, and an offensive player comes barreling down the lane at full speed into the defender, it seems to be that the offensive player had the most to do with initiating contact, right?
And the "restricted area" is silly to me. Why is there a portion of the floor that is exclusively given to offensive players? If the defender is in position, and gets smoked by an offensive player sprinting down the lane, why does it make a difference if his foot is on this line, or just outside it?
For those that say establishing position defensively and using your body to impede progress of an offensive player is just lazy defense, would you say that an offensive player is simply playing lazy offense if he does not avoid the defensive player trying to shoulder block him to the floor?
Do we all understand what the game would turn into if we removed the charge? Offensive teams full of Hulks with a handle, going to the basket like a dribbling fullback, smoking defenders, and a big shot blocker or two on defense desperately trying to avoid all contact with the ball handlers but somehow reach up and block their shot.
How often do you see a defensive player establish position, stay stationary, and then get called for a blocking foul when the offensive player jumps so as to only graze the stationary defender?
I think the solution is to let it go if the defender is stationary but the offensive player doesn't run him over in the chest.
I don't see how it's any less dangerous for players to challenge each other in mid-air. You either have one guy jumping into a guy standing still, or you have two guys leaping at each other and colliding in mid-air. And the thing with putting your hands up in the air (instead of just crossing them in front of your body) is that you're more likely to get called for a foul, even if you have your hands straight up in the air.
I agree that charges are being called too often, even though Michigan takes advantage of that rule quite a bit. I think refs need to work on making the right call more often, but I don't think there's a whole lot you can do about this. A crappy call by a ref doesn't mean the whole rule should be changed. Maybe that ref should just be reprimanded or fined or given extra training.
On the injury issue, when you have two guys leaping in the air, the defender has to consider his own safety. They generally do. I can't think of a single injury that I've seen, apart from sprained ankles, when players contest in the air in the half court. (They are more common in the open court, but that's a different matter). When a player takes a charge, he frequently goes flying back across the lane at knee level. Murphy from Florida got a pretty significant concussion this year when he flew backwards into someone's knee. I've also seen a bunch of wrist, elbow and shoulder injuries from the undercut offensive player coming down.
On the arms up, defensive players have the right to go straight up. I'm fine with offensive fouls called on players who push off, or no calls reflecting the defensive player's right to his vertical space. That's what you see in the NBA. And it's not just a matter of better refs, it's a matter of rule interpretations designed to promote freer flowing basketball. NCAA scoring is down 2 points on average over the last year. That's a lot.
The problem isn't the refs or the innate difficulty of calls that are always going to be controversial. It's the way the rule is interpreted. Eliminate the call and you eliminate the controversy. It's pretty simple, the help defender has to contest the ball or its a foul.
It's the fact that most of the time the defender is underneath the guy going to the hoop. It makes for awkward landings, and potential for injury. If the defender makes a play on the ball, they're both in the air and have a better chance of landing cleanly.
100% Agree. That being said, I think the only way Michigan stops Withey on Friday is getting him in early foul trouble. If he goes off on defense, it's going to be a tough night.
The play that really irks me is when an offensive player in the post has his back to the basket and lowers his shoulder into the defender to create space. McGary attempted to take a charge on that kind of play on Saturday and there was no call, but you see it all the time. If a defender has body position on you and the only thing you can do is lower your shoulder to try to plow him over, it should be an offensive foul, period. That type of play is illegal when setting a screen, it's illegal on defense, so why is it "a good non-call" when the player has the ball?
There was a play in the FGC-SDSU game where Sherwood Brown was iso'd and just buried his shoulder into the defender and put him on his back and subsequently scored an open jumper with no call. I couldn't believe it wasn't a foul. It seemed about as blatant as offensive fouls come.
That's kind of what the whole discussion is about. Did the defender really get hit that hard, or was he playing "lazy" defense, trying to draw the charging call? Since there isn't a "diving" penalty in basketball, that's a good no call.
I know I'm in the minority here, but I'm a little tired of Sherwood Brown's antics anyway. However, I don't think he should have been called charging on this one.
Yeah, that looks like a total flop to me. The tell is the way he throws his head back when the bump is in the middle of the chest.
He keeps his feet planted, which makes his body act like a lever. His head moves because the rest of his upper body is moving. That should be an offensive foul even if he moves his feet to keep his balance. If the offense is allowed to push the defense out of the way, we might as well just remove the defensive aspect of the game and make it a game of Around the World.
In order to flop, you have to throw your upper body backwards. Try doing that without keeping your feet planted. It's a flop.
I'd rather see the defensive player man up and hold his ground. McGary was a perfect example of this in the first two games, especially Thursday. The offensive player would try to back him down, but he stood his ground and forced the offensive player to throw the ball back out to the perimeter.
I'd rather see the defender hold his ground as well. However, I still think that is an offensive foul.
Easy for you to say. Brown uses his shoulder to gain an advantage (the definition of a foul) whether it's a flop or not. Basketball refereeing is a joke at times. The commentators focus on the "charge arc" under the basket, but that arc has made officiating worse. Take the Craft charge call as an example. A lot of time was wasted on where his feet were, but the fact is that he undercut the offensive player.
So on the one hand, SDSU's defender had perfect defensive position, gets trucked (whether it was a flop or not is irrelevant) and there is no call. On the other hand I've seen multiple times in this tournament where a defender gets beat off the dribble and a help defender slides under the shooter after he leaves the ground, and he gets a charge.
Coaches spend years getting their players to get into good position, and refs constantly reward bad positioning and penalize good positioning. Drama over fundamentals. So if you are trying to be good at basketball, learn from Reggie Miller on how to draw calls. I'm not even hating. He knew refs were tools who played to drama, and he was one of the best at it.
Absorbing the hit is self preservation. A defender can't fight back. If he is hit with an elbow or shoulder his options are to absorb the full force of the hit or move the opposite direction of the hit. In either case the player initiating contact has committed a foul per rule. If the defender moves independent of contact it is a flop.
While we are airing greivances I've had enough of the hand checking by backcourt defenders. Anyone who as ever played basketball knows how much easier it is to control a dribbler with your hand on him. It doesn't look like much but it really impedes the progress of the ball handler.
In its sincerest form, it is self-preservation. I think most of the discussion here is on the embellishment of defensive players trying to draw fouls.
I have played quite a bit of organized basketball and totally agree with your point about hand-checking. It makes the defender's job so much easier. It should go too.
Hand checking helps a lot. And even as someone who took liberal advantage of it often not getting called, I understand how unfair it really is, because when I was trying to defend some guy going D1 in basketball they would have blown right passed me if I hand't used it.
So yeah, it really needs to start getting called.
That's a straight up Flop, not an offensive foul. Sometimes we have to remember that the defensive player is as big or sometimes bigger than the post player and that it's going to be really hard to get bum-rushed by said post-player; it shouldn't look that easy to get mauled hence the obvious flopping.
I'm fine with those kinds of charging calls. Primary defenders who are in position and receive aggressive contact from an offensive player (particularly a lowered shoulder or a push with the off arm) should be protected. The problem is that so many players are flopping because of the way refereeing is privileging the charge that the referees can no longer determine what contact is initiated by offensive players and what is flopping that they simply guess.
Refs have created an environment where you have to flop over to get a charge. If you have position in the post and the guy just shoulders into / through you, it should be a foul, regardless of how you react to it.
This is what so many people miss when they complain about "flopping." It has become necessary to fall down in order to get the call. If you have position and absorb the contact without going down - no call.
Also, many people above are complaining about help defenders taking charges like that shouldn't be allowed. I don't get this. So, once you beat the on ball defender, you just put your head down and go to the basket, and the defense can't do anything to stop it?
I agree that there is a problem with letting defenders slide in too late to take charges, but on the whole, I think the block/charge call is missed pretty equally both ways. The real fix is 1) call it the right way (don't let someone slide in too late), and 2) don't require the defender to go down to get the call.
Totally agree, it is missed wrong on both sides of the equation.
In order to maintain flow to the game, the benefit of the doubt should go to the offensive player.
And fuck Aaron Craft. He's one of the worst offenders (offensively and defensively).
I think this is a theory vs practice issue. In theory, having out of control players plow over well positioned help defenders would be a problem. But can anyone say they actually see that happening that much? What I see far more often is the late slide over and collapse in an effort to stop an aggressive offensive play.
The NCAA has pretty much told officials as explicitly as they ever say anything to officials to not call as many charges as they do. They haven't followed. It's time to change the interpretation of the rule itself.
I sort of agree. I don't think an offensive player needs to be out of control to necessitate an offensive foul. I guess that depends on what we're defining as "out of control." If a defensive player is in position, and the offensive player tries to go through him, that's an offensive foul. But that doesn't necessarily mean the offensive player was out of control, the way I would define it. But yeah, it's the late slide that really needs to be fixed. And the rules are already written for that to be a block. It's just missed a lot.
The referees are the one who have created this viscious cycle. The refs rarely call a charge unless a player has his arms at his side a flops. No where in the rule book does this state that this position is required by the defensive player to cause a charge. So a defensive player is forced to either flop or play d. The refs will not allow both.
You bring up charges from primary defenders. My opinion is that more player control fouls should be called on offensive players, particularly in the post, but even when driving the lane.
As far as help defenders, there was an example towards the end of the Indiana game where I think the call was good. The defender was standing his ground (away from the basket a bit) and the offensive player was clearly out of control, thus, it was called a charge.
My problem with charges is two fold: Too many are being called when help defenders arrive after the offensive player has left his feet. If it's questionable, it should be called a block. Undercutting a player shouldn't be a charge. The second problem I have is the amount you see players already going backwards before contact. You want to draw a charge? Then you have to actually take the contact. This is a very difficult thing to see in real-time though.
I'm not a fan of taking away all help defense charges. The defender has a right to that spot, and if he cleanly beat the man to it, then it should be a charge. Possibly the circle should be made a bit bigger to prevent the sliding underneath players and to make sure defenders get to the spot on time, but I really don't like the throught process that "taking a charge isn't playing defense." It is playing defense, it's getting to a spot under control and having a right to that spot.
Two other things: 1) hand checks need to start being called. 2) Post defenders with their hands and chest straight up need to stop getting called for so many "bump fouls" when the offensive post player initiates contact.
If we're bringing up other calls/non-calls, the other post play that I haven't seen called a foul in college basketball this year is when the offensive player hooks the player with his elbow, spins around him and gets to the basket. Ryan Evans did this repeatedly against Michigan this year.
Drives me crazy!
This was my favorite post defensive strategy (at 0:05).
Shaq made a hall of fame career from doing exactly that. I could never understand how he didn't foul out of every game. He was extremely athletic for his size and a great player. But he used that move a ton.
MSU and Nix. The guy is pretty much a specialist in this. He outweighs everyone else so this is easy. Should be fouled out by the 2nd quarter.
It would also be great if the refs would call a foul on at least 25% of the times that Craft hand checks and/or holds an opponent
...or when Glenn Robinson III has to replace his jersey because the opposing team is holding him, but not one foul was called because of it.
I'd rather see them eliminate the 5' foul halo around Zeller.
This would increase scoring obviously. I'm not sure how we teach help defense anymore though. What does the help do when an offensive player beats his man and drives the lane at high speed? If standing in his way becomes a foul, it becomes very difficult to, you know, defend.
You contest the ball without fouling....the way that help defenders used to do for sixty years before Coach K taught Chris Collins, Battier and Wojo to fall over at the slightest contact. Watch the Bad Boys. You don't see a lot of charges, what you see is aggressive defensive contests at the rim. That's exciting, and it's less on the refs.
Laimbeer did flop like a mofo. But at least he flopped when he was the primary defender.
But I want to see someone bring "The Mahorn" back. This is where you'd let the defender bang into you again and again to get position, then step away and watch him lose balance and trip as he tried banging into thin air. Used to get McHale with this all the time.
Exactly. You're damned if you do, and damned if you don't. If you seriously limit charges, you're going to have a bunch of guys reaching in and slapping at the ball, which can cause injuries (if done in the air because people might land awkwardly) or a lot of reach-in fouls. The charge rule is fine if it's implemented correctly. I just don't see the sense of "the refs are calling the charge poorly, so let's get rid of it." You teach the refs to call it correctly, and voila!
Needs is right on.
The rules should be set and officiated based on what's safe for the players and what's exciting for the game.
The help defender has three options:
1. get in place to try & draw a fould (this really isn't safe for either player, nor is it exciting)
2. get to the bucket & contest the play (this is probably no safer than option 1, but it is very exciting)
3. do nothing, let the offensive player score (this is probably the safest option, but depending on the offensive player, may or may not be exciting)
I love seeing players contest drives at the rim. Drawing fouls is usally pretty cheap; doing nothing is cheap. Contesting at the rim is the truest of the three options.
I disagree that option 1 isn't exciting. Assuming a call is made one way or the other, you either have a great defensive play which results in a change of possession or you have the potential for a great offensive play resulting in a chance for 3 points.
Upon further thought, you're right. There can be some excitement to that charge when there's a change of posession.
However, it's been taken advantage of for a long time. It cheapens the game.
I'd rather see the defensive player come over and try his best to contest the shot at his and the offensive player's highest point - at the rim.
I agree. Ideally, what you'd have is both players avoiding contact. If the defender isn't in position, then just try to block the shot or strip the ball. If the defender is in position, rather than trying to make contact to by jumping into the defender or leaning to try to get the defender's arms to touch his arms, I'd like the ballhandler to step back and make the more difficult shot or pass the ball.
What about the reverse? Maybe the blocking foul is called too much.
I mean, if all we care about here is player safety, then make contact close to the basket tend to favor the defender. No one would reckless run in to the basket, and the new rule would favor outside shooting.
(Don't really give a shit. Just feeling antagonistic this morning)
Nothing wrong with being the antagonist, Marshmallow.
My fear, if your idea is adopted, is that it would create a game full of jump shots. It would look like a game or horse, or even worse, a 5th graders' basketball game.
I disagree. I think this would encourage drawing rotation from the defense and passing the ball to the open player. Rather than just coaching the guards to get to the basket and trying to make the difficult shot while drawing a foul, they would either have to have Trey Burke who can make the difficult shots or they would have to have a true PG that can find the open man and get him the ball. Real offense.
I agree that the hand check needs to be called a lot more often. Ohio defenders start with one hand on the waist, quite an advantage.
The charge is being called too much, but that is because guys forgot how to take a 10 foot pull up jumper and you either get to the rim or shoot a three. The mid-range game is broke, not the charge call.
I think people go all the way to the rim with the intention of drawing a foul on the defense. With a little practice, a pull up 10 footer has to be equally as easy to make than a layup / dunk while colliding with a 6'10" 240lb man at full speed.
I remember reading this (LINK) late last year, but the NCAA actually did have someone evaluate a sample of the charge calls made in the 2012 Tournament, and according to this article, about 25% of them would be inconclusive - even on replay - using the rule as it literally reads in the book. The article also mentions the additional guidelines which were intended to improve the accuracy rate on these calls (approved last May). It would be interesting to repeat a similar study after this Tournament.
Thanks for that. Here's the essence of the issue:
To improve the accuracy rate on those calls, men’s officials are being asked to apply the following guidelines, which the Men’s Basketball Rules Committee approved in May:
• Before the offensive player (with the ball) becomes airborne, the defender must have two feet on the floor, be facing the opponent and be stationary to draw a charge. Otherwise, it should be a blocking foul.
• Secondary defenders (help defenders) moving forward or to the side are also in violation and those should be blocking fouls.
• Contact that is “through the chest” is not de facto proof of a charge. The rule in its entirety must be considered before determining a foul.
• In some cases, it appears a defender is being rewarded solely for being outside the restricted-area arc, without considering the other aspects of the rules.
I think, if anything, more charges should be called. Dribbling straight into people is not basketball either. You shouldn't be able to just plow through people.
If you look at the definitions of the rules, way more charges should be called. Once a player gets legal guarding position, the offensive player has to get their head and shoulders past the defender or any contact is an offensive foul. The definition of legal guarding position is a little murky for secondary defenders, though. I am fine with a game where the offensive player has to legitimately beat the defender and can't just plow through them. There is nothing in the rules about being "set" or not moving for a defender. That is a creation of analysts.
I think that scoring is down because of off the ball clutching and grabbing and restricting the movement of people without the ball (Wisconsin). I would also add hand checking to that list. If a player has the ball and the defender reaches out and puts their hands on them, that should be a foul.
I totally agree on the last point. Defensive players are getting away with too much ability to restrict the movement of offensive players, both with their hands and forearms on and off the ball and with their chests on the ball. Bilas says that coaches are explicitly teaching defenders to foul players on the ball with their chests, particularly now that college no longer let's you clear space by bringing the ball through (ie, automatic flagrant 1 for an elbow that makes contact above the shoulders).
And the say in which Wisconsin cheats the game would require a multi-chapter treatise. My least favorite is the way that they slide under jumpshooters as they go up.
On the charging call, I just don't see that many head-down dribblers plowing over defenders. What I do see is a lot of plays where a player beats his man, gathers to go up and a defender slides underneath and falls down.
I think the whole argument is dumb. It was a tough call on a judgement call foul. It happens in basketball, it happens in hockey, it happens in football, soccer, lacrosse, etc.
Does anyone remember the hold in the first quarter of 2002 BCS national title? A weak hold in the first quarter of a game may have derailed a drive and changed the game - no need for overtime necessary. But everybody remembers the pass interference in overtime and THAT was the play that changed the outcome. We remember the overtime hooking call that 'blew' the game but nobody remembers the crappy BS roughing call or the missed tripping on the breakout.
Change the rules, refs still have to make judgement calls and not every one of them will be right when they're calling them full speed. They're doing their best with charging; change it again (just like the coaches wanted the painted circles) and it will still be a judgement call and someone else will get mad when they perceive they've been slighted. This is not a new sports concept.
Charles Barkley can go to hell for being pissed he lost a bunch of money betting against the Big Ten, not shutting up yesterday and forcing this to be today's conversation.
It's tiresome to see defenders lean so far backwards they fall away at light contact to avoid taking a blow, or (worse) to outright flop, the alternative is to have offensive players draw contact rather than make every effort to make the shot. This would be just as silly.
Barkley sounded and looked like a drunken banker in a bad suit all weekend.
I'm with you; there's no way to make it an easy call. But it seems obvious to me that they should be able to go to video review to see if the defender was in the circle. How is it any different than checking to see wheter a foot was on the three-point line, which they do every time? Score-wise,it's actually a much more critical distinction.
"The problem, perhaps, isn't with the call, it's with the idea that college basketball rewards defensive players for sliding into position and standing still rather than playing defense."
What would the reward be for playing defense? Without the charge, it is a defensive foul every time a defender attempts to stop a guy from getting past them. It is a joke.
Here's a good rule change; the only foul is if you hit someone's arm while they are shooting. If you simply get in their way or block them, there is no foul.
Charging wasn't called this way for sixty years of basketball and guys didn't foul out. It's not called this way in the NBA and you still have teams that play hard-nosed aggressive defense like the Bulls and Pacers. The reward for playing defense is preventing the score and getting the ball back by contesting the ball.
On your proposed rule change, I see you're a Wisconsin fan.
Honestly, the whole charge situation in college bball is made possible simply by the way the refs all of a sudden decided to start calling them game. You don't see it anywhere else. There's a huge difference between truly plowing someone over and lightly bumping into someone who slid under you at the last possible moment as you went up for a layup.
When an offensive player gets a step on a defender, the defender is allowed to place his rear fist into the offensive players stomach holding and slowing his progress to the basket. This is an obvious foul. Why reward the defender for not moving his feet?
Stepping underneath a shooter's hip on a drive to the basket pushing him away from the basket, altering his balance and again rewarding a defender for not moving his feet.
A poorly positioned rebounder lacking position placing their hand on the lower back/hip of the well positioned rebounder throwing the well positioned rebounder's timing off and allowing the poorly positioned rebounder the ability to get their hands on the ball.
Or, in other words, how Wisconsin plays basketball, and the reason they can't win outside of the BIG -- because non-BIG refs make some of these calls.
How many times do you see a defender just standing there, arms straight up, and then an offensive player jumps into him while shooting and it is called a foul? That seems to happen ALL THE TIME. The defense ALREADY gets screwed for trying to defend. And now you want to take away the only really effective weapon they have?
The defender has EVERY right to any spot on the floor that they want. If they are standing there, and the offenive player plows through them, that is a charge. Period. Now, does flopping suck? Yeah. I hate floppers. And does it also suck when guys slide over late to undercut people driving to the hoop? Sure it does. That is SUPPOSED to be why we have officials to determine when those things are happening and not reward the defense for doing those ILLEGAL things.
However, those are very hard calls to make, and the officials miss those calls a lot. I don't know that that is a reason to completely eliminate the call though. But I don't know that the problem is with the rule. The problem is that the officials can't seem to get the call right often enough. Kind of like holding and pass-interference (which someone up-thread mentioned)
As for the Craft call, yeah the ref blew the call. It was also a bang-bang play and without seeing film from the EXACT angle the ref was standing at, I can't tell you how tough of a call it was. With his heels lifted the way they were (intentionally I suspect, to try and disguise the fact that he was inside the charge circle) it may have been impossible to tell from the ref's angle where his feet were.
How many times do you see a defender just standing there, arms straight up, and then an offensive player jumps into him while shooting and it is called a foul?
Honesty? Not very often, unless the offensive player is Cody Zeller. Other than that, maybe once for every ten charges that are called.
See it all the time when people are driving and the defender is matching him, then at the basket the driver will jump straight into the guy and get the foul.
I think it happens more often than that. It happened just yesterday in the Illinois-Miami game. Reggie Johnson stood there like a damn post while the ballcarrier moved this way and that trying to find an angle, and he couldn't, so he threw up a stupid prayer of a shot and got Johnson called for the foul. People just don't make a major issue of it because it's not as spectacular. I completely agree with JamieH's point - the officials already call the game too far in favor of the offense.
I think people are giving too much credit to Craft for lifting his heels as if it was something intentional. i just don't think he got there in time to get completely set, and as such his heels hadn't come all the way down when he took the charge. I really don't think it was some sort of conscious effort - it was just that he got there late.
That's what annoys me about this discussion is that it's not so much about the heel over the line as it is about the fact that they blew the call because he never got set before the defender hit him. That's why it's a charge, not because of his heel placement. At least in my opinion.
I blame that understanding mostly on Jim Nantz and his ridiculous need to create sanctimonious story lines about smart, gritty players.
Absolutely. And they were so amazed by Craft's "awareness," that they failed to know and/or mention that if Craft's heel was even hovering above the arc, it is considered to be inside the restricted area and, therefore, blocking foul.
But your main point is spot on: he got there late. And he probably got the call because, let's face it, Aaron Craft can sell (or hide) a foul probably better than anyone in college hoops.
The offense already has a lot of advantage in basketball. A good slasher type will take it right into a defender and a charge is his only recourse. Sure it may be over called a bit, but personally I like the call a lot.
Seems like the easiest way to "fix" this problem - at least as it relates to charges near the basket - is to just extend the restricted arc a foot or two. This way a defender sliding under an already-airborne offensive player is almost certainly a foul. The way I see it, you shouldn't be rewarded for sliding under an offensive player who has already leaped. Try to block his shot or alter it but don't just get in his way.
Charge calls are so wishy-washy all the time. Did you know that technically, a defenders feet don't even have to be planted as long as he has established his position. What concerns me is the 50/50 calls. For example, on that Aaron Craft play at the end of the game, personally I think that just needs to be a no call. We don't want the referees judgement to decide the outcome of a game. That is why I was okay with the no call on the intentional foul by Christian Watford against GRIII in the final regular season game. Referees should not have ability to determine the outcome of the game based off a foul call.
According to the rule book, everything is a foul (emphasis mine)
Section 1. Personal Fouls Art. 1. A player shall not hold, push, charge, trip or impede the progress of an opponent by extending arm(s), shoulder(s), hip(s) or knee(s) or by bending his or her own body into other than a normal position; nor use any unreasonably rough tactics. Art. 2. A player shall not contact an opponent with his or her hand unless such contact is only with the opponent’s hand while it is on the ball and is incidental to an attempt to play the ball. Art. 3. A player shall not use his or her hand(s) on an opponent to inhibit the freedom of movement of the opponent in any way or to aid an opponent in starting or stopping. Art. 4. A player shall not extend the arm(s) fully or partially other than vertically so that freedom of movement of an opponent is hindered when contact with the arm(s) occurs. Art. 5. A player shall not use the forearm and hand to prevent an opponent from attacking the ball during a dribble or when trying for goal. Art. 6. A player may hold his or her hand(s) and arm(s) in front of his or her own face or body for protection and to absorb force from an imminent charge by an opponent. Art. 7. Contact caused by a defensive player approaching the player with the ball from behind is pushing; contact caused by the momentum of a player who has tried for goal is charging. Art. 8. A dribbler shall neither charge into nor contact an opponent in the dribbler’s path nor attempt to dribble between two opponents or between an opponent and a boundary, unless the space is sufficient to provide a reasonable chance for the dribbler to pass through without contact.124 Rule 10 / foulsandpenalties Art. 9. When a dribbler, without contact, passes an opponent sufficiently to have head and shoulders beyond the front of the opponent’s torso, the greater responsibility for subsequent contact shall be that of the opponent. Art. 10. When a dribbler has obtained a straight-line path, the dribbler may not be crowded out of that path; when an opponent is able to legally obtain a defensive position in that path, the dribbler shall avoid contact by changing direction or ending the dribble. Art. 11. The player intending to become the dribbler shall not be permitted additional rights to start a dribble or in executing a jump try for goal, pivot or feint. Art. 12. (Men) A secondary defender shall not establish initial legal guarding position under the basket when playing a player who is in control of the ball (i.e. dribbling or shooting) or who has released the ball for a pass or try for goal. In establishing a position in any outnumbering fast break situation, a player shall not establish initial legal guarding position under the basket. When illegal contact occurs, such contact shall be called a blocking foul, unless the contact is intentional or flagrant.
Nice, so, everything is a foul.
I respect your overall point, but I disagree about the refs not deciding a game with a call. By not calling something that is a foul, you are allowing one team to break the rules to gain an advantage, so you are helping to decide the game. There was something in the sports freakanomics book (can't remember the name) that basically said people prefer passive intervention (no call) to active (call), but they both still equally affect the outcome.
Right. It's such a crappy concept, and it is hard to really take it all in and understand how it affects the game.
In the ISU/OSU game, I stand by that I think it should have been a no-call, play on, 2 points for ISU and Ohio ball.
For example, lets say that Watford is called for the intentional. Now GRIII is shooting twice, and Michigan gets the ball, with a lead, and less than a minute left. Pretty much ensures a Michigan win. That's why I am okay with the no call.
However, lets say that Watford had not fouled GRIII. Michigan is still up, with less than a minute, and GRIII just threw down a thunderous dunk on a fast break. I wonder what our chances of winning after that are anyway.
Also, is the probability of a Michigan win after a fastbreak dunk by GRIII higher or lower than if the intentional foul is called? If calling an intentional foul increases the chances of a Michigan win more than Watford not fouling, you can make an argument either way: Watford fouled, so Michigan deserves that additional increase, however, we don't want the game to end because of a foul.
I would not want to be in the position of the referees, that's for sure. Or, at least, it would be difficult for me to objectively and correctly make these kind of calls.
You don't want the refs to make the RIGHT call if it somehow puts the game out of reach? How the heck does that make sense?
The refs should ALWAYS try to make the RIGHT call. If that call dooms one team to losing, that is just how it works.
NOT making a call in a situation that warrants one affects the game just as much as making one in a situation that doesn't. The idea that "letting them play" somehow means the refs aren't "affecting the game" is absolute B.S. It just means the refs are affecting the game in a less obvious way.
If the foul on Robinson warranted an intentional foul call, it should have received it. The fact that it would have most likely ended the game should have had absolutely NOTHING to do with the call. You don't change the call because of the situation. Otherwise you are basically begging teams to cheat in late-game situations because, hey, we aren't going to call stuff at the end of games anyway.
See, and thats the problem. If you are going to go strictly by the rules, ANY contact between a defender and a ball handler is garunteed to be a foul, incidental or intentional. There is no happy medium. It was a judgement call by the refs. They had to determine whether it was intentional or not. Doing so requires them to be a place they cannot be, the mind of Christian Watford.
No matter what, referees are going to affect the game. I'm just saying that it is more pleasing to me to have them consistently affect the game by not calling fouls that could easily go one way or the other.
I want the referees to make the "RIGHT" call, it is just improbable that they will be consistently correct. I'd rather have them make no call consistently, than use their best judgement as to what kind of foul to call.
Also, I disagree that the call shouldn't be changed because of how seriously the game will be effected. You T up a coach for walking a bit too far onto the court with 4 seconds remaining and the game tied. I'm not saying you don't call fouls at the end of the game. I'm just saying that unless it is blatant, and deserving of a flagrant (which also is so sketchy to determine), keep the fouls simple, and, when in doubt, just let them play.
We were on the better end of some of these situations during this season too, don't forget that.
Getting into position and holding your ground is great defense. If you are plowed into, it should be a foul, no question.
Many charge calls are too close to call and/or involve flops. No-calls allow refs to not reward the defensive player for going down too easily, nor the offensive player for initiating the contact, and resolves some cases of glancing contact. Plus, it takes pressure off the refs, from feeling like they have to make a call everytime theres significant contact, ala the craft play.
Also interesting, NBA Tv runs a segment in which the Referees association sends a liasion to discuss rules and officiating. Apparently, the nba doesn't look at whether or not the feet are moving prior to contact, but whether the body and shoulders are squared. - Case in point, there needs to be systematic and consistent examination/resolution, to the issue of charge calls at all levels of bball.
The funny thing about the Craft foul is that he wasn't even the first foul on the shot. That play was blown in three ways:
1. There was a foul before Craft was contacted
2. Craft wasn't even in position to take a charge
3. Craft's foot was over the circle.
Stellar job there in tking away at least 2 ISU points and probably 3. That completely changed the whole game. The ironic thing is that if you go back a month ago, ISU was screwed on a far more obvious call against Kansas in which a charge was not called when it was blatently obvious it should have been.
How about make it mandatory that the officials huddle and discuss what each saw and any doubt goes to the offense? It gives the guy that blew the whistle a second to relax and not get caught up in the moment and get other opinions. If there is doubt (tie goes to runner) it's a block. I think this would help eliminate flopping and defenders sliding under players in the air.
Trust me...you don't want that. 2-to-2.25-hour games will quickly become 2.5-to-3-hour games. The other part of that is that each official has something that they are supposed to be watching. Really, there should only be 1 official (or maybe 2, depending on where the foul occurs) who sees the foul. The other two are watching for off-ball fouls, 3-second violations, etc.
Jim Delaney read your post, and just saw a chance to add about 25 minutes of commercial time to games.
I also like the idea of jump balls going to the defensive team always as a reward for good defense BUT refs call jump balls too often. When a guy wraps up from behind to get a piece of the ball but is clearly beat-hugging the man, please call a foul, not a jump ball. And whatever happened to traveling calls when the player with the ball falls to the floor and stops dribbling? Clearly there is no more pivot foot so it should be traveling, but refs never call it which leads to players scrambling around and the inevitable jump ball or timeout from the bench (which also needs to go away).
It's a way to keep offensive players in check. Without it you would see them lowering their shoulders and throwing more elbows. You cannot force your way into a spot when the defensive player has his feet set.
Not that this will change anyone's opinion...
I hate that call. Hate it. Hate it regardless of the teams playing or what's at stake. Sliding up under somebody who's in the air, to me, isn't great defense...So, while I'm NOT blaming Aaron Craft who only did what the rules allow in college basketball, I HATE the rule and it needs to be changed. And it wasn't really applied correctly either because having a heel OVER the arc is the same as it being ON it...Bad call all the way around...and remember, I'm rooting FOR all the Big Ten teams...
Dear Talking Head,
Sliding under a guy after they have already left the floor is, by rule, a blocking foul. Therefore, the rule does not need to be changed.
But thanks for your sports "expertise."
But they consistently miss the call. What do you do when an evaluation by the head of officiating shows refs missing 35% of the block/charge calls? It cheapens the game because it creates important swings in score and possession on essentially a coin flip.
You coach youth basketball, right? Do you think all the guys trying to rotate over and fall down is good defense?
Well, my point was the rule is fine as written. I can't argue that 65% isn't good enough from the officials and I'm sure they won't argue it either. My point is that there are clear definitions to what is and isn't a charge and Wilbon was idiotically wrong about that. The people making the most noise about this are not educated on those rules, however, which makes this a frustrating argument for people who are educated on the topic and ultimately a fruitless discussion.
What is "consistently" missing a call? What is an acceptable number? I personally know the number that officials are expected to hit in the ACC is 90%. This includes all judgement calls. In addition to that, they are expected to be perfect in the final four minutes. I think this is a fair standard to hold offiicals to. The ones that fail to meet this standard are given less games - they aren't publicly admonished for it, they just simply aren't asked back.
Call more blocks. Hell, even go with a "when in doubt, call a block" mandate that is spoken but not written. I'm fine with that. However, these are large, fast individuals and most of these "egregious" calls we argue over are so close even on instant replay that two reasonable people can still come to a different conclusion over. You can't "fix" something that close (I think of it as a baseball pitch that hits the black.)
As a coach, I teach to get over and get position. It is not about "gaming the system" or playing cheap. It is about proper team defense and rotations. I want kids to move their feet and get into the proper defensive position and force the offensive player to do something other than have an uncontested layup. Late rotations result in a lot of blocks, which is fine, but you need to teach the habit. We want to force that player attacking the basket to settle for a pull-up jump shot or more ideally, kick the ball back out of the lane or abandon his attack on goal all together.
Thanks for the thoughtful post. A couple comments
The 65% number is from the NCAA Director of Officiating based on last year's tournament. Some percentage of that was plays that were so close that he couldnt tell what the right call was. But that number is getting so close to 50/50 that it IMO hurts the game. I can live with refs getting 10% of the calls wrong. I've refereed and know that sometimes you just don't see things that well and call something based on what you think likely happened. But at 65%, it seems to me, you're getting to a point where it's totally unclear what the correct call actually is. That's not good.
I would be totally on board with a "when in doubt, it's a block" mandate. Right now, it seems like its the opposite. I will also freely admit being biased toward offense. I think basketball's at its most beautiful when players and the ball can flow freely and, as Clyde Frasier would say, 'express themselves.'
Finally, I'd like to focus on something in your last paragraph, where you say your defensive goal is to "force that player attacking the basket to settle for a pull-up jump shot or more ideally, kick the ball back out of the lane or abandon his attack on goal all together."
That sounds like a great defensive philosophy and a useful one for thinking about how charging is called. It emphasizes being in position early enough that the offensive player is forced to make a decision. The way the charge is now called, it seems that players are establishing position after that "takeoff point," which is not when the offensive player leaves the ground but when they begin the act of jumping. Maybe the rule needs to change from defenders needing to establish position before the offensive player leaves the ground to when he begins to jump. That's a small fragment of time but still allows the offensive player the conscious recognition that a defensive player is there and he can make choices to avoid
That's all an awesome comment. Here's what I'd like point out:
Maybe the rule needs to change from defenders needing to establish position before the offensive player leaves the ground to when he begins to jump.
Right now, by rule, the defender must get to their spot by the point in time that the offensive player becomes airborne. If you really breakdown when those two things happen, you see that there are a lot of charges correctly called where it appears the defender "slid underneath."
If you want to call a bunch of blocking fouls, then change the rule as you stated. However, know we're talking about a much more gray area. When a person becomes airborne is black and white. How do we determine when a player begins jumping?
In short, I think it is fine how it is. I think talking heads like Jay Bilas are overhyping a non-issue. I think that these plays we talk about are so close that it is pointless to argue. Bilas' is the epitome of blowhard and will always complain about the game which will never be as pure as when he played.
You say last year was 65% correct in the tourney. You also say there's a downward trend. Where do you get that from? Is it possible there was a year of an outlier? There's no evidence I have seen to suggest that this is a problem, other than extreme and unconvincing anectotal evidence from people who clearly do not understand the rule. Therefore, I cannot conclude this is an issue. I watch a lot of basketball - more than is healthy - and I honestly haven't thought to myself this year "these charges calls are blatantly wrong on a regular basis" once.
Get rid of the charge call and make it 6 fouls in order to foul out. I have been saying it for years.
I don't understand the "lazy defense" part. How many times do you see a player just stroll over to the block and slouch around waiting for a charge? It's usually a help side defender rotating hard and getting into a defensive stance. If a team is playing good defense and rotating, why should the help defender not have the same right to space as the on-ball defender? Furthermore, how would you differentiate as an official between what's a legitimate charge and what is not if you get rid of the charge, but not the "charge"?
Maybe you didn't catch the context of the way it was described as lazy.
If the defender is holding his ground, but the offensive player is so aggressive that his movement really forces the defensive player to the ground, then it's not lazy.
If the offensive player "flops" to the ground, it's lazy. He goes to the ground trying to draw a charge instead of going man up and forcing the offensive player to take a shot over him, from that spot on the floor, or throwing it back out to the perimeter.
I think the charge call needs to get adjusted as well. I would change it where a charge can not be called if a player is off the ground and makes contact wih the lower part of his body, regardless of the postion of the defensive player.
If the offensive player jumps over you, I'm ok with that. There will be contact but it should be a no call. Now if the Defensive player is set and gets run into, pushed out of the way, etc then it is a clear offensive foul. The issue with me is people sliding over and creating a bang bang play. Craft was still moving his feet and body while the Iowa State player had already made a clear move to the basket. Craft just undercut him and never made a play to stop the ball. If Craft had gotten there on time he would have gotten run over, instead he made contact with a player mid air.
Been with you from the "start" (ya know, a month or two ago) on this one Needs. It's killing the offensive part of the game, a part of the game where people say NCAA Basketball struggles, as this would obviously lend a hand to teams scoring more points. It isn't good defense to slide in 4 milliseconds before an offensive player, who's already made a dart to the basket a full second beforehand, gets to the basket. The Charge call elsewhere in the game is great, whether it be a man guarding the point or bigs playing solid defense and not allowing themselves to get bumrushed. It's this poorly taught defensive mindset where basically undercutting guys, who've pretty much seized and earned a way to the basket, are getting rewarded by overall bad or beaten help/team defense; sometimes a defense just has to chalk up a basket to the offense making a good play.
In the minority here, but I don't mind the way they are calling blocks vs charges. I don't like watching every play player x putting his head down and driving hard to the hoop, expecting either a foul or a dunk. That style has killed the midrange game in college bball, and only a select few players know how to hit a pull-up jumper anymore.
Not because it's not worthy of discussion, but rather than bringing it up again it seems like there are so many other rules that we could be going over right now. The whole flagrant one thing is a disaster. The fact that there are so many easy end of game things we can't review seems far more important than this. Why can't we look at the video to determine who the ball went out of bounds off of in the last 2 minutes? I see those things deciding games far more often than a charge call at the end of games.
The interpretation of the rule needs tweeking, but it's probably not in the top 5 of scourges of college basketball right now.
I was going to mention, as much as ISU got hosed by the questionable (pretty much downright wrong) charge call on the Craft play, the Illinois-Miami out of bounds call near the end was way worse. They got the call way wrong, or at least watching live it appeared that way. It basically cost Illinois the game. And one quick look at a replay would reverse the call on the court.
I don't watch basketball often, but in the handful of times I've watched this year out of bounds called are missed surprisingly often, and the fact that they aren't at least reviewable in late-game scenarios is pretty awful if you ask me.
And there are other similar easy reviewable plays that could be done. But they review potential flagrant 1's instead? Makes no sense.
Oh, I would absolutely trade an OOB review in the last 2 minutes for all the ridiculous flagrant elbow 1 reviews. But I obviously disagree about the scourge level rating. The flagrant 1 elbow thing is about the only one I'd put above it. What else have you got?
(I could see making a case for all the freedom of movement stuff - hand checking, etc., being worse. I think I'd disagree, but I could understand the case, but can't come up with anything else).
It's particularly infuriating that the NCAA essentially told the refs that they're calling too many charges after last year's tournament and nothing has seemingly changed. Bilas points out that the NCAA doesn't actually have much control over officials since they're independent contractors who work, for most of the season, for the conferences.
But one that's driving me crazy lately is where if a defender just touches the ball with hand it's somehow dual possession when he has zero chance of actually getting the ball away or really tying it up. It's the college basketball version of Seahawks-Packers.
This thread feels familiar...
Consider it an homage.
I like my title better though, particularly when rendered as an url, the end of which is "death-charge"