Death to the charge!

Submitted by Needs on March 25th, 2013 at 9:45 AM

In the wake of the Aaron Craft charging call, people are finally starting to seriously question the way in which NCAA refs overcall charging. 

USA Today's Chris Chase


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.… NBC Sports

This may be the most notable blown charge call in this year’s tournament, but it certainly isn’t the first. It’s an epidemic, really. Referees, who are now forced to focus on when a defender has their feet and whether or not they are outside the charge circle, are missing more and more calls under the basket. The Flagrant 1 elbow rule needs to be the first thing addressed by the rules committee this offseason, as that’s easily the worst rule in college basketball. But the referees need to get together and figure out how to start calling charges and blocks correctly.… Jay Bilas (who's been on this all season)

On the charge call, college basketball refs repeatedly call charges on clear blocks. It is an epidemic, and a failure. We can do better.


Someone's even started a #EverythingsACharge hashtag on twitter.


Charges should be rare and obvious calls. Charges should not be able to be "drawn," they should only be called in the case of violent and careless offensive play. Any 50/50 calls should go to the offensive player until college basketball stamps out the epidemic of defenders getting in the way and falling over. In particular, it needs to eliminate charging calls when help defenders slide over and don't contest the ball.

Drawing a charge is not defense, it's just getting in the way. It encourages flopping. It's dangerous, as it frequently undercuts an airborne player. And it discourages exciting plays where defenders contest offensive players going to the rim in the air. And in general, charging cheapens the game.

Death to the Charge!



March 25th, 2013 at 10:12 AM ^

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. 


March 25th, 2013 at 10:17 AM ^

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.

Kilgore Trout

March 25th, 2013 at 10:13 AM ^

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.


March 25th, 2013 at 10:23 AM ^

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.

Hardware Sushi

March 25th, 2013 at 10:18 AM ^

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.


March 25th, 2013 at 10:35 AM ^

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.


March 25th, 2013 at 12:09 PM ^

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.


March 25th, 2013 at 10:22 AM ^

"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. 


March 25th, 2013 at 10:29 AM ^

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.


March 25th, 2013 at 10:38 AM ^

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.


March 25th, 2013 at 10:37 AM ^

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.


March 25th, 2013 at 10:39 AM ^

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. 



March 25th, 2013 at 10:45 AM ^

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.



March 25th, 2013 at 11:21 AM ^

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.


March 25th, 2013 at 10:46 AM ^

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. 


March 25th, 2013 at 11:11 AM ^

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.


March 25th, 2013 at 10:41 AM ^

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. 


March 25th, 2013 at 11:10 AM ^

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.

Kilgore Trout

March 25th, 2013 at 12:02 PM ^

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.


March 25th, 2013 at 12:26 PM ^

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.




March 25th, 2013 at 1:43 PM ^

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.


March 25th, 2013 at 2:24 PM ^

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.


March 25th, 2013 at 11:10 AM ^

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.



March 25th, 2013 at 11:13 AM ^

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. 


March 25th, 2013 at 12:14 PM ^

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.


March 25th, 2013 at 12:21 PM ^

Trust 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.


March 25th, 2013 at 12:31 PM ^

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).

the Glove

March 25th, 2013 at 1:03 PM ^

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.


March 25th, 2013 at 1:33 PM ^

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...…


March 25th, 2013 at 6:32 PM ^

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?


March 25th, 2013 at 7:00 PM ^

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.


March 25th, 2013 at 10:28 PM ^

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



March 26th, 2013 at 12:14 AM ^

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.

All Day

March 25th, 2013 at 1:49 PM ^

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"? 


March 25th, 2013 at 1:55 PM ^

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.  


March 25th, 2013 at 1:57 PM ^

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. 


March 25th, 2013 at 2:38 PM ^

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.

Doctor Wolverine

March 25th, 2013 at 3:07 PM ^

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.


March 25th, 2013 at 3:50 PM ^

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.


March 25th, 2013 at 4:41 PM ^

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.


March 25th, 2013 at 6:03 PM ^

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.