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  • Writer's picturemarisnoviks

Fiziocentrs presents: the Tough Calls

The European North Basketball league launches a new initiative Tough Calls to improve the understanding of referees decisions and to increase the transparency towards the fans. The Tough Calls are sponsored by Fiziocentrs – a well known physiotherapy clinic in Latvia.

Oskars Lucis, Head referee of the ENBL

"We wish to improve the understanding of referees decisions for everyone – to develop the mutual communication between the league, the clubs, the referees and the fans.

We will publish the Tough Calls after every stage. ENBL experts will explain exciting situations in the game in order to improve the understanding of basketball and on-court action.

The referees will scout the teams before every stage – to help better prepare for every game. We will observe offense and defense, the peak performers, strengths and weaknesses of the teams etc.

From now on, all games will be observed, including the regular season, the play-offs and the Final Four. We are determined to deliver a highest possible refereeing quality – a framework to open up the new lanes for the young referees and a knowledge sharing platform for the more experienced referees.

The Tough Calls are based on personal experience, while working at the FIBA competitions, including the Basketball Champions league and National team competitions, like the 2019 FIBA World Cup qualifiers and the EuroBasket 2022 qualifiers.

I`m thankful to the ENBL for this opportunity and provided support to implement the new system."

Fiziocentrs is a professional physiotherapy clinic, founded in 2010. Fiziocentrs offer a wide range of services to improve the physical health, the physical development and achievements in everyday life, as well as in the professional sport.

November 2021

1. Black6 attempts a 3 point field goal from side, whilst White14 jumps to try to block the shot. After the shot, but still with Black6 in the air, White14 jumps in shooters landing spot, where occurs contact with Black6, after Black6 felt down. Referee calls a personal foul to White14, awarding three (3) free throws to Black6.

FIBA OBRI 33.6. A player who is in the air. 
A player who has jumped into the air from a place on the playing court has the right to land again at the same place. 
He has the right to land on another place on the playing court provided that the landing place and the direct path between the take-off and landing place is not already occupied by an opponent(s) at the time of take-off.

Outcome: correct decision from the referees. Act of shooting foul by White14 to Black6. Black6 awarded three (3) free throws.

2. Black team in the offense makes an unsuccessful shot under the basket, after players of the both teams fight for the rebound, and it is taken under the control of White team. A new possession begins for the White team (new 24.sec. in offense). However, immediately, with active defense, Black team steal the ball in White team defensive court. When Black14 catch the ball, a new possession starts again, this time the operator renews the offense time for the Black team for 14 seconds. The referees stop the game.

FIBA OBRI 29. 24 seconds 29.1.1. Whenever: 
A player gains control of a live ball on the playing court, that team must attempt a shot for a field goal within 24 seconds.

Outcome: correct decision from the referees- by stopping the game, correct the time of the Black team's offence from 12.sec. to 22.sec., because before the referees call, Black team control a ball 2.sec.

3. White12 attempts a 3 point field goal after screen, whilst Black6 jumps to try to block the shot. White12 spread legs, showing contact and the referee calls a personal foul to Black6, awarding three (3) free throws to White12.

FIBA OBRI 33.3 The offensive player shall not cause contact with the defensive player in a legal guarding position by: Spreading his legs or arms to cause contact during or immediately after a shot for a field goal.

FIBA OBRI 33.16 Fake is an action by a player to simulate that he has been fouled or to make theatrical, exaggerated movements in order to create an opinion of being fouled and therefore gaining an advantage.

Outcome: Incorrect decision from the referees. Black6 never invades the shooter's cylinder or contact with the shooters head. It is the shooter, White12, who creates the contact by spreading his left leg outside his cylinder. However, this illegal contact does not put Black6 in a disadvantage, so it shall not be called as a personal foul. White12 then lets himself show in order to fake being fouled. The referee shall give a warning, showing twice the 'raise-the-lower-arm' signal to White12 for faking the foul. When the game is stopped and the ball is dead, the warning shall also be communicated to the White Team Head Coach and it shall apply to any member of his team for a similar action for the remaining duration of the game.

4. In a fast break situation, White6 got a pass , made a few steps in progress, made a field goal attempt, which was blocked by Black12. The referees did not called any violations and allowed the teams to continue the game.

FIBA OBRI 25.1.1. 
Establishing a pivot foot by a player who catches a live ball on the playing court: 
 - A player who catches the ball while he is progressing, or upon completion of a dribble, may take two steps in coming to a stop, passing or shooting the ball: 
 - The first step occurs when one foot or both feet touch the floor after gaining 
control of the ball. 

FIBA OBRI 31.2.1. Goaltending occurs during a shot for a field goal when a player touches the ball while it is completely above the level of the ring and: 
It is on its downward flight to the basket, or 
After it has touched the backboard. 

FIBA OBRI 15.1.1. Player in the Act of shooting : A continuous movement on drives to the basket or other moving shots is an action of a player who catches the ball while he is progressing or upon completion of the dribble and then continues with the shooting motion, usually upwards. 

Outcome: Correct decision by the referees, no call situation. First, no travel violation, legal play by White6 (zero - one – two), after no Act of shooting foul, legal defense from Black12, and legal block a ball- no goaltending (that the block was legal, as the ball was still on its upward flight to the basket, and it had not touched the backboard).

5. Black25 in offense, controls the ball, and passes it to his teammate Black13. Immediately after passing the ball, Black25 tries to set a screen the teammate's guard White3 with a forward movement. There is a contact between Black25 and White3, who falls to the floor as a result of the contact and referees call a foul to Black25.

FIBA OBRI 33.7. Screening: Legal and illegal - Illegal screening is when the player who is screening an opponent: 
Was moving when contact occurred. / 
Did not give sufficient distance in setting a screen outside the field of vision of a 
stationary opponent when contact occurred. 
/ Did not respect the elements of time and distance of an opponent in motion when 
contact occurred. 

If the opponent is in motion, the elements of time and distance shall apply. The screener must leave enough space so that the player who is being screened is able to avoid the screen by stopping or changing direction. 
The distance required is never less than 1 and never more than 2 normal steps. 

Outcome : correct decision by the referees. Immediately after a pass, Black25 was moving forward and did not respond stationary at the time of contact, as well as did not observe the rules of time and distance.


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