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The Tough Calls: December 2021



The Tough Calls are sponsored by Fiziocentrs – a well known physiotherapy clinic in Latvia.


1. In a fast break situation, White 5 runs to the basket and makes a contact with defender Green 21. After a contact White 5 did one more dribble to take a shot. There were no other defenders between White 5 and a basket. Referee calls a regular foul. After a crew meeting, a regular foul for Green 21 was upgraded to unsportsmanlike foul.


FIBA OBRI 37.1.1Unsportsmanlike foul

Definition: 
An unsportsmanlike foul is a player contact which, in the judgement of a referee is:

- (C4) An illegal contact caused by the player from behind or laterally on an opponent, who is progressing towards the opponent’s basket and there are no other players between the progressing player, the ball and the basket. This applies until the offensive player begins his act of shooting. 



Outcome: correct decision from the referees. The process was correct – there`s no IRS in the ENBL and referees must decide on the court. After calling Green 21 a regular foul, the crew came together, shared opinions and announced a correct decision – to upgrade a Green 21 foul to the unsportsmanlike foul by C4 criteria – the last player before a field goal attempt.


2. Black 7 starts to move from the backcourt. He stands with both feet in the frontcourt, while still dribbling the ball in backcourt. After a tight defense from White player, Black 7 steps back with both feet in his backcourt . Referee calls to Black 7 a backcourt violation.


FIBA OBRI 30.1.1. Ball returned to the backcourt

Definition: 
A team is in control of a live ball in its frontcourt when:

A player of that team is touching his frontcourt with both feet while holding, 
catching or dribbling the ball in his frontcourt …


Outcome: 
incorrect decision from the referees. Black 7 was allowed to step back and continue to cross the centre line in eight (8) seconds, because, when he moves into the front court with both feet, while still dribbling the ball in backcourt, it doesn`t count as a control of the ball in frontcourt.


3. Green 1 starts offense, but turns the ball over after a legal defense by White 13 legal, who stole the ball in his frontcourt. A shot clock starts a new 24 second possession for the White team. They make a quick attack in five seconds with unsuccessful dunk. A White team player gets a rebound to continue offense. Shot clock shows 19 seconds left in offense. Referees stop the game with 16 seconds to go. After a short discussion, the shot clock was reset with 12 seconds to go.


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.

FIBA OBRI 29.2.6.After the ball has touched the ring of the opponents’ basket, the shot clock shall be reset to: 


24 seconds, if the opponents’ team gains control of the ball. 


14 seconds, if the team which regains control of the ball is the same team that 
was in control of the ball before the ball touched the ring.


Outcome: correct decision from the referees. When ball touches a ring and the same team regains it, the shot clock shall be reset to 14 seconds. Referees were correct to stop the game and to reset the remaining time for the White team.



4. Black team on the move, Black 3 passes the ball to Black 31, who takes an open shot. Before the shot, Black 15 tries to set a screen on White 5. Referees call a regular foul to Black 15- illegal screen.


FIBA OBRI 33.7. Screening: Legal and illegal

Screening is an attempt to delay or prevent an opponent without the ball from reaching a desired position on the playing court.

Legal screening is when the player who is screening an opponent:

- Was stationary (inside his cylinder) when contact occurred. 


- Had both feet on the floor when contact occurred.

Illegal screening is when the player who is screening an opponent: 


  • Was moving when contact occurred.

Outcome: correct decision from the referees.


5. White 85 makes the last free throw, the ball bounced off a ring and was legally touched by defender Black 13. The ball goes in. Referees count two points.


FIBA OBRI 16.1.1. A goal is made when a live ball enters the basket from above and remains within or passes through the basket entirely. 


FIBA OBRI 16.2.1. A goal is credited to the team attacking the opponents’ basket into which the ball has entered as follows: 


- A goal released from a free throw counts 1 point. 



- After the ball has touched the ring on a last free throw and is legally touched by 
any player before it enters the basket, the goal counts 2 points. 



Outcome: correct decision from the referees. When Black 13 touches a ball, the field goal counts as 2 points.



6. In a fast break situation, Black 23 drive to the basket and makes a field goal attempt, which was blocked by White 22. The referees called a regular foul. After a crew meeting, a regular foul to White 22 was upgraded to unsportsmanlike foul.


FIBA OBRI 37.1.1Unsportsmanlike foul

Definition: 
An unsportsmanlike foul is a player contact which, in the judgement of a referee is:

  • (C1) Contact with an opponent and not legitimately attempting to directly play the ball within the spirit and intent of the rules.

  • (C2) Excessive, hard contact caused by a player in an effort to play the ball or an opponent.


Outcome: Correct decision from the referees. The process was correct – there`s no IRS in the ENBL and referees must decide on the court. After calling White 22 a regular foul, the crew came together, shared opinions and announced a correct decision- upgrade White 22 foul to the unsportsmanlike foul by C2 criteria – an excessive, hard contact caused by a player in an effort to play an opponent.


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