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  • Writer's picturemarisnoviks

The Tough Calls: December 2022

The Tough Calls are sponsored by Fiziocentrs – a well known physiotherapy clinic in Latvia. The videos shown below will help to understand the game, referees and rules.

  1. On a Blue team offense White 28 guards Blue 2 in the post. After that White 44 comes as a helping defender. Blue 2 turns to make a pass when illegal contact occurs from defenders following with a hit in the face from Blue 2 to White 44. Referees called a regular foul on White 28 and after discussion decided to use IRS to check possible Act of violence for the second contact in the face. After IRS, referees charge Blue 2 with Unsportsmanlike foul.

FIBA OBRI 33.11. Contacting an opponent with the hand(s) and/or arm(s)

The touching of an opponent with the hand(s) is, in itself, not necessarily a foul. The referees shall decide whether the player who caused the contact has gained an advantage. If contact caused by a player in any way restricts the freedom of movement of an opponent, such contact is a foul.

Illegal use of the hand(s) or extended arm(s) occurs when the defensive player is in a guarding position and his hand(s) or arm(s) is placed upon and remains in contact with an opponent with or without the ball, to impede his progress.

FIBA OBRI 33.12 Post play The principle of verticality (cylinder principle) applies also to post play. The offensive player in the post position and the defensive player guarding him must respect each other`s rights to a vertical position (cylinder).

FIBA OBRI 35.1.2. Double foul. To consider 2 fouls as a double foul the following conditions must apply: - Both fouls are player fouls. - Both fouls involve physical contact. - Both fouls are between the same 2 opponents fouling each other. - Both fouls are either 2 personal or any combination of unsportsmanlike and disqualifying fouls.

FIBA OBRI 37.1.1. An unsportsmanlike foul is a player contact foul which, in the judgement of a referee is:

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

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

FIBA OBRI F-3.3.21: “In situations when an act of violence occurs which is not called immediately, referees are authorised to stop the game at any time to review any act of violence or potential act of violence. The referees must identify the need for the IRS review and the review must take place when the referees have stopped the game for the first time.

If the review proves an act of violence has occurred, the referees shall call the infraction and penalise all already called infractions including the act of violence in the order of infractions occurred. Whatever occurred during the interval between the act of violence and the game being stopped shall remain valid.

An act of violence is an act of force that causes or is intended to cause harm, or an act that results or could result in a risk of injury. An act that does not meet the criteria of a disqualifying foul or an unsportsmanlike foul, a technical foul, or does not meet the criteria for a threatened violence is not an act of violence.”

Outcome: correct decision from the referees. White 28 charged with normal foul for illegal use of hands following with unsportsmanlike foul for White 2 for a hit in the face.

2. On a Black team offense Black 32 made a shot. Then defender Yellow 13 jumped to contest the shot and extended his left foot into shooters landing space. Black 32 landed on a Yellow 13 foot. Referees called regular foul on Yellow 13.

FIBA OBRI 15.2.1. The act of shooting on a shot: - Ends when the ball has left the player`s hand(s), or if an entirely new act of shooting is made and, in case of an airborne shooter, both feet have returned to the floor.

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. Black 32 has rights to land in open, unoccupied spot after the shot, Yellow 13 was responsible for this contact. Foul in act of shooting was called correctly, followed by three free throws for Black 32.

3. In post play, Yellow 42 plays 1-on-1 against defender Blue 1 following with a turn towards baseline and contact in torso with defender. After the contact Yellow 42 scores a basket. Referee calls an offensive foul to Yellow 42 and cancels scored field goal.

FIBA OBRI 33.12. Post play The principle of verticality (cylinder principle) applies also to post play.

The offensive player in the post position and the defensive player guarding him must respect each other`s rights to a vertical position (cylinder).

It is a foul by an offensive or defensive player in the post position to shoulder or hip his opponent out of position or to interfere with his opponent`s freedom of movement using extended arms, shoulders, hips, legs or other parts of the body.

FIBA OBRI 33.2. The offensive player, whether on the floor or airborne, shall not cause contact with the defensive player in a legal guarding position by:

- Using his arms to create more space for himself (pushing off).

Outcome: correct decision from the referees. Yellow 42 got illegal advantage in post play – cleaned a space with illegal shoulder movement. He released the ball after contact and this case basket is not valid. Correct throw-in spot for Blue team.

4. Blue 18 drove to the basket but was guarded by White 11. Blue 18 took the ball in two hands and started act of shooting motion. In the same moment White 11 also put his hands on the ball. Both players held the ball following with a jump and travelling violation from offensive player. Referees called held ball and continued game with alternating possession arrow.

FIBA OBRI 12. Jump ball and alternating possession

FIBA OBRI 12.1.2. A held ball occurs when one or more players from opposing teams have one or both hands firmly on the ball so that neither player can gain control without undue roughness.

FIBA OBRI 12.4. Alternating possession definition

FIBA OBRI 12.4.1. Alternating possession is a method of causing the ball to become live with a throw-in rather than a jump ball.

Outcome: correct decision from the referees. When Blue 18 started act of shooting and defender White 11 also held the ball, travelling is not considered as a violation because both players are holding the ball. It is a jump ball situation. The game should be resumed by awarding the ball for a throw-in from the place nearest to where the jump ball situation occurs, except directly behind the backboard.


Observer team


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