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Tough calls: playoffs 2024, volume 1




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. Black 13 set screen to his teammate- Black 0, for open shot. In moment, when Black 0 start act of shooting, defender White 12 push Black 13. Shot was success. Referees call personal foul by White 12 and count basket.


FIBA OBRI 15.1.2. The act of shooting on a shot:

Begins when the player starts, in the judgement of a referee, to move the ball upwards towards the opponents’ basket.

FIBA OBRI 33.7. 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.

FIBA OBRI 33.15. Pushing

Pushing is illegal personal contact with any part of the body where a player forcibly moves or attempts to move an opponent with or without the ball.


Outcome: correct decision from the referees. Black 13 set legal screen, White 12 push him in moment, when Black 0 already start act of shooting. After referee’s call, ball goes in basket. Basket valid, personal foul by White 12 and Black team throw-in from sideline with 14. seconds on shot clock.




2.Black team start fast break, Black 2 pass defender Yellow 9, who from side push out Black 2 from court. Referees call personal foul by Yellow 9, but after crew communication, upgrade to Unsportsmanlike foul.


FIBA OBRI 33.15. Pushing

Pushing is illegal personal contact with any part of the body where a player forcibly moves or attempts to move an opponent with or without the ball.

FIBA OBRI 37.1.1. Unsportsmanlike foul:

  • 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.

  • An unnecessary contact caused by the defensive player in order to stop the progress of the offensive team in transition. This applies until the offensive player begins his act of shooting.

Outcome: correct decision from the referees. Yellow 9 illegal push Black 2, to stop the progress offensive player in transition. Contact does meet UF C3 criteria, after communication, referees do not need review this situation and upgrade to Yellow 9 unsportsmanlike foul.




3. White team in offence made unsuccessful shot. For rebounds goes four players, Black 9 pushes White 6 and White 6 kick the ball out of bounds. Referees call a pushing foul by Black 9.


FIBA OBRI 33.15. Pushing

Pushing is illegal personal contact with any part of the body where a player forcibly moves or attempts to move an opponent with or without the ball.


Outcome: correct decision from the referees. Before White 6 touch a ball, he was pushed from Black 9 back. Black 9 is penalized by personal defense pushing foul.




4. End of game Yellow 3 drive to basket and made shot. Ball touch backboard, when was kick by defender Black 2. Referees call violation- goaltending and count a basket. To make sure the decision is correct, the referees use a video replay system. After IRS, referees stay with count a basket and corrected game clock, when violation happened.


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 F.1. The Instant Replay System (IRS) review is the working method used by the referees to verify their decisions by watching the game situations on the screen.

FIBA OBRI F.3.2. When the game clock shows 2:00 minutes or less in the fourth quarter and in each overtime,

  • whether a goaltending or basket interference violation was called correctly.

FIBA OBRI F.3.3. During any time of the game,

  • after a malfunction of the game clock or the shot clock occurs, on how much time the clock(s) shall be corrected.


Outcome: correct decision from the referees. When Black 2 kick the ball, ball before touch backboard over a ring, it’s means- goaltending violation happened. To be sure, in last two minutes of last quarter or overtime, referees can use Instant replay system, to verify their decision (this case no need Head Coach challenge). Two points counts and game clock corrected by moment, when violation occurs.





Author: Oskars Lucis, ENBL Head of referees

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