The Official Forum  

Go Back   The Official Forum > Basketball

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
  #1 (permalink)  
Old Fri Jun 16, 2000, 01:04pm
Official Forum Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 9,466
Send a message via AIM to rainmaker
Question

Okay, so I'm this new ref and I keep hearing about advantage/disadvantage as the fundamental philosophy to apply to various situations. My question can best be illustrated from a game I did in February between a very, very good team and a barely managing team. These teams were so disparate, it hurt. I literally heard the losing coach say, in the last time out with less than two minutes to play, "Let's see if we can hold them to less than 10 more points."

As I see the A/D thing, you call the illegal contact if it confers a disadvantage or gains an advantage. But everything Team A did conferred a disadvantage because the other team was so weak and unskilled that they couldn't "play through" even rather minor jostling. But if I really called every time Team B lost the ball because of some little bump or hit, it would have been not a game. And the flip side of this, was that no matter how rough Team B got, it didn't faze Team A at all. Even whan the Team A player got slashed from behind on the shot, she could adjust and make the basket. Of course, I called the slash, but there were so many other hits that it was very hard to call even though they were so clearly illegal and so rough -- hard to call because they were barely noticed by the opposition (who incidentally won that game by I think 75 points -- no kidding -- and this was high school 4-A)

This example was the most extreme game like this that I have worked, but I've seen this same situation a number of times. Two teams in the same league so they have to play each other, but clearly unmatched in ability. How do I think through the A/D/ thing in these cases?
Reply With Quote
  #2 (permalink)  
Old Sat Jun 17, 2000, 04:35am
certified Hot Mom tester
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: only in my own mind, such as it is
Posts: 12,321
Talking

First of all, kudos for using the word "desparate" in a post. I warms my heart to see that level of literacy here.

Now - on to your subject. I don't think what you described is the proper application of the A/D theory. Our job is NOT to "level the playing field" for the teams. I know this may sound strange to some, but our job is really to make sure the team that plays the best wins. OK - that sounds even stranger. Here's what I mean.

The team that plays the best is supposed to win. That's their reward for playing better than the other team. As you might have noticed, we do keep score in these games. If we call the game by the rules in a consistent manner and apply those rules evenly to all players, regardless of their ability, then the better team WILL win. That's the point.

A/D doesn't mean that you let a slower player grab a dribbler who's driving to the hoop just because that's the only way that defender can stop him. A/D doesn't mean you call a foul on a big man for bumping a little man when you would not have called it if the big man did exactly the same thing except against another big man.

Basketball is an athletic event in which characteristics such as speed, size, ability, smarts, etc. are an advantage and it is not our job to take those advantages away. Players who use those to beat their opponents deserve to use those traits to achieve victory.

To me, A/D means something like not calling a borderline carry when a player just received an inbound pass near the opponents endline, turns to go upcourt and there's no defender within 40 feet of him during the last 10 seconds of a blowout.
Reply With Quote
  #3 (permalink)  
Old Sat Jun 17, 2000, 03:52pm
Official Forum Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 9,466
Send a message via AIM to rainmaker
Post

Thanks for your clarification here, I appreciate your taking it seriously and not giving me the usual, "Well, if you think it's a foul, then call it!"

I agree with everything you say, especially the part about the call in the last ten seconds. I've thoughtlessly called a couple of those and it's embarassing -- especially when it involves pointless free throws.

The calls I feel uneasy about are sort of borderline. For instance, if the defender contacts the wrist or forearm on a shot, and the contact is firm enough to be heard, it's clearly a foul. But short of that smacking sound, where does one draw the line? A marginal player can't make the shot if a hand is waved in her face, so any contact at all
confers a disadvantage, and unless very minor is realistically a foul. Okay. But the same marginal player on defense could make contact that would actually move the arm, and it's not any disadvantage to the really skilled shooter. It feels to me as though the line for where the foul is called should be moved a little .

Yet even as I say that, I feel uncomfortable.
I don't think I'm trying to level the playing field. I agree that the better team should win and the rules should be applied evenly. ("Evenly" is a much better word than "fairly" which is very hard to interpret, in my opinion.) I just can't seem to make it come out even. If I try to be "color=blind" as in the jersey color, it feels as though the very poor team is being penalized for being unskilled. Yet, if I try to take skill level into consideration, I penalize the more skilled tean. And what good do free throws do to a very poor team?

If I sound confused, it's only because I am!!
Perhaps I'm thinking too much....
Reply With Quote
  #4 (permalink)  
Old Sun Jun 18, 2000, 06:03am
certified Hot Mom tester
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: only in my own mind, such as it is
Posts: 12,321
Post

quote:
Originally posted by rainmaker:

Yet even as I say that, I feel uncomfortable.
I don't think I'm trying to level the playing field. I agree that the better team should win and the rules should be applied evenly. ("Evenly" is a much better word than "fairly" which is very hard to interpret, in my opinion.) I just can't seem to make it come out even. If I try to be "color=blind" as in the jersey color, it feels as though the very poor team is being penalized for being unskilled. Yet, if I try to take skill level into consideration, I penalize the more skilled tean. And what good do free throws do to a very poor team?

If I sound confused, it's only because I am!!
Perhaps I'm thinking too much....



It seems as if you're grasping the basic concept of recognizing that "compensating" penalizes the better team and that's absolutely not what we are supposed to do, but you seem to have trouble letting go of the idea of cutting some slack for the poorer team. I know how that is. I had the same trouble at first, but then I realized that the skill levels of the teams are the prime criteria for determining the outcome of the game, and my job was just to point out when fouls and violations occurred, not to "even out" the game by my calls.
Reply With Quote
  #5 (permalink)  
Old Mon Jun 19, 2000, 11:27pm
Official Forum Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Bloomington, IL
Posts: 1,319
Post

I hope this helps a little bit. I too am still learning A/D as this is only my second year of officiating basketball.

Fouls and violations should always be called if they effect the outcome of a play. Example: Player A2 and B2 are both going for a rebound with player B2 in front in proper box-out position. Player A2 clearly contacts player B2 from behind and (1)dislodges B2 and A2 gets the rebound, (2) causes B2 to stumble and the ball goes out of bounds or B2 travels (3) B2 gets the rebound but the foul breaks up a possible fast-break situation (4) B2 gets the rebound and quickly passes the ball to teammate B3 with no ill-effects from the bump.

In 1,2, and 3, I would call the foul. In 4, I would "let it go" and I don't think you will have many coaches complaining. (The fans may screem not totally understanding A/D.)

If we don't apply A/D then we are "over-officiating."

I once read on a now defunct website, "call the obvious, blow the whistle when a foul or violation causes an advantage or disadvantage to a player".

Like I said, I am still learning how to do this and it only gets bettr with practice.
Reply With Quote
  #6 (permalink)  
Old Tue Jun 20, 2000, 12:57am
Official Forum Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Posts: 378
Post

quote:
Originally posted by mikesears:
I once read on a now defunct website, "call the obvious, blow the whistle when a foul or violation causes an advantage or disadvantage to a player".




While I wouldn't say A/D entails an effort to level the playing field for a weaker team, I WOULD say that most experienced refs do, in fact, "cut some slack" for a team being blown out, particularly because, as earlier posts describe, the same type of contact may not affect the stronger player but does affect the weaker one. So if the team well ahead in score continues to play so aggressively that they are still doing a lot of bumping, etc. that affects their opponents, I would be calling that kind of contact. At the same time, similar contact by the losing team would be given more latitude, particularly if it doesn't result in that team losing the ball or missing a shot. If I called the game exactly the "same" for both teams, the game would or could become a joke and not much fun for anybody.
Reply With Quote
  #7 (permalink)  
Old Tue Jun 20, 2000, 02:57pm
Official Forum Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Bloomington, IL
Posts: 1,319
Post

From www.officiating.com

Advantage and Contact
ADVANTAGE

A problem common to many officials is the failure to understand the principle of "advantage" in administering the rules of basketball.

Witness examples:

After a Team A field goal, all five Team A players move down court to assume a defensive position. This leaves only B-1, the thrower-in, and B-2 at the baseline. In executing the throw-in, B-1 steps over the boundary line. Violation?

A-1 passes to A-2. Clearly after the ball has left the hand of A-1, B-1, in following through on an unsuccessful attempt to block the pass, contacts A-1 on the forearm. This contact is not violent, and in no way impedes A-1's offensive effectiveness. Foul?

A-2 has been in the key for 2 seconds and begins to move out of that area. While he is clearly on his way out and is not a part of the play, the 3-second limit is exceeded. Violation?

All of these situations have a common denominator consistent with a fair application of the rule involved. This common denominator is the principle of advantage. Briefly stated, it is this. Every rule has an intent grounded in the principles of sportsmanship and fair play. To determine whether or not a rule has been violated, ask yourself one simple question: Was a player or team placed at a disadvantage beyond the intent of the rule involved? Obviously, the winning team in any contest will theoretically be the one least often disadvantaged, but it is the duty of the game officials to judge whether such disadvantages fall within the intent of the rule. A clever move may place a defensive man at a distinct but fair advantage, but if that clever motion involves foot movement beyond that allowed under Rule 4, Section 19, it becomes illegal.

But what advantage was there in any of the situations given previously? To learn to judge "advantage", look for its more obvious counterpart, "disadvantage." If a player or team is put at a disadvantage anytime by a breach of a rule, then call a violation or foul: But if no one (and therefore no team) is disadvantaged, ignore it.

This is all related to a second important principle of the game called "tempo." The flow of the game should be interrupted only when either team is guilty of a breach of the spirit of the rules. Unnecessary whistles, needless delays, and lethargic mechanics are appreciated by no one and have no place in the game. Let the players establish a tempo or flow within the spirit of the rules. and the role of the official becomes more defined.

With time he or she will develop a feel for the game that can't be found in a book.

CONTACT

The most important word that governs the calling of fouls is "tempo." To the new official, already worried about things like basket interference, ball in play. and play phase, this might sound like a bit of idealistic nonsense but anyone who has worked at the game - player, coach and official alike - will nod a head for "tempo." Briefly stated, the point is this: When ten players are placed on a floor area 26m x 14m. given a ball 78 cm. in circumference and told to compete, there will be a lot of action and plenty of movement. Proportionate to the movement there will most certainly be contact.

But contact in itself is not a foul. Whether or not a foul has occurred is judged by two important variables: intent and advantage. If it was intentional, then almost certainly it is a foul. Intentional contact is intentional because its purpose is to interrupt the flow of the play; not to penalize it is to put the other team at a disadvantage certainly not intended by rule. Officials should not be afraid to call an intentional foul as just that - intentional. There is a specific signal and penalty involved.

The second important variable is advantage. Obviously there will be a great deal of contact that is not intentional, that is secondary to an attempt to steal the ball or gain or maintain an offensive or defensive position. When contact occurs in such situations, an official should ask himself one very quick question - Was anyone disadvantaged? If the answer is yes, it is a foul. If the answer is "no", swallow the whistle. To call a foul every time contact occurred would be to change the game from one of relatively continuous action to a series of free-throws and other time stoppages. To players, fans and the officials themselves, this can make for a very tiring 40 minutes. When the game is flowing, don't interrupt the flow without just cause.

Remember intent and disadvantage. At the same time, don't confuse "order" with "tempo" or "flow". It's the officials' job to maintain a fair order in the game he calls, but the good official recognizes a big difference between "law" and "order".





Copyright ©1997-99 Officiating.com - All rights reserved.


Reply With Quote
  #8 (permalink)  
Old Tue Jun 20, 2000, 03:20pm
Official Forum Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Bloomington, IL
Posts: 1,319
Wink

quote:
Originally posted by Todd VandenAkker:
While I wouldn't say A/D entails an effort to level the playing field for a weaker team, I WOULD say that most experienced refs do, in fact, "cut some slack" for a team being blown out, particularly because, as earlier posts describe, the same type of contact may not affect the stronger player but does affect the weaker one. So if the team well ahead in score continues to play so aggressively that they are still doing a lot of bumping, etc. that affects their opponents, I would be calling that kind of contact. At the same time, similar contact by the losing team would be given more latitude, particularly if it doesn't result in that team losing the ball or missing a shot. If I called the game exactly the "same" for both teams, the game would or could become a joke and not much fun for anybody.


I understand what you are saying and don't mean to make a generlized statement for all games. If a team up by 40 points continues to full-court press (and it has happened!), I'm gonna start calling ticky-tack stuff to convince them to quit and let the other team have fun and run their offense. I think in close games, that A/D should be used judiciously.

Reply With Quote
  #9 (permalink)  
Old Tue Jun 20, 2000, 03:23pm
Official Forum Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Posts: 304
Post

Mikesears is right on the nose. Perfect example of A/D.

My 2 cents:

Contact (even when it creates sound), in itself, is NOT a foul.

NFHS 4-19-1: A personal foul is..illegal contact ... which HINDERS...normal defensive and offensive movements.

You appropriately recognize that the same contact for two different players may not have the same affect.

It's not the rule book that draws the line of what is a foul and what isn't. It is the judgement of the official.

And at the risk of falling in the category of "If you think its a foul, then call it", you'll have to create your own philosophy about officiating and beleive in it.

A colleague of mine says:

There are 3 stages of learning officiating:

1. You call nothing.
2. You call everything (remember those?)
3. You find a happy medium.

Stage 3 never ends. The rules change, and your style changes as the game evolves.

Rainmaker is on the right track. You may be thinking too much...but get to a point where you are comforatble with your own philosophy of A/D AND game management.

It's what will distinguish you from other officials.

[This message has been edited by pizanno (edited June 20, 2000).]
Reply With Quote
  #10 (permalink)  
Old Wed Jun 21, 2000, 03:06pm
Official Forum Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 9,466
Send a message via AIM to rainmaker
Post

Thank you all for your various responses. It helps a lot, to discuss it.
About the 40 points ahead and still pressing, I had a game like that in spring league where the rule was after 20 point spread, no back court defense of any kind. This one tesm kept pressing and I mean hard -- three and four players in the back court, double traps and so on. The first couple times I spoke to the girls, then called time and talked to the coach. Next play, same thing so I whistled and gave the ball at half court. Next time, I told the coach, "Last warning, next one is a technical". Do you know what he said? "It's just instinct for them, they can't help it!" I said, "Coach, if you can't control your players..."
He called a time out right away and, amazingly, we had no more pressing! It's not that I wanted to level the playing field, but the point was to give the chance for kids to learn, and what is anyone learning when they are getting stomped? Or doing the stomping for that matter?
Reply With Quote
  #11 (permalink)  
Old Wed Jun 21, 2000, 05:42pm
sip sip is offline
Official Forum Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Posts: 28
Talking

Just what would the team have gotten a tech for...I use FIBA rules so I don't see what the tech would be for...to me that was just over-officaiting and meddleing in the game

SIP
Reply With Quote
  #12 (permalink)  
Old Wed Jun 21, 2000, 11:37pm
Official Forum Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Posts: 2,220
Post

quote:
Originally posted by sip:
Just what would the team have gotten a tech for...I use FIBA rules so I don't see what the tech would be for...to me that was just over-officaiting and meddleing in the game

SIP




In a lot of the younger recreational leagues, or even some of the higher level but "friendly" leagues, they put a rule in place to prevent a demonstrably superior team from pressing when it holds an insurmountable advantage (defined as whatever the league chooses). Usually, the remedy is first a warning, then a tech. Sounds like good work by the rainmaker (a s acoach I guess I am supposed to gag when I say that ).
Reply With Quote
  #13 (permalink)  
Old Wed Jun 21, 2000, 11:52pm
Official Forum Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Posts: 2,220
Post

Tonight, we had a game where a ref came over to my assistant and explained advantage-disadvantage, from his perspective. We are team A, A1 steals ball at free throw line, guard A2 breaks right away, pass is made while B1 appears to foul A1 with A1 crashing to court, ball bounces out to A2 for easy layup. My assistant is beside himself wanting the foul as soon as A1 crashes (while I try to shut him up and point out that we're getting an easy layup). Asst is still perplexed as to how all that contact didn't result in a foul, even though we "got lucky" and ended up with a layup.

At halftime, the ref said he saw contact and, had we lost the ball, he would have called the foul. But he saw A2 getting an easy bucket and passed on the foul, choosing to rule it incidental.

I like this non-call. I am an old soccer player/coach where advantage is an official part of the rules and "play on" a frequent call. Defenders must either dispossess the offensive player or take them out of a clear opportunity for the call to be made and a free kick awarded. But in basketball, usually you see the foul called regardless of the effect it has on offensive advantage (defenders grabbing at dribblers to get a foul "on the floor" when they have been beaten or hammering a player while he is making an outlet to a teammate all alone down court). How do you guys call this type of play?
Reply With Quote
  #14 (permalink)  
Old Thu Jun 22, 2000, 12:53am
Official Forum Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Posts: 378
Post

If your guy was really hammered, the foul should probably have been called. But, not having been there, I will say that I often pass on fouls when the team with the ball plays through it and is going to have an easy lane to the hoop. Yes, a player may have been slapped or "blocked," but the team was not put at a disadvantage if a layup is about to take place, yet WOULD be put at a disadvantage if the foul is called. There are lots of examples of that type of officiating. One that often gets a questionning look or comment is when a player goes up for a shot and gets a bit of contact, I hold my whistle to see what happens with the ball, then either pass on the foul if it goes in (not much of a foul if it didn't even affect the shot) or call a slightly delayed foul if the ball missed. If necessary, I will explain that it was not much contact, but it turned out to have affected the shot, so I called it a bit delayed. To me, that's applying advantage/disadvantage and keeping a flow to the game if I can pass on light contact.
Reply With Quote
  #15 (permalink)  
Old Wed Jun 28, 2000, 04:22pm
Official Forum Member
 
Join Date: May 2000
Posts: 252
Smile

quote:
Originally posted by Hawks Coach:
... (defenders grabbing at dribblers to get a foul "on the floor" when they have been beaten ...). How do you guys call this type of play?


Another possiblity is looks like continuous motion. The whistle is delayed as the player completes his move toward the basket, the shot is off, the whistle sounds, and either we're shooting 2 our counting the basket and 1. (Naturally this doesn't happen from mid-court!) Smart players figure it out. Hopefully less-smart players have a smart coach.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:11am.



Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.3.0 RC1