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Old Fri Mar 19, 2021, 11:36pm
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Golf Clap and Standing Bench Personnel

There's a local team with a decent win-loss record for which I officiate games. For several years now, when it gets down to the last 10 seconds or so, and when when their win is assured (usually with a 10+ point lead), everyone on the team's bench stands and slowly claps (much like a golf clap) until the final horn sounds. They don't do this when they're about to lose, nor when the game is very close (around ~8 points or so), because the outcome isn't certain.

Relevant Rule and Case Book Play:

10-5: The head coach is responsible for his/her own conduct and behavior, as well as substitutes, disqualified team members and all other bench personnel. Bench personnel, including the head coach, shall not:

ART 4... Stand at the team bench while the clock is running or is stopped, and shall remain seated.

10.5.4 SITUATION B: Team A coaches and substitutes are all standing during a free throw by A1. The infraction is detected by the officials. How many technical fouls are assessed? In a situation where similar multiple infractions occur at the same time, it is not the intent of the rules to penalize each individual infraction as a separate technical foul. One technical foul is charged to Team A and it is also charged indirectly to the head coach in this situation, resulting in the loss of coaching-box privileges.


It seems a bit unsporting that they would do this only when they're about to win, but it doesn't seem productive to stop the game to record either a warning (and, in the case of a running clock due to the mercy rule, would be counterproductive) or assess a technical foul under 10-5-4 (which would just postpone the inevitable win just the same).

Is this team's collective behavior just something to overlook or should it be addressed as unsporting (starting next season, as we're now finished with the regular season and the regional tournament)? If they did this for every game it might be different, but it's only when a win is imminent. I can imagine the reaction of the head coach if one of us stops the game to address this. It'll go over like a lead balloon. Nevertheless, these questions remain:

Judge it legal? Address it as as an association? Something else?
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Old Sat Mar 20, 2021, 01:07am
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I'm counting down to 10 and hitting the locker room.

Yes, it is technically an infraction but not one I or anyone else is going to care about.
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  #3 (permalink)  
Old Sat Mar 20, 2021, 01:42am
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What are we addressing? Celebration?

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Old Sat Mar 20, 2021, 03:12am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRutledge View Post
What are we addressing? Celebration?

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Non-spontaneous, premature celebration outside the limits of 10-5-4, I suppose, but yes, celebrating.
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Old Sat Mar 20, 2021, 07:31am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Goodwin View Post
Non-spontaneous, premature celebration outside the limits of 10-5-4, I suppose, but yes, celebrating.
If you are bothered by it as an official, I guess you should address it to your assigner/supervisor or that school's state governing board.

If a change is going to come to that particular behavior, the direction needs to come from a higher authority, not an individual basketball official.

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Old Sat Mar 20, 2021, 07:43am
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Unless you want to be branded some combination of “high maintenance” and “overly officious” by your peers, assigner, and coaches, I highly recommend letting this go.

Don’t be a plumber.
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Old Sat Mar 20, 2021, 10:05am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SC Official View Post
Don’t be a plumber.
Aside from posting the question here, it's been five seasons and I still haven't taken any action yet. So, here's to season six!
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Old Sat Mar 20, 2021, 10:23am
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I Just Want To Celebrate (Rare Earth, 1971) ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Goodwin View Post
... when it gets down to the last 10 seconds or so, and when when their win is assured ... everyone on the team's bench stands and slowly claps until the final horn sounds.
Quote:
Originally Posted by JRutledge View Post
Celebration?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Goodwin View Post
Non-spontaneous, premature celebration ...
10-5-4-D: Bench personnel, including the head coach, must not: Stand at the team bench while the clock is running or is stopped, and must remain seated, except: To spontaneously react to an outstanding play by a team member or to acknowledge a replaced player(s), but must immediately return to his/her seat.

Premature? Not really. Non-spontaneous? Definitely. Celebration? Definitely. Immediately? Ten seconds? Pushing the limits. Allowed? Was there an outstanding play by a team member? Unsporting? Possibly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raymond View Post
If you are bothered by it as an official, I guess you should address it to your assigner/supervisor or that school's state governing board. If a change is going to come to that particular behavior, the direction needs to come from a higher authority, not an individual basketball official.
Too many gray area questions regarding the rule. Agree 100% with Raymond. Don't go tilting at windmills alone, even for a noble cause. Bring backup, and not just Sancho Panza.

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Last edited by BillyMac; Sat Mar 20, 2021 at 11:40am.
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Old Sat Mar 20, 2021, 12:13pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Goodwin View Post
Aside from posting the question here, it's been five seasons and I still haven't taken any action yet. So, here's to season six!
Is anyone having an issue with this? Players and teams do all kinds of things that are not spontaneous and we do not penalize them or even think about doing such. It is a golf clap, not yelling at the opponent. IF that is the case then any bench mob action is also a T. I have been doing this over 20 years and not seen many reasons to regulate any action without some direction and certainly not any direction on something like this.

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Old Sat Mar 20, 2021, 12:16pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Goodwin View Post
Non-spontaneous, premature celebration outside the limits of 10-5-4, I suppose, but yes, celebrating.
Officiating is like being a judge. If you take everything literally without some standard of conduct being stated, then you should not be the only one make the law on the bench. There needs to be some kind of situation from the higher-ups to address this the way you wish or you are paying attention to something that no one cares about. I mean are coaches from other teams complaining? If they are, that should go to either a state organization, local association or an assignor that can address this through their staff. But right now, if that is all you got, I would not be doing anything but letting the clock run out.

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Old Sat Mar 20, 2021, 12:35pm
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Exception ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by JRutledge View Post
... then any bench mob action is also a T.
I agree with the rest of JRutledge's recent post, but will remind the Forum that his statement above is not completely true. There are rule exceptions to allow some "mob action" by the bench. Bench personnel are always allowed to spontaneously react to an outstanding play by a teammate (or to acknowledge replaced players), but must immediately return to their seats.

To paraphrase JRutledge, many of us will also allow a few other things on a case by case basis using our experience, game management skills, judgement, local "culture", and common sense. I occasionally come across a bench "players", or assistant coaches, that "uncomfortably" delay returning to their seats after enthusiastically cheering (maybe for a tomahawk dunk), and will simply remind them to sit down as I pass the bench (not a written warning), and I'm usually immediately backed up by the head coach, or more often than not, an assistant.
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Last edited by BillyMac; Sat Mar 20, 2021 at 12:48pm.
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  #12 (permalink)  
Old Sat Mar 20, 2021, 01:30pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillyMac View Post
I agree with the rest of JRutledge's recent post, but will remind the Forum that his statement above is not completely true. There are rule exceptions to allow some "mob action" by the bench. Bench personnel are always allowed to spontaneously react to an outstanding play by a teammate (or to acknowledge replaced players), but must immediately return to their seats.

To paraphrase JRutledge, many of us will also allow a few other things on a case by case basis using our experience, game management skills, judgement, local "culture", and common sense. I occasionally come across a bench "players", or assistant coaches, that "uncomfortably" delay returning to their seats after enthusiastically cheering (maybe for a tomahawk dunk), and will simply remind them to sit down as I pass the bench (not a written warning), and I'm usually immediately backed up by the head coach, or more often than not, an assistant.
There are schools or programs that have very choreographed responses to many good plays by their team. I cannot think of the school that did it throughout the year and in the NCAA Tournament, but they had some kind of "spontaneous" action ever good play and did it all game. They would do everything from hitting a baseball out of the park to rowing and clearly, none of them were really spontaneous. Never heard anyone suggest we give a T for this. So not sure what I said was not true? It is about perspective. This situation in the OP is no different. I do not think we should micro-manage these situations any more than what we have. And considering all the yelling I hear in my games by certain teams when they are about to win, I am not sure I would ever consider this action if I never considered the others as unsporting to where it results in me giving a T.



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Last edited by JRutledge; Sat Mar 20, 2021 at 01:32pm.
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Old Sat Mar 20, 2021, 02:44pm
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Then Any Bench Mob Action Is Also A Technical Foul ???

Quote:
Originally Posted by JRutledge View Post
... then any bench mob action is also a T.
Quote:
Originally Posted by JRutledge View Post
So not sure what I said was not true?
You said, "then any bench mob action is also a T".

Any? No. Not true.

Any bench "mob action" is not a technical foul. Sure, some bench "mob action" may be a technical foul (taunting), but some bench "mob action" is always legal, by rule.

Here's one "mob action" that is never a technical foul: bench personnel spontaneously reacting to an outstanding play by a teammate but must then immediately return to their seats. Assuming nothing else is complicating the situation, this bench "mob action" is never a technical foul in a high school game. Not even a judgment call. It's never a technical foul (assuming nothing else is complicating the situation).

Quote:
Originally Posted by JRutledge View Post
Never heard anyone suggest we give a T for this.
Agree.
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Last edited by BillyMac; Sat Mar 20, 2021 at 02:52pm.
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  #14 (permalink)  
Old Sat Mar 20, 2021, 05:20pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillyMac View Post
You said, "then any bench mob action is also a T".

Any? No. Not true.

Any bench "mob action" is not a technical foul. Sure, some bench "mob action" may be a technical foul (taunting), but some bench "mob action" is always legal, by rule.
Yes any if we take the logic if the OPer's assertion about what he described. Obviously I am not advocating that nor would I use the line he did as a way to find a T in this specific situation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BillyMac View Post
Here's one "mob action" that is never a technical foul: bench personnel spontaneously reacting to an outstanding play by a teammate but must then immediately return to their seats. Assuming nothing else is complicating the situation, this bench "mob action" is never a technical foul in a high school game. Not even a judgment call. It's never a technical foul (assuming nothing else is complicating the situation).
You are so busy arguing with yourself you missed the point. There are many celebrations that are not spontaneous in reality.

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Old Sat Mar 20, 2021, 06:10pm
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Lots Of Gray Areas ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by JRutledge View Post
Yes any if we take the logic if the OPer's assertion about what he described.
I think that I agree. Mike Goodwin's original post was a lot more complicated than, as allowed by rule, bench personnel spontaneously reacting to an outstanding play by a teammate and immediately returning to their seats.

Wasn't spontaneous (appears orchestrated over many years). Doesn't appear to be a reaction to a single outstanding play by a teammate (more of a reaction to an assured victory). Bench personnel did not immediately return to their seats. They were up for about ten seconds.

Lots of "gray" areas.

To agree with your earlier point, that's where using our experience, game management skills, judgement, local "culture", common sense, and looking at each situation case by case allows us to react to the situation, maybe ignoring and letting the clock run out, or maybe "bumping up" the situation as a question to be answered by a higher authority. I don't believe that a technical foul in that game based on a single official's belief that it's illegal or unsporting is the way to go here. But I don't question his wanting some outside input into a situation that he believes is questionable in terms of the "standing" rule as written, or as an unsporting act. If the situation keeps bothering him over many years, his best bet is to discuss it with his assigner, an assigner who can then bump it upstairs if he wishes, or if not, tell the official to take a hike.
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Last edited by BillyMac; Sat Mar 20, 2021 at 06:15pm.
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