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Old Tue Jan 11, 2022, 08:14am
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Free throw Situation

This below situation was brought up last night at our association meeting. The conclusion was the crew handled this ok.

"From my JV boys game this week (2 man): B1 fouls A1 during a shot right at the 1st QTR buzzer, my whistle and the horn are damn near on top of each other; my partner and I talk, clear the lanes for 2FTs by A1 with 0:00 on clock; I report to the table and share info with coaches; partner administers FTs but B team cheerleaders enter the floor at division line as A1 is in his shooting motion; he misses the shot, cheerleaders are then removed; he makes the 2nd shot and heads back to his bench; my partner and I talk again and agree we need to provide A1 with another FT as first FT took place with illegal personnel on the floor; we talk to both coaches and A1 makes the FT… "

Last edited by Indianaref; Tue Jan 11, 2022 at 11:59am.
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Old Tue Jan 11, 2022, 10:13am
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Cheerleaders ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Indianaref View Post
... B1 fouls A1 during a shot right at the 1st QTR buzzer, my whistle and the horn are damn near on top of each other; my partner and I talk, clear the lanes for 2FTs by A1 with 0:00 on clock; I report to the table and share info with coaches; partner administers FTs but B team cheerleaders enter the floor at division line as A1 is in his shooting motion; he misses the shot, cheerleaders are then removed; he makes the 2nd shot and heads back to his bench; my partner and I talk again and agree we need to provide A1 with another FT as first FT took place with illegal personnel on the floor; we talk to both coaches and A1 makes the FT ...
The usual debate on the Forum regarding free throw distraction has been about opponents (bench versus five players), not fans.

I consider cheerleaders fans (with rare exception, i.e., megaphones).

Doesn't matter if they're home or visitor, they aren't opponents.

Since this is not specifically covered in the rules:

2-3: The referee must make decisions on any points not specifically covered in the rules.

Let the referee decide if the free throw shooter was really distracted (hindered) by the cheerleaders (fans) on the playing court and rule accordingly.

4-20: A free throw is the opportunity given a player to score one point by an unhindered try for goal ...

What would we would normally do regarding any "possible" free throw distraction? It's a judgment call.

The fans in the bleachers can distract all they want at the discretion of game management, but once the fans (including cheerleaders) come onto the playing court, that becomes our problem to deal with.

In regard to the order of the free throws. Ruling, or not ruling, distraction is not a correctable error situation, but I believe that this situation would also fall under 2-3.

Also:

2-13: If the red light fails to illuminate and the timer’s signal fails to sound, or is not recognized by the officials, the timer must go onto the court or use other means to immediately notify the nearest official. If in the meantime, a goal has been made or a foul has occurred, the referee must consult the timer:
ART. 2 If table officials agree that the quarter or extra period ended, as in 5-6-2 before the foul occurred, the foul must be disregarded, unless it was intentional or flagrant.
ART. 3 If table officials disagree, the goal must count and/or the foul must be penalized, unless the referee has knowledge which alters such ruling.
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Last edited by BillyMac; Wed Jan 12, 2022 at 09:24am.
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Old Tue Jan 11, 2022, 11:16am
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If the shooter was distracted then I don't see the problem with administering another FT, as the cheerleaders were on the court.
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Old Tue Jan 11, 2022, 11:59am
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Whistle ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Indianaref View Post
B1 fouls A1 during a shot right at the 1st QTR buzzer, my whistle and the horn are damn near on top of each other ...
Most likely the illegal contact occurred a spit second before the sound of the whistle (reaction time).

The illegal contact makes the ball dead, the sound of the whistle (and fist signal) stops the clock.

6-7-7: The ball becomes dead, or remains dead, when: A foul ... occurs ...

5-8-1-A: Time-out occurs and the clock, if running, must be stopped when an official: Signals: A foul ...
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“I was in prison and you came to visit me.” (Matthew 25:36)

Last edited by BillyMac; Tue Jan 11, 2022 at 12:25pm.
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Old Thu Jan 13, 2022, 12:43am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BryanV21 View Post
If the shooter was distracted then I don't see the problem with administering another FT, as the cheerleaders were on the court.
I do. That is incorrect and has no rules support.
Cheerleaders and mascots are not opponents and cannot be charged with distraction. Also, they are not permitted to be on the court (inbounds) other than during a full time-out or intermission.

Since there is no time on the clock, it is reasonable to believe that the cheerleaders would think that the quarter was over and that this was an intermission and take the court. In such a case, the administering official noticed them on the floor prior to administering the FT and have them removed without penalty. However, the OP writes that they ran out onto the court after the player had the ball, hence there is there only one remedy—a technical foul.

This situation is similar to a spectator throwing something onto the court during a FT attempt. We cannot simply give a replacement throw because the offender doesn’t fall within the required category of an opponent. We must charge a technical foul. That has clear rules support and is the correct call.

Last edited by Nevadaref; Thu Jan 13, 2022 at 03:36am.
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Old Thu Jan 13, 2022, 03:32am
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Another point to mention: once the second FT attempt occurs, it is too late to go back and penalize for something which happened during the first attempt. The game has moved on.
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Old Thu Jan 13, 2022, 07:33am
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Throwing something on the court and cheerleaders coming onto the court are different things. Cheerleaders are allowed on the court during certain situations, as you pointed out... But throwing anything on the court is never allowed. So I don't agree that the two situations can be treated the same.

If you deem cheerleaders as bench personnel then I can support a technical foul, but the fact is this situation is different and falls on the officials to make a decision that needs to be addressed but is not made clear by the book.

I certainly believe things could have been handled differently, like taking care of the situation at the time it occurred, but I believe some game management was necessary as well.

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Last edited by BryanV21; Thu Jan 13, 2022 at 08:19am.
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Old Thu Jan 13, 2022, 08:59am
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The Game Had Moved On ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by BillyMac View Post
In regard to the order of the free throws. Ruling, or not ruling, distraction is not a correctable error situation, but I believe that this situation would also fall under 2-3.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nevadaref View Post
Another point to mention: once the second FT attempt occurs, it is too late to go back and penalize for something which happened during the first attempt. The game has moved on.
Quote:
Originally Posted by BryanV21 View Post
I certainly believe things could have been handled differently, like taking care of the situation at the time it occurred ...
This part of the situation could have been handled better. Why wasn't the first free throw (a miss) deemed distracted (hindered) under 2-3? It was only after the second free throw was made that the first free throw (the miss) was deemed distracted (hindered).

Can't figure out why the cheerleaders weren't sent back to their off court positions before the first free throw. Once that was not observed, or observed and ignored (allowed), this entire messy situation is best handled under 2-3.

Definitely not a correctable error situation. Definitely not a normal free throw distraction situation. Cheerleaders are definitely not team members for the purpose of opponents distracting, or for the purpose of a technical foul.

Situations like this are why Rule 2-3 was invented.
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Last edited by BillyMac; Thu Jan 13, 2022 at 03:45pm.
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Old Thu Jan 13, 2022, 09:15am
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Not Permitted On The Court ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nevadaref View Post
Cheerleaders and mascots ... are not permitted to be on the court (inbounds) other than during a full time-out or intermission ... they ran out onto the court after the player had the ball, hence there is there only one remedy—a technical foul.
Not sure a technical foul is appropriate. They just can't do it. Send them back off the court.

Same thing with band playing at times other than pregame, time-outs, intermission, and post-game. They just can't do it. Tell them to stop.

Except in very rare circumstances, let game management deal with fans of all types: students, parents, home, visitor, cheerleaders, mascots, band members, etc.
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Last edited by BillyMac; Thu Jan 13, 2022 at 10:01am.
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Old Thu Jan 13, 2022, 10:07am
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Spectators’ Actions ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by BillyMac View Post
Except in very rare circumstances, let game management deal with fans of all types: students, parents, home, visitor, cheerleaders, mascots, band members, etc.
2.8.1 SITUATION: What guidelines should be exercised by the officials when spectators’ actions are such that they interfere with the administration of the game? RULING: The rules book states “the official may rule fouls on either team if its supporters act in such a way as to interfere with the proper conduct of the game.” It is significant to note the word used is “may.” This gives permission, but does not in any way imply that officials must call technical fouls on team followers or supporters for unsporting acts. Thus, while officials do have the authority to penalize a team whose spectators interfere with the proper conduct of the game, this authority must be used with extreme caution and discretion. While the authority is there, the official must rarely use it, because experience has demonstrated that calling hasty technical fouls on the crowd rarely solves the problem and may, in fact, result in penalizing the wrong team because the official may not have proper knowledge as to which team's supporters were responsible for the unsporting act.

5.4.1 SITUATION B: The covering official rules a double foul on the post player and opponent after both push and shove each other. It is the fifth foul on each player. Some spectators in the crowd react vocally in a negative manner while others throw paper cups, etc., on the floor. The entire crowd seems to be in a hostile mood. What should the officials do? RULING: The officials must ask game -management or home management to control the spectators. The officials have authority to charge a technical foul(s) if it can be determined which team’s spectators are involved. However, much discretion is necessary in this case and the officials must be aware that a technical foul(s) on spectators usually leads to even more problems. COMMENT: The game should not be forfeited to either team because of the action of spectators. If game or home management cannot restore order by removal or other means, the officials are authorized to suspend play. The game would then be continued from the point of interruption, unless the teams agree to terminate the game with the existing score, or there are conference, league or state association rules which apply.

1.18 SITUATION: In (a), the band from the home team is playing during a live ball; (b) the electronic scoreboard is playing broken-glass sound effects just after an opponent's missed field-goal attempt; or (c) fans from the visiting team are using artificial noisemakers during an opponent's attempted free throw. RULING: All situations are prohibited by rule. The officials should notify game management in (a) to instruct the band to only play during the permitted times; in (b) to instruct the scoreboard operator to cease the prohibited acts; and in (c) to have a public-address announcement made stating that the use of any artificial noisemakers is prohibited at all times. In all situations, if the problem continues it may result in a technical foul being assessed to the team supporter(s).

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Old Thu Jan 13, 2022, 06:53pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BryanV21 View Post
Throwing something on the court and cheerleaders coming onto the court are different things. Cheerleaders are allowed on the court during certain situations, as you pointed out... But throwing anything on the court is never allowed. So I don't agree that the two situations can be treated the same.

If you deem cheerleaders as bench personnel then I can support a technical foul, but the fact is this situation is different and falls on the officials to make a decision that needs to be addressed but is not made clear by the book.

I certainly believe things could have been handled differently, like taking care of the situation at the time it occurred, but I believe some game management was necessary as well.
Sigh, one cannot “manage” a situation which has unfairly impacted one team nor can one make up a way of addressing it when a remedy is clearly provided for in the rules. (Note to BillyMac: this is why 2-3 is not applicable here.)

Cheerleaders are not bench personnel. They are team supporters and it is crystal clear which team they represent. They are spectators with the special privilege of entering the court at specified times. If the do something which unfairly impacts the game, then the NFHS rules provide a remedy. As I’ve already stated the proper remedy is a technical foul and BillyMac has now posted two play rulings supporting that. You will find nothing stating to issue a replacement FT. Why? Because that’s not how the rules deal with misbehaving spectators.

One of the casebook rulings demonstrates that game management can be informed to put a stop to the improper behavior, and that can be done without the penalty of a technical foul, if no negative impact to the game has occurred. However, if fairness has been infringed, then the only way to restore that balance is to charge the technical foul.

So if the band is playing while the opposing team has the ball, play can be halted and the illegal behavior can be stopped without any serious injustice having been suffered, but if a team loses a FT opportunity or a wide-open layup near the end of a quarter because cheerleaders run out onto the floor, you need to ask yourself would it be fair to just have game administration tell them to not do that again? When an opportunity has unfairly been lost, the technical foul is the proper manner to restore the balance.
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Old Thu Jan 13, 2022, 07:23pm
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Yea Rah Rah ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nevadaref View Post
Cheerleaders are not bench personnel. They are team supporters and it is crystal clear which team they represent. They are spectators with the special privilege of entering the court at specified times. If the do something which unfairly impacts the game, then the NFHS rules provide a remedy. As I’ve already stated the proper remedy is a technical foul ... You will find nothing stating to issue a replacement FT. Why? Because that’s not how the rules deal with misbehaving spectators.
Nevadaref, as usual, makes a sound argument.

One fly in the ointment, what if it was a visitor player shooting the free throws and it was the visitor cheerleaders on the court distracting the visitor player? So he doesn't get a replacement free throw and the home team gets two free throws? That certainly doesn't seem fair.

With all due respect, I like my remedy a little better.

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Old Thu Jan 13, 2022, 08:03pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nevadaref View Post
Sigh, one cannot “manage” a situation which has unfairly impacted one team nor can one make up a way of addressing it when a remedy is clearly provided for in the rules. (Note to BillyMac: this is why 2-3 is not applicable here.)



Cheerleaders are not bench personnel. They are team supporters and it is crystal clear which team they represent. They are spectators with the special privilege of entering the court at specified times. If the do something which unfairly impacts the game, then the NFHS rules provide a remedy. As I’ve already stated the proper remedy is a technical foul and BillyMac has now posted two play rulings supporting that. You will find nothing stating to issue a replacement FT. Why? Because that’s not how the rules deal with misbehaving spectators.



One of the casebook rulings demonstrates that game management can be informed to put a stop to the improper behavior, and that can be done without the penalty of a technical foul, if no negative impact to the game has occurred. However, if fairness has been infringed, then the only way to restore that balance is to charge the technical foul.



So if the band is playing while the opposing team has the ball, play can be halted and the illegal behavior can be stopped without any serious injustice having been suffered, but if a team loses a FT opportunity or a wide-open layup near the end of a quarter because cheerleaders run out onto the floor, you need to ask yourself would it be fair to just have game administration tell them to not do that again? When an opportunity has unfairly been lost, the technical foul is the proper manner to restore the balance.
The term "bench personnel" could absolutely include cheerleaders (see the pic of the rulebook app below).

And I wasn't saying you were wrong, but for game management purposes (something that is emphasized plenty in those interpretations/cases) re-administering the free throw is a fine option. Maybe it's not crystal clear in the book, but support for that can certainly be found.

And how about we be a tad more respectful?

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Old Thu Jan 13, 2022, 08:05pm
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Billy,
Let me ask you this?
During a normal FT attempt, A1 is preparing to shoot, while his teammate A2 in a marked lane space is clapping his hands. A1 attempts the FT and misses. Do you have a distraction call?
Answer: Of course not. Distraction must be by an opponent. Why? Because the NFHS doesn’t want a team member to be unfairly distracted. If one of his own does something silly, then that is that team’s own issue.

Now let’s look what you just asked.
B1 is shooting the first FT of two when a cheerleader from Team B comes out onto the court and causes a distracting situation. Does B1 get a replacement FT? Of course not. Again this is not an opponent, so distraction is not a possible call.
Now should this be a technical foul? Did the action unfairly impact the game? While we could assess a technical foul and award Team A two FTs for the infringement of entering the court at an unpermitted time, that would be overly harsh because the team which would receive the benefit of the 2 FTs didn’t lose out on anything by the transgression. Therefore, it would be appropriate to have the cheerleader removed from the court and allow game administration to counsel her on when she is allowed to be out there and when not.
In short, if Team A wasn’t harmed in any way by the cheerleader’s transgression, then they have no real need for a remedy.

Last edited by Nevadaref; Fri Jan 14, 2022 at 08:56pm.
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Old Thu Jan 13, 2022, 08:54pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BryanV21 View Post
The term "bench personnel" could absolutely include cheerleaders (see the pic of the rulebook app below).

And I wasn't saying you were wrong, but for game management purposes (something that is emphasized plenty in those interpretations/cases) re-administering the free throw is a fine option. Maybe it's not crystal clear in the book, but support for that can certainly be found.

And how about we be a tad more respectful?

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Wow! Sometimes what you post seems to come from a new official, but you have to have at least ten years of experience. Sometimes you fail to grasp the most basic elements of a situation.

So I’ll write this out for you clearly and as respectfully as possible.
1. Bench personnel are those who are permitted to be in the team bench area for the duration of the game. If the bench area doesn’t have enough space, then they will be located as close as possible to the team bench, such as in the first row of the stands.
2. While members of the school cheer squad and band are clearly affiliated with the school and team, they are not part of the team. Have you ever seen the cheerleaders or a trumpet player go into the team huddle during a time-out? Have you ever seen the cheer squad sit in the team bench area during the game? I haven’t. Let’s be realistic. It’s not going to happen.
3. You keep insisting that awarding a replacement FT is a fine option in this scenario. That is frustrating to me because it is completely wrong. Here’s why. As officials we have to administer the rules as written. What you are calling game management, I call making up your own ruling. The NFHS has admonished officials against personal interpretations on several occasions.
There are only two situations in which a replacement FT can be awarded: a) a player of the non-shooting team violates, b) a member of the opposing team commits distraction. I am quite firm in stating that a cheerleader running out onto the court fits neither of those cases. You seem to contend that the cheerleader is a member of the opposing team. I don’t believe that you will find much agreement with you on that. I’ll also point you to NFHS rule 1-20 in which spirit participants are classified as non-playing personnel and their location is clearly listed.

4. So how do we properly administer the rules for this situation? Is there something in the book or do we need to invoke the referee’s elastic clause (2-3)?
We can only invoke 2-3 when the rules do not cover a situation and we have NFHS rule 2-8-1 Note which contains “The officials may rule fouls on either team if its supporters act in such a way as to interfere with the proper conduct of the game.” Obviously, such a foul would be a technical foul by definition because the offender is a non-player and only players may commit personal fouls. Do we have any other rule for penalizing spectators or people who aren’t part of either team? Can the officials call violations on them? Nope, I don’t find that anywhere. So we only have two choices: we can halt play and have game administration deal with the improper behavior or we can call a technical foul. We have to use our judgment as to when each is appropriate. What we cannot do is completely make up another remedy on our own and impose that, such as awarding a replacement FT.

Let me pose a scenario for you. Team B is trailing by one point with under five seconds remaining and has the ball in its backcourt. B3 beats his defender and receives a long pass so that he now has a clear path for an easy layup. Cheerleader A steps onto the court and kicks the ball away just as B3 was finishing his final dribble before attempting a try. There is two seconds remaining on the clock when the cheerleader contacts the ball.
If the covering official decides to award Team B two points for the easy basket which B3 was about to score, would you support that?
If the covering official charges a team technical foul after which Team B only makes one FT and then loses in OT, would you believe that a fair ruling was not made?
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