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  #1 (permalink)  
Old Thu Jun 29, 2006, 11:09am
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Travel - taking the easy way out....

During the past season, I sure did notice a lot of travels called by D-1 officials when a player bobbles a pass and takes steps. I noticed it less at the NBA level but still quite a bit.

Watched a bit of a WNBA game last night and saw traveling called twice when it was obvious that the player receiving the pass never had control of the ball.

Of course, it's impossible to travel without having to control. We all know we're going to take some heat from the uneducated for having the guts to do the right thing and pass on that call. It sure makes it harder when the top dogs don't have the guts to pass on it and make the right call.

Z
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Old Thu Jun 29, 2006, 12:12pm
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I doubt it has anything to do with guts or rules knowledge -- they got to be top dogs for one reason -- they earned it. Part of that call is judgement sometimes a bobble and a controlled ball has a very fine line. I think sometimes we pass on that call to much when an educated player fakes a bobble to gain an advantage -- i am seeing this more and more with the higher levels. How do we judge a fake or not, I dont know really but it sure looks like it sometimes.
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Old Thu Jun 29, 2006, 12:20pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deecee
I doubt it has anything to do with guts or rules knowledge -- they got to be top dogs for one reason -- they earned it. Part of that call is judgement sometimes a bobble and a controlled ball has a very fine line. I think sometimes we pass on that call to much when an educated player fakes a bobble to gain an advantage -- i am seeing this more and more with the higher levels. How do we judge a fake or not, I dont know really but it sure looks like it sometimes.
I'm not talking about borderline ones. I'm talking about obvious ones.

Besides, I don't think I've ever seen an "educated player" fake a bobble to get a "travel advantage." You are kidding right?

I am not doubting the ability of the top dogs. The best all-around officials are at the highest levels. But even at that level, they are not perfect. How many times have we seen a D-1 official signal a travel for a throw-in violation even though it is one of the basketball rule fundamentals that the travel rule does not exist during a throw-in. So they don't all have perfect rule knowledge.

Z
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Old Thu Jun 29, 2006, 01:10pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deecee
I think sometimes we pass on that call to much when an educated player fakes a bobble to gain an advantage -- i am seeing this more and more with the higher levels.
As Z said, how do you fake a bobble? I've never seen or heard anything like that either.

For the purpose of making a traveling call, you simply have to judge if the player is holding the ball or not when he makes those extra foot movements. Straight judgement call, and not a tough one either imo if you're in a position that will allow you to see the ball and the player's hands.

Z, I think that your statement about officials not being perfect, even at a relatively high level, is a fair statement.
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Old Thu Jun 29, 2006, 04:23pm
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I've found myself in this situation before. That is, looking at calls made my officials at a level much higher than myself and not understanding the calls. I see something that is "obviously" a foul / not a foul, or a violation / not a violation... but that's not how it is called.

At a certain point I started to ask myself -- is it them that is wrong or me?
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Old Thu Jun 29, 2006, 05:17pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad
I've found myself in this situation before. That is, looking at calls made my officials at a level much higher than myself and not understanding the calls. I see something that is "obviously" a foul / not a foul, or a violation / not a violation... but that's not how it is called.

At a certain point I started to ask myself -- is it them that is wrong or me?
Or......is it because the top guys are accepted, and when they do screw up(and we all do), most coaches will cut 'em some slack? Something that they might not do for the new face in the herd?

Jmo, but personally I've always thought that the best officials simply miss or screw-up fewer calls than the people rated below them. Of course the ability to run a ballgame and keep it humming differentiates between the good official and the great official too imo also.

Thoughts?
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Old Thu Jun 29, 2006, 08:30pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jurassic Referee
Or......is it because the top guys are accepted, and when they do screw up(and we all do), most coaches will cut 'em some slack? Something that they might not do for the new face in the herd?

Jmo, but personally I've always thought that the best officials simply miss or screw-up fewer calls than the people rated below them. Of course the ability to run a ballgame and keep it humming differentiates between the good official and the great official too imo also.

Thoughts?
I think a lot of it has to do with as you get more to the upper levels, they are more concerned with making a good game rather than administering the rules. We all know NBA players constantly travel and get away with other things because they are big stars, and no one wants to see them get penalized for doing things, even if they are blatantly against the rules. I don't watch the NBA because, to me (a person who generally goes by the book as an official in three sports), it isn't real basketball. College is. They allow a lot more contact in college than I probably would, but that's why I'm not a college official.

Also, as I have noticed in discussions with fellow officials, they consider game management more important than the rules. Obvious foul, late in the game, no chance of it affecting the outcome, pass on it - that's good game management. Doesn't make much sense to me... sounds like in most cases, the term "game management" is synonymous with "modifying the rules to fit how I would like to see the game played/called". I understand the concept in terms of keeping control of the game, but when obvious things aren't called simply because they don't want to call them, something is wrong. IMHO, of course.
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Old Thu Jun 29, 2006, 10:27pm
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There was a double dribble call in Game 6 of the Finals. Miami's Posey knocked the ball away from the dribbler, caught the ball and dribbled once. TWEET! Double dribble! Knocking the ball away from the defender is not a dribble.

Sorry but that's not a double dribble, no matter what level of ball you're working. Personally, I think violations are more black and white than fouls. That partiular play was very black and white. So is bobbling the ball vs. traveling IMHO.
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Old Fri Jun 30, 2006, 08:07am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad
I've found myself in this situation before. That is, looking at calls made my officials at a level much higher than myself and not understanding the calls. I see something that is "obviously" a foul / not a foul, or a violation / not a violation... but that's not how it is called.

At a certain point I started to ask myself -- is it them that is wrong or me?
Brad,

I have done the same thing for calls that get passed on. But what I'm talking about here is officials who call something that isn't there. I was just wondering if they don't know the rule or if they are making the "popular call."

As you well know, moving the feet without control of the ball just is not a travel just like a high dribble isn't palming. Calling it a travel at the highest levels just propagates the myth and makes it harder for officials who call it right.

Z
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Old Fri Jun 30, 2006, 08:54am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zebraman
Brad,

I have done the same thing for calls that get passed on. But what I'm talking about here is officials who call something that isn't there. I was just wondering if they don't know the rule or if they are making the "popular call."

As you well know, moving the feet without control of the ball just is not a travel just like a high dribble isn't palming. Calling it a travel at the highest levels just propagates the myth and makes it harder for officials who call it right.

Z
I very much agree - I worked with a partner once who didn't know the rules - he told me pointblank that he called traveling because it looked wrong. I've been with several guys who have called high dribbles as a carry in the last couple of weeks, and one guy who called a person who dove on the ball and slid a few feet for a travel.

These are very much the kinds of things which propagate the myths that surround the game.

Sometimes I think the only people who actually know the rules are the refs!
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Old Fri Jun 30, 2006, 08:55am
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my two cents

I enjoy the forum and the discussions and would only add that as a former D1 player, coach and father of a college player -- good players can and do indeed fake catching passes to allow them an advantage in hopes of not having to commit to a dribble. Some do it better than others.

After years of being away from officiating, I started calling again two years ago and noticed distinctively different problems for officials. And I think that applies here as well.

During the years when I first called games -- the rules, players and game seemed to remain more contant. Now, things change almost yearly and emphasis and rule re-definitions seem to be needed to keep up with the game. I've noticed officials receive points of emphasis and then take them to the court in slightly different ways -- I think that could be happening with greater emphasis on double dribble and traveling.

Officials at the highest levels get there becasue they are good and yet they are human. How they see and interpret things is often up to the rest of us.
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Old Fri Jun 30, 2006, 09:06am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmkbball
-- good players can and do indeed fake catching passes to allow them an advantage in hopes of not having to commit to a dribble. Some do it better than others.
That could be true but it really isn't what we've been discussing. We've been talking about a player taking steps while fumbling the ball. Iow, we're talking about whether that player was travelling or not. What you brought up is whether or not an illegal second dribble occurred after a (maybe) fumbled pass. Different violations- apples and oranges.
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