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Old Sun Oct 15, 2006, 11:55am
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Advantage Disadvantage, Etc.

Over the past two years I have posted and responded to several threads regarding the Intent (Spirit) and Purpose of the Rules / The Tower Philsophy / Advantage Disadvantage. I thought that some Forum members might be interested in an update:

A few nights ago, after a new members clinic, I approached Peter Palermino, our IAABO Board #6 interpreter, with a question that has been debated often on this Forum. I simply asked him if Intent (Spirit) and Purpose of the Rules / The Tower Philsophy / Advantage Disadvantage only applied to fouls or if these principles applied to both fouls and violations. The first part of his response didn't surprise me. He stated that the Intent (Spirit) and Purpose of the Rules / The Tower Philsophy / Advantage Disadvantage apply to the entire Rule Book.

The second part of his response did surprise me. He stated that he had attended several national interpretation meetings during the off season and that the NFHS was very concerned that many officials and many official organizations had taken these principles too far. The pendulum had swung too far to one side. Many officials and many official organizations had used the principle of Advantage Disadvantage to make up their own rule interpretations, in direct contrast to what the NFHS had intended in terms of how the game of basketball is to be properly played and officiated. Officials were acting like diners in a restaurant, selecting items (rules) that they liked from the menu, and not selecting items (rules) that they didn't like. According to Peter, the NFHS would like to see a more literal interpretation of the Rule Book, and would like to have these rules applied to actual game situations in that literal manner. It appears that Jurassic Referee and other members of this Forum are way ahead of their time. Officials like myself, and official's organizations, like my local Board, are going to have to move the pendulum back the other way.

Hopefully, the pendulum won't swing too far the other way. I know virtually nothing about field hockey or girls lacrosse. I do know that when I have observed these games on a few occasions, I was dissappointed that these otherwise exciting games, seemed to be constantly interupted by official's whistles. These constant stops and restarts took away from the flow of the game. I suppose that my dislike of these sports is mostly due to my ignorance of the games. I am also a baseball fan, and I have heard nonfans of baseball complain that they don't like baseball due to the slow pace and lack of flow to the game. As a fan of baseball, I have come to understand the subtle aspects of the game, and don't find a lack of flow to the game to exist.

I don't want to see a lack of flow happen to basketball. I have been involved with basketball as a player, coach, official, and fan for over forty years, and I think basketball is one of the most exciting sports for several reasons. One reason is that success in basketball can be achieved through both individual (Michael Jordan, Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul Jabbar) and team (1960's Celtics, 1970's Knicks) effort. Another reason is the inherent beauty and athleticism of the game, which includes the flow of the game.

One play from last season stands out in my mind, and as an official, I had the best seat in the house. A player made a steal near midcourt and was dribbling toward her basket, from the right side, with only one defender between her and the basket. As the new lead, it was just the three of us in the new frontcourt. As she neared the three point line, the dribbler, dribbling with her right hand, made a head fake to the right, followed by a crossover dribble to the left. This head fake and crossover dribble allowed her to get slightly ahead of her opponent. She finished the play with another crossover dribble to the right and made the right hand layup, just barely beating the attempted blocked shot by her defender. I saw a lot of dunks and three point "bombs" last season, but this play stands out in my mind. There is a certain amount of beauty in a well played game of basketball in which basic basketball skills and techniques have been mastered, as in this particular play. In thinking about this play, I compare it to ballet (I've only been to a ballet once). If ballet was a sport, it would be very similar to basketball.

Over the next several weeks, Peter will share what he has learned in the off season with the rest of our Board, and throughtout the season, we will try to get the pendulum moving in the other direction, as instructed by the NFHS. It is my hope that we get the pendulum centered and that it doesn't go too far the other way, causing my favorite game to become like my biased view of field hockey and girls lacrosse, and the nonfan's view of baseball.
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Last edited by BillyMac; Sun Oct 15, 2006 at 12:03pm.
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Old Sun Oct 15, 2006, 12:24pm
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I have a couple of statements about what you have posted here. First of all, you are not going to control what judgment officials have. Secondly the only philosophy that goes into a real "advantage/disadvantage" application is the way call contact fouls. Outside of contact, I do not see officials using that philosophy that wide spread across other aspects of the game. I would agree that we do not try to be so technical that we are calling every minor violation that no one can see or understand what was called. I do not think the philosophy has much to do with that. Many rules are very subjective in their application and it comes down to what judgment you have. Unfortunately not all officials have the same ability to know when a rule is violated or is consistent with how they apply rules. The NF is not going to be able to completely eliminate that problem if you ask me.

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  #3 (permalink)  
Old Sun Oct 15, 2006, 12:29pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillyMac

The second part of his response did surprise me. He stated that he had attended several national interpretation meetings during the off season and that the NFHS was very concerned that many officials and many official organizations had taken these principles too far. The pendulum had swung too far to one side. Many officials and many official organizations had used the principle of Advantage Disadvantage to make up their own rule interpretations, in direct contrast to what the NFHS had intended in terms of how the game of basketball is to be properly played and officiated. Officials were acting like diners in a restaurant, selecting items (rules) that they liked from the menu, and not selecting items (rules) that they didn't like. According to Peter, the NFHS would like to see a more literal interpretation of the Rule Book, and would like to have these rules applied to actual game situations in that literal manner. It appears that Jurassic Referee and other members of this Forum are way ahead of their time. Officials like myself, and official's organizations, like my local Board, are going to have to move the pendulum back the other way.

Just for the record, Billy, I personally don't think that you can take any kind of simplistic view and apply it wholely to game situations. There are certain violations that I think that even the FED rulesmakers would probably agree, if you twisted their arms, that some discretion(read: advantage/disadvantage) is needed to make an appropriate call. Examples might be 3-seconds and the 10-second count on a free-throw shooter. My point all along was that you just couldn't try to apply advantage/disadvantage indiscriminately to violations. Most violations must be called.

Btw, Peter musta got some of his thoughts from POE 5 in this year's rule book. That POE kinda mirrors his thoughts.
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Old Sun Oct 15, 2006, 12:48pm
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Points Of Emphasis #5

To followup on Jurassic Referee's recent post, for your information:

NFHS 2006-07 Points of Emphasis

5. Rules Enforcement and Proper Use of Signals

The committee has seen a movement away from the consistent application of rule enforcement and use of approved mechanics/signals.

A. Rules Enforcement. Officials need to be aware that personal interpretations of the rules have a negative impact on the game. The rules are written to provide a balance between offense and defense, minimize risks to participants, promote the sound tradition of the game and promote fair play. Individual philosophies and deviations from the rules as written negatively impact the basic fundamentals and tenants of the rules. Officials must be consistent in the application of all rules, including:

Contact – Contact that is not considered a foul early in the game should not be considered a foul late in the game simply because a team “wants” to foul. Conversely, contact that is deemed intentional late in the game should likewise be called intentional early in the game.

Closely Guarded – Officials must properly judge the six-foot distance and begin a closely-guarded count when a defender obtains a legal guarding position. Failure to properly judge the six-foot distance and require the defender to be within three or four feet of the dribbler before beginning the closely-guarded count puts the defensive player in an unfair position. The count terminates when the dribbler gets head and shoulders past the defender.

Coaching Box – In states that authorize the use of the optional coaching box, the head coach is the only person on the bench that is permitted to stand and must remain in the coaching box. All other bench personnel must remain seated at all times except when a team member is reporting to the scorer’s table, during time-outs or intermissions, and to spontaneously react to a play.

B. Proper Signal Use. Signals are a means of communication by officials to scorers, players, coaches, spectators and media. Deviation from approved NFHS signals is unacceptable.
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Last edited by BillyMac; Sun Oct 15, 2006 at 12:58pm.
  #5 (permalink)  
Old Sun Oct 15, 2006, 12:58pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillyMac

I don't want to see a lack of flow happen to basketball. I have been involved with basketball as a player, coach, official, and fan for over forty years, and I think basketball is one of the most exciting sports for several reasons. One reason is that success in basketball can be achieved through both individual (Michael Jordan, Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul Jabbar) and team (1960's Celtics, 1970's Knicks) effort. Another reason is the inherent beauty and athleticism of the game, which includes the flow of the game.
Just a personal observation on that though too, Billy. Take it fwiw.

In my experience, players will adapt quickly and react accordingly if the rules are being called consistently. They might not like it, but they will adapt.

Case in point....the NHL going to a stricter application of existing rules that have been in the book many years. The players are adapting.

Another case in point......do you ever see NBA players out on the court without their shirts tucked in? Answer- hardly ever...and they will tuck 'em in first chance they get. High school players? Well, it's POE #2 in this year's rule book again. That tells you all that you need to know about consistent rules applications imo, whether the rule happens to be crappy or not.
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Old Sun Oct 15, 2006, 10:34pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillyMac
To followup on Jurassic Referee's recent post, for your information:

NFHS 2006-07 Points of Emphasis

5. Rules Enforcement and Proper Use of Signals

The committee has seen a movement away from the consistent application of rule enforcement and use of approved mechanics/signals.

A. Rules Enforcement. Officials need to be aware that personal interpretations of the rules have a negative impact on the game. The rules are written to provide a balance between offense and defense, minimize risks to participants, promote the sound tradition of the game and promote fair play. Individual philosophies and deviations from the rules as written negatively impact the basic fundamentals and tenants of the rules. Officials must be consistent in the application of all rules, including:

Contact – Contact that is not considered a foul early in the game should not be considered a foul late in the game simply because a team “wants” to foul. Conversely, contact that is deemed intentional late in the game should likewise be called intentional early in the game.
The "contact" entry above is a perfect example of how the Fed is out of touch. I was at a jamboree today that was staffed almostly exclusively by officials inexperienced in 3-whistle mechanics. One of the crews I watched finish up a ballgame followed the "contact" guidelines above to a T, and because they did, the very nearly lost control of the game late. Team B is down eight points in the last minute, trying to give a foul, but not coming up with much in the way of contact. Lots of swipes, some light contact; three or four of these go uncalled (passing on this level of contact earlier in the game would have been fine), so finally team B gets in a good, solid push. Intentional foul rightly called, then crew has to step in to break up a near-fight.

If they had allowed Team B to give a touch foul, things are much better. I'll take my medicine from higher-ups if they choose to give it to me, but if a team is trying to give a foul late, I'm going to let them do it without letting things get to the point where they feel they have to commit an "obvious" foul for me to blow.
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Old Mon Oct 16, 2006, 01:50am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbduke
The "contact" entry above is a perfect example of how the Fed is out of touch. I was at a jamboree today that was staffed almostly exclusively by officials inexperienced in 3-whistle mechanics. One of the crews I watched finish up a ballgame followed the "contact" guidelines above to a T, and because they did, the very nearly lost control of the game late. Team B is down eight points in the last minute, trying to give a foul, but not coming up with much in the way of contact. Lots of swipes, some light contact; three or four of these go uncalled (passing on this level of contact earlier in the game would have been fine), so finally team B gets in a good, solid push. Intentional foul rightly called, then crew has to step in to break up a near-fight.

If they had allowed Team B to give a touch foul, things are much better. I'll take my medicine from higher-ups if they choose to give it to me, but if a team is trying to give a foul late, I'm going to let them do it without letting things get to the point where they feel they have to commit an "obvious" foul for me to blow.
I disagree with you 100%. Is there anything else that you are going to give to a team just because they want it?

While fouling late in the game is a legitimate strategy, it must be done properly. A team which cannot execute that tactic skillfully does not deserve to be rewarded by an official, but instead should suffer by having to watch the clock continue to run or be penalized with an intentional foul if appropriate.
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Old Mon Oct 16, 2006, 06:46am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nevadaref
While fouling late in the game is a legitimate strategy, it must be done properly. A team which cannot execute that tactic skillfully does not deserve to be rewarded by an official, but instead should suffer by having to watch the clock continue to run or be penalized with an intentional foul if appropriate.
Not surprising, really, but I agree with this completely. What I say in my pregame or halftime talk is that if the winning team is holding the ball and is willing to take the foul and shoot the FTs, then we call the foul on the first contact so it doesn't escalate.

But if the winning team is playing "keep away" and is clearly trying to let the clock run, then we're not going to stop them until they actually get fouled. If the losing team gets frustrated and does something stupid, then we have to deal with that.
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Old Mon Oct 16, 2006, 12:13pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nevadaref
I disagree with you 100%. Is there anything else that you are going to give to a team just because they want it?

While fouling late in the game is a legitimate strategy, it must be done properly. A team which cannot execute that tactic skillfully does not deserve to be rewarded by an official, but instead should suffer by having to watch the clock continue to run or be penalized with an intentional foul if appropriate.
Nice strawman, counselor. I'm not going to allow them to give the foul "because they want it," but because I have a legitimate expectation that things are going to hell in a hurry fast if the trailing team starts thinking, "Okay, I'm going to make damn sure he calls the next one." You may be quite content in the knowledge that you have the intentional foul call at your disposal should you need it. My point is that if it gets to the point that an intentional foul call is necessary, then you face a substantial likelihood that the game has problems that an I.F. cannot easily resolve.

Now, if you were to criticize me for not calling an intentional foul on that first "light swipe," I can live with that, but I'm left wondering about the Fed POE I cited above.

The question certainly highlights a tension (at least in my mind) between maintaining the integrity of the competition vis-a-vis enforcing rules as written, and mainting the integrity of the purpose of the competition, which entails doing what we can to ensure the safety of the participants.
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Old Mon Oct 16, 2006, 01:00pm
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I have to look at it this way: I feel that great officials know when they have to officiate and when they can let games flow. Some games require 65 fouls, others do not. Some players can take a little bump, go to the hole and score; some cannot. It really isn't the old decision of "advantage" or "disadvantage"....it is more like how good our judgement is . Can you decide when to call a foul and when to let a little contact go? I give a great example of this:

I watched two HS officials doing a christmas tournament game. They had 7 (yes SEVEN) and-ones in the FIRST HALF! Now, there are times when you have to blow those, but for the most part, 6 of them were play-ons. I think that is one aspect that is being discussed here.

Games that are very physical demand that you evaluate plays carefully and decide what needs to be called. I can think of looking at the Mens D one if you want to see some games that get way too physical. You never see a "pass and crash" called there (well, not never but rarely).
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Old Wed Feb 21, 2007, 03:27pm
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With the exception of concern over game flow (which shouldn't be a consideration of the officials), I agree with the OP - that is what I have been saying all along - follow the rules, as written, and stop applying judgements based on whatever you agree with or disagree with.
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Old Thu Feb 22, 2007, 02:21pm
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Good OP. Advantage/disadvantage is also applied to violations, JRut; I have had many officials work to instill in me that a carry/travel when the ball is being brought to the frontcourt uncontested should be ignored - no advantage gained.

I think something else that factors into this, though, is that the crew should be a team themselves, so the choice I have to make in the coming years is how much do I feel I should work to influence my partner[s] towards a stricter interpretation versus adjusting my calls towards his/her/their philosophy... but I don't think that being a maverick and having two wildly different philosophies at work on the court is correct either.
  #13 (permalink)  
Old Thu Feb 22, 2007, 02:27pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkjenning
Good OP. Advantage/disadvantage is also applied to violations, JRut; I have had many officials work to instill in me that a carry/travel when the ball is being brought to the frontcourt uncontested should be ignored - no advantage gained.
I must have missed your point. I do not know why this is addressed to me.

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Old Thu Feb 22, 2007, 02:34pm
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way to revive a 4 month old thread -- cookie for you
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Old Thu Feb 22, 2007, 02:50pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRutledge
Secondly the only philosophy that goes into a real "advantage/disadvantage" application is the way call contact fouls. Outside of contact, I do not see officials using that philosophy that wide spread across other aspects of the game.
This was my reference - my apologies for not seeing how old the thread was!
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