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  #1 (permalink)  
Old Tue Dec 19, 2006, 05:01pm
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How Much Space?

How much space can a player legally occupy?

I'm not talking about big/large players but rather physically extending arms and legs.

I was involved in a game where an offensive post player took a stance as follows:
feet are probably 2-1/2 to 3 feet apart.
knees and waist are bent so that the body is low but the head is up.
elbows are extended and strongly held out at nearly the shoulder level with the forearms and hands forward as if to receive a pass.
elbows were forward from his back so he wasn't holding the defender

Defender was standing relatively tall behind this offensive post player and trying to move around by pushing on the player between the elbow and shoulder. Defensive coach is yelling for me to call a foul (He called it a hook and told me to read the rule book - I was more laughing than wanting to call a T.) I made no call on the contact.

The post player's technique was reasonably successful. He made a lot of foot movement and was able to keep good track of the defender because the defender was pushing on his upper arms. A push on the left arm was followed by foot movement to the left and vice-versa.

Defender soon changed his technique and the issue disappeared.

It is tough to describe this situation precisely but who was correct - myself or the coach?

And how much space can a player try to occupy? I would not have allowed the player to fully extend his arms to the side but can he extend his upper arms as wide as his feet? Should I be limiting a player to his shoulder width for feet and arms?

And what if the defender forcefully swings his own arms and moves underneath the offensive post player's extended elbow?
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Old Tue Dec 19, 2006, 05:11pm
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See NF 4-23-1 (last sentence) and 4-24-6.

These describe why fouls are called when players try to pass players who have their elbows extended and contact with the extended arm occurs.
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Old Tue Dec 19, 2006, 05:53pm
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Ahhh, the humility.

So according to 4-24-6, this post player's actions were illegal and I should have called a foul on him. 10-6-1 also reinforces this - "A player shall not: hold, push, charge, trip; nor impede the progress of an opponent by extending an arm, shoulder, hip or knee, or by bending the body into other than a normal position; ... Extending the arms fully or partially other than vertically so the freedom of movement of an opponent is hindered when contact with the arms occurs is not legal."

Per the rule, ANY EXTENTION that inhibits the motion of an opponent is illegal. But this is not how we "practically" call the game.

A player can bend at the waist to catch a pass and protect the ball from the defender's reach. Only with special attentiveness can a player hold a basketball in front of themself and not partially extend their elbows away from their body. Would these actions be illegal if the defender contacted the arms / elbows, hips, etc?

If possible give me some more insight - the casebook is nearly silent on this issue.
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Old Tue Dec 19, 2006, 06:25pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DownTownTonyBrown
Ahhh, the humility.

So according to 4-24-6, this post player's actions were illegal and I should have called a foul on him. 10-6-1 also reinforces this - "A player shall not: hold, push, charge, trip; nor impede the progress of an opponent by extending an arm, shoulder, hip or knee, or by bending the body into other than a normal position; ... Extending the arms fully or partially other than vertically so the freedom of movement of an opponent is hindered when contact with the arms occurs is not legal."

Per the rule, ANY EXTENTION that inhibits the motion of an opponent is illegal. But this is not how we "practically" call the game.

A player can bend at the waist to catch a pass and protect the ball from the defender's reach. Only with special attentiveness can a player hold a basketball in front of themself and not partially extend their elbows away from their body. Would these actions be illegal if the defender contacted the arms / elbows, hips, etc?

If possible give me some more insight - the casebook is nearly silent on this issue.
Tony, just think about it logically.

If the center has his elbows out, and he gains an advantage by using the arms/elbows to stop the defender from getting around to front the center, call it on the center. Iow, if the defender ran into or through the outstretched elbows, call it on the center. He stopped the defender from legally getting around him.

If the center just has his elbows out, and the defender is pushing on those arms/elbows to move him off the blocks, the defender is now illegally using his hands, arms, etc. Iow, instead of trying to get around the center, he's trying to push his way through the center instead. If that's the case, call it on the defender. The defender is not having his "motion inhibited" in this case. He's actually inhibiting the center's motion instead by pushing him.

Is that what you were getting at?

Last edited by Jurassic Referee; Tue Dec 19, 2006 at 06:29pm.
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Old Wed Dec 20, 2006, 11:48am
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Same situation last night (twice). JV Boys. Team A, player A1 is "posting up" and has his arms extended so that the defender (B1) cannot get around him. A2 begins a drive to the basket, and A1 still has B1 pinned using his arms. TWEET! Team Control Foul. Coach doesn't understand the first one, so I tell him what I saw. Second one, Coach sees it immediately and tells his player what not to do from that point on. Never saw it again the entire game.
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Old Wed Dec 20, 2006, 12:01pm
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just having the arms outstretched isnt illeagle (poor sick bird) -- good post players use those outstretched arms to feel for the defense -- its only illeagle if he uses those arms to impede the defense -- you can tell if he is holding the defense back or using as a feeler -- defensive players get frustrated because they expect the foul rather than try and move through the arms normally -- which is when we would notice if the offensive player was doing something wrong or not.

its more a fact of poor defensive conditioning than offensive holding.
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Old Wed Dec 20, 2006, 12:27pm
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A player is entitled to his vertical space above him, not to the horizontal space around him. Efforts to make himself/herself bigger or wider by extending legs and/or arms beyond shoulder width result in that player being "at risk" for impeding an opponent. Contact that occurs to the extended arms or extended legs/knees is the responsibility of the player doing the extending.
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