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Old Fri Feb 05, 2010, 11:02am
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Face guarding

BV I'm center helping bring the ball up the court and I think I see a player stick his hand right in another players face intentionally with no contact but 2" in front of the guy's nose (I was just turning my head and when I quickly looked back the offending hand was down about a foot so I told myself to watch that particular player to see if it happens again) I call a shooting foul about 10 seconds later and after I report the coach quietly says to me, "face guarding is illegal, you need to T that #22." I told the coach I would watch for it. I went over to one of my senior partners and told him to watch for it too. He told me to go tell the other coach that he had a player that was face guarding and we would be calling it if we saw it. I go tell the other coach(23 years old) and he says, "what do you mean face guarding is illegal? it wasn't that way when I played. How long has that rule been in effect? Senior reff hears the conversation and comes over and says its been around a long time. Coach tells player to knock it off. How many times a year do other reffs call this? I've only seen it twice and never called it myself. I feel bad I missed it in this last game.
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Old Fri Feb 05, 2010, 11:12am
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I don't have the history but,

Rule Book - Section 3, Player Technical, ART. 6 . . . Commit an unsporting foul. This includes, but is not limited to, acts or conduct such as:

d. Purposely obstructing an opponent’s vision by waving or placing hand(s) near his/her eyes.

NOTE: Purposely diverting an opponent’s attention by waving is different than holding or waving the hands near the opponent’s eyes for the express purpose of obstructing the vision so that he/she cannot see.



I can't ever recall calling it or seeing it.
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Old Fri Feb 05, 2010, 11:16am
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I called it once a looong time ago in a jr. high game after giving a warning. Pretty sure I have never seen it called in a HS game. IMO a warning should preceed this call, if they keep doing it afterward too bad.
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Old Fri Feb 05, 2010, 11:45am
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Is it also a technical foul to do it to a shooter?
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Old Fri Feb 05, 2010, 12:20pm
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Originally Posted by Jurassic Referee View Post
Is it also a technical foul to do it to a shooter?
Yes, of course, opponent is all the rule implies. ( I know I'm going to get blasted on this one, seems like a set up. What's your point JR?)
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Old Fri Feb 05, 2010, 12:33pm
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Pg 83

Pg 83 of the case book spells this one out for you. The answer is yes, putting your hands in front of the face of a player with or without the ball is illegal and can be assessed a T. Common Sense needs to prevail though if a player is trying to block a shot or just defend and his or her hand passes by the eyes of the defender. We can't over officiate this one.
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Old Fri Feb 05, 2010, 12:39pm
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Wasn't there a change to the rule recently (few years) to include the person with the ball?
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Old Fri Feb 05, 2010, 12:51pm
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I believe

I believe the change was six years ago. Give or take 1. But as I stated above case book pag 83 takes care of it.
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Old Fri Feb 05, 2010, 12:59pm
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But as I stated above case book pag 83 takes care of it.
Oh?
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Old Fri Feb 05, 2010, 01:04pm
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Wasn't there a change to the rule recently (few years) to include the person with the ball?
I don't recall that being a change. Just the other part to the ruling that's always been there.
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Old Fri Feb 05, 2010, 01:06pm
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I think the old rule used to specify a player without the ball.
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Old Fri Feb 05, 2010, 01:14pm
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Yes, of course, opponent is all the rule implies. ( I know I'm going to get blasted on this one, seems like a set up. What's your point JR?)
Nope, it's not a set-up. I was just wondering how many officials knew the right interpretation. I know that the vets do, so I'll quit playing and give you the answer.

The "faceguarding" rule was changed in 2004-05 to include the player with the ball. Before that, it only applied to a player without the ball. So, up until then it was legal to put a hand in the face of a shooter. But when they changed the rule, the FED also told us how to apply the rule on an accompanying POE. And here's part of that direction:

POE 4A: "The committee does not intend good defense to be penalized. Challenging a shooter with a "hand in the face" or fronting a post player with a hand in the air to prevent a post pass are examples of acceptable actions. The rule and point of emphasis is designed to penalize actions that are clearly not related to playing the game of basketball properly and that intentionally restrict vision. Often, that occurs off the ball or as players are moving up the court.".

It is unfortunate that wasn't added to the case play.
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Old Fri Feb 05, 2010, 05:37pm
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I had this situation happen the year prior to the rule change The player WITH the ball kept waving in the face of her defender. The coach kept asking me to give her a "T". I told her that rule only applied to the defensive player. She harped on me the whole game (in a nice way) I eventually told her that it would be a BETTER idea to have her player steal the ball while the offensive player was distracted waving her arms. Her player did this 3 times and the player stopped. I am glad they changed the rule!
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Old Fri Feb 05, 2010, 06:33pm
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I had this situation happen the year prior to the rule change The player WITH the ball kept waving in the face of her defender. The coach kept asking me to give her a "T". I told her that rule only applied to the defensive player.
Um, no, methinks you misremembered the rule.

The rule applied to obstructing the vision of an opponent without the ball. It didn't matter whether that opponent was on offense or defense. Iow, the coach had the concept right.

And to make sure that I didn't misremember it also, I went back and checked it in old rule book.
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Old Fri Feb 05, 2010, 08:24pm
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Actually, I sent a message to our state body regarding the rule, as did the coach. We were both told my interpretation was correct. The following year during the annual rules clinic the change in the wording and penatly was emphasized and this particular play was mentioned as NOW being a "T" where as the year before it would not have been. (It actually felt nice being the anonymous celebrity ref in the meeting!) There was nothing addressing an OFFENSIVE player putting a hand in the face of a DEFENSIVE player.
Now, they may have been wrong, which I can deal with, but at the time according to "the powers that be" it was the correct non call

Last edited by Judtech; Fri Feb 05, 2010 at 08:42pm. Reason: Left out part
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