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Old Tue May 11, 2010, 10:43am
rsl rsl is offline
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Advantage/disadvantage and stopping the clock

Happened in a game last week. Team A up by ten, over a minute left. B is fouling to stop the clock, thinking they can come back. B1 gets lazy and grabs the arm of A1 in the backcourt, but A1 keeps going and now has a three on two opportunity at the basket at the other end and scores easily.

I didn't call the grab on B1 because advantage/disadvantage says let A1 go- there is no disadvantage. Coach B is upset and says if I don't call that foul, then his players will "have to foul harder to stop the clock and somebody will get hurt."

If we know a team is trying to foul to stop clock, do we (1) ignore advantage/disadvantage and call the foul, (2) call the intentional foul since we know they are stopping the clock, or (3) make a no-call like I did?
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Old Tue May 11, 2010, 10:47am
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100% call it -- give them what they want. Or, like the coach said, you're only asking for trouble.
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Old Tue May 11, 2010, 10:55am
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There are two ways to call this, and I take my cue from the offense. If the offense is just standing around waiting to get fouled, I'll call it quickly. If, however, the offense is trying to prevent the foul, I'm not taking away a layup to prevent the defense from getting stupid.
If you do call, this, you need to call it intentional (from the way I read it). Getting lazy and grabbing the arm isn't going to get rewarded in my game.
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Old Tue May 11, 2010, 11:43am
Tio Tio is offline
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I think we need to ditch the adv/disadv philosophy. Replace with illegal vs. marginal contact.

When a team is behind and trying to "take" a foul, we have to get the first one. The coach is right, his guys will start swinging harder to try and stop the clock.
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Old Tue May 11, 2010, 11:49am
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Originally Posted by Tio View Post
I think we need to ditch the adv/disadv philosophy. Replace with illegal vs. marginal contact.

When a team is behind and trying to "take" a foul, we have to get the first one. The coach is right, his guys will start swinging harder to try and stop the clock.
Get rid of "marginal," and use "incidental" instead. Now, when you look up the definitions of "foul" and "incidental" contact, you'll see a bunch of words that add up to advantage/disadvantage. If you start using "marginal," then you're going to get yourself into some deep water when you call "marginal" contact that creates a big disadvantage.

And it's not my job to prevent a team from getting stupid. I'll call the legitimate fouls, but I'm not going to give them cheap contact fouls because a coach threatens me with harder fouls. I'm not going to help him compensate for poor coaching.

Again, if the offense is just standing there waiting to get fouled, I'll give it to them; but since when do we "give them what they want?" What they're wanting is an unfair advantage and to take away layups.

Again, if you call the foul in the OP, it should be intentional.
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Old Tue May 11, 2010, 11:55am
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A player doesn't "have to foul harder." A player chooses to foul harder. If they do, you have to call it accordingly.

I say, if you're looking to foul, the very least you can do is go for the ball. You could wind up with a steal, and it's very difficult to commit an intentional foul if you're looking to steal.

In your situation, rsl, I agree with what you did. There's no sense in punishing the offense by stopping the clock when the defense is doing something illegal, especially when the offense has a clear path.

Last edited by bainsey; Tue May 11, 2010 at 11:57am.
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Old Tue May 11, 2010, 12:07pm
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Originally Posted by Snaqwells View Post
Get rid of "marginal," and use "incidental" instead. Now, when you look up the definitions of "foul" and "incidental" contact, you'll see a bunch of words that add up to advantage/disadvantage. If you start using "marginal," then you're going to get yourself into some deep water when you call "marginal" contact that creates a big disadvantage.

And it's not my job to prevent a team from getting stupid. I'll call the legitimate fouls, but I'm not going to give them cheap contact fouls because a coach threatens me with harder fouls. I'm not going to help him compensate for poor coaching.

Again, if the offense is just standing there waiting to get fouled, I'll give it to them; but since when do we "give them what they want?" What they're wanting is an unfair advantage and to take away layups.

Again, if you call the foul in the OP, it should be intentional.
Incidental and marginal contact aren't necessarily the same thing. There are three types of contact in the game: illegal, marginal, and incidental. Marginal and incidental are similar, but not the same. Marginal contact would be A1 going up for a layup with his right hand, and getting tapped slightly on his left hand. Foul? Maybe. But if it is a foul the contact is no longer marginal, but instead illegal. Incidental contact would be a defender who gets screened legally, but in the process, gets knocked down by the legal screen. Foul? No. Incidental contact is never a foul. Marginal contact can be a foul, but would be turned into illegal contact if that's the case. Hopefully this makes some sense.
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Old Tue May 11, 2010, 12:10pm
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Originally Posted by Tio View Post
I think we need to ditch the adv/disadv philosophy. Replace with illegal vs. marginal contact.

When a team is behind and trying to "take" a foul, we have to get the first one. The coach is right, his guys will start swinging harder to try and stop the clock.
If there's contact and you determine the contact to be marginal, isn't that more or less applying advantage/disadvantage? I agree with you that in that situation you should probably call the foul, but I don't see much difference between determining contact to be marginal and applying advantage/disadvantage.
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Old Tue May 11, 2010, 12:30pm
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Originally Posted by ajs8207 View Post
Incidental and marginal contact aren't necessarily the same thing. There are three types of contact in the game: illegal, marginal, and incidental. Marginal and incidental are similar, but not the same. Marginal contact would be A1 going up for a layup with his right hand, and getting tapped slightly on his left hand. Foul? Maybe.
No, this isn't a foul. How does it affect the shot? It's incidental because it has not effect on the shot.

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But if it is a foul the contact is no longer marginal, but instead illegal. Incidental contact would be a defender who gets screened legally, but in the process, gets knocked down by the legal screen. Foul? No. Incidental contact is never a foul. Marginal contact can be a foul, but would be turned into illegal contact if that's the case. Hopefully this makes some sense.
Wrong, by rule, there are two types of contact; illegal and incidental. To me, "marginal" would be somewhere near the line between the two where judgment comes into play. But I don't get the sense that it's being used that way in this discussion. "Marginal" contact is not defined, "incidental" contact is defined.
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Old Tue May 11, 2010, 12:40pm
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Originally Posted by Snaqwells View Post
No, this isn't a foul. How does it affect the shot? It's incidental because it has not effect on the shot.



Wrong, by rule, there are two types of contact; illegal and incidental. To me, "marginal" would be somewhere near the line between the two where judgment comes into play. But I don't get the sense that it's being used that way in this discussion. "Marginal" contact is not defined, "incidental" contact is defined.
Can marginal contact be defined if its based on judgement? Incidental contact can be easily defined because its not a foul. Marginal goes into advantage/disadvantage and therefore is much more difficult to define. I agree I wouldn't go a coach and tell him there was marginal contact because they wouldn't understand. I just don't agree that the two are the synonymous.
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Old Tue May 11, 2010, 12:46pm
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Originally Posted by ajs8207 View Post
Can marginal contact be defined if its based on judgement? Incidental contact can be easily defined because its not a foul. Marginal goes into advantage/disadvantage and therefore is much more difficult to define. I agree I wouldn't go a coach and tell him there was marginal contact because they wouldn't understand. I just don't agree that the two are the synonymous.
They aren't synonymous, that's why I hate using the word in this context. To some, "marginal contact" would mean "light contact." To others (including me), it simply means contact which is on the line between illegal and incidental; contact which takes some judgment to, well, judge. Maybe "borderline" would be a better term here.

One meaning has nothing, really, to do with whether it's a foul. As "marginal" contact (defined by severity) can be a foul while some pretty severe contact could be incidental.

What, exactly, do you mean by "marginal?"
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Old Tue May 11, 2010, 12:49pm
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Originally Posted by Snaqwells View Post
They aren't synonymous, that's why I hate using the word in this context. To some, "marginal contact" would mean "light contact." To others (including me), it simply means contact which is on the line between illegal and incidental; contact which takes some judgment to, well, judge. Maybe "borderline" would be a better term here.

One meaning has nothing, really, to do with whether it's a foul. As "marginal" contact (defined by severity) can be a foul while some pretty severe contact could be incidental.

What, exactly, do you mean by "marginal?"
I completely agree with you. Marginal contact is on the line between illegal and incidental. Incidental contact cannot be a foul. Advantage/disadvantage is applied with marginal contact to determine whether the contact is illegal or not. I've gotten this from Al Battista who does observe for the NBA, so maybe this is an NBA concept more than anything. I just think judgement comes into play with marginal contact, while incidental contact in 100% of the circumstances cannot be a foul. Marginal contact is contact that could be illegal, but because you are applying the philosophy of advantage/disadvantage, it is determined to be legal.
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Old Tue May 11, 2010, 01:05pm
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Originally Posted by ajs8207 View Post
I completely agree with you. Marginal contact is on the line between illegal and incidental. Incidental contact cannot be a foul. Advantage/disadvantage is applied with marginal contact to determine whether the contact is illegal or not. I've gotten this from Al Battista who does observe for the NBA, so maybe this is an NBA concept more than anything. I just think judgement comes into play with marginal contact, while incidental contact in 100% of the circumstances cannot be a foul. Marginal contact is contact that could be illegal, but because you are applying the philosophy of advantage/disadvantage, it is determined to be legal.
Incidental contact is defined, in part, as contact which does not hinder the opponent from performing normal offensive or defensive movements (a bunch of words that add up to "advantage/disadvantage."

So, to me, I'm using a/d to determine whether it's incidental or not. Sometimes, it's easy and not much judgment is required. A/D isn't only used on contact that's close to illegal or incidental, it's just that sometimes the decision is easier to make.

Marginal would be that body bump on a shooter going in for a layup. Did it affect his shot? Hard to say, so we use judgment. Marginal is the contact on a moving screen which may or may not have slowed the defender. Hard to say, so we use judgment.
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Old Tue May 11, 2010, 01:08pm
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Originally Posted by Tio View Post
I think we need to ditch the adv/disadv philosophy. Replace with illegal vs. marginal contact.
I think we need to use advantage/disadvantage sometimes to determine whether the contact was illegal or incidental. I further believe that's exactly what the rule books tell us to do using basically the exact same terms.

Simple is not necessarily bad.

And oh yes, forget concepts like "marginal contact". They're not needed and just confuse matters imo.
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Old Tue May 11, 2010, 01:19pm
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Originally Posted by ajs8207 View Post
I completely agree with you. Marginal contact is on the line between illegal and incidental. Incidental contact cannot be a foul. Advantage/disadvantage is applied with marginal contact to determine whether the contact is illegal or not. I've gotten this from Al Battista who does observe for the NBA, so maybe this is an NBA concept more than anything. I just think judgement comes into play with marginal contact, while incidental contact in 100% of the circumstances cannot be a foul. Marginal contact is contact that could be illegal, but because you are applying the philosophy of advantage/disadvantage, it is determined to be legal.
Sigh......

Somebody else saying the exact same thing as everyone else has been saying for many years but using slightly different language and thinking they've just discovered the secret of the officiating universe....

Tell Al Battista that all he's saying is that you apply advantage/disadvantage to contact to determine if that contact is incidental or illegal. And that's exactly what the NCAA and NFHS rulesmakers have been telling us for years. And I've got a funny feeling that Al Battista might just admit it's the exact same concept also.

It doesn't matter whether the contact is marginal or extreme. Both types may or may not be a foul depending on whether you determine that particular contact to be incidental(LEGAL) or illegal.

Last edited by Jurassic Referee; Tue May 11, 2010 at 01:21pm.
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