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Old Mon Mar 23, 2015, 02:56am
bfr bfr is offline
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UCLA / SMU GT - another angle

So I understand the rule and why most have backed the officials for the judgement that the ball had at least some possibility of going in. (that is where we disagree and why I think the call both in real time and for all of us with the benefit of replay and other angles was botched. Physics do not support the judgement that a ball on its downward flight striking a glancing blow to the side of the rim has a chance to bounce upward and somehow into the basket). That discussion however is done and I do not wish to revisit.

My question is really regarding the rulebook and improvements that rules committees should consider.

The rule in question:
"Art. 3. Goaltending.
a. Goaltending occurs when a defensive player touches the ball during a fieldgoal try and each of the following conditions is met: (Exceptions: Rule 10-4.1.i)
1. The ball is on its downward flight; and
2. The ball is above the level of the ring and has the possibility, while in flight, of entering the basket and is not touching the cylinder."

It seems to me a warranted tweak to this rule should be to have part 2. include one of two possibilities: "has the possibility of entering the basket" OR "has the possibility to strike the rim".

This change would have made this call much easier and would largely remove the judgement component of "does a try have a chance of success?" and make it "does the try have a chance of success, or at least a chance of hitting the rim?" Many officials have actually used the rim strike as their justification for why they believe the shot had a chance (albeit small) as they have "all seen crazy bounces". In their logic it would seem that any shot that has a chance of hitting the rim from above, has a chance of going in.

My reason for suggesting this be added is that while goaltending is usually thought of as preventing a basket from being scored, that is not the only reason for a try. The other reason, especially late in periods, is to manage shot clock and possession...where a shot is put up, often even forced up, not necessarily with a great likelihood of being on target but simply to "get iron" to reset the shot clock and have a chance for a rebound and new possession clock. When that is the purpose of the try, shouldn't goaltending still apply?

I'm trying to see the downside to this addition/tweak and I really can't see anything that makes sense. Given the discussions that have followed this UCLA/SMU play, it seems this rule change would only make official's jobs easier and clarify that even tries that might not have a prayer of going in, still have a prayer of resetting the shot clock which is a valid offensive objective.

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Old Mon Mar 23, 2015, 03:14am
In Time Out
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 318
I feel like the call wouldn't have developed anywhere near the level of controversy that it did if the rule were currently written as you suggest.

Your suggestion is making what seems to be the common interpretation a part of the rule and getting rid of the inconsistency between the written rule and the interpretation.
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Old Mon Mar 23, 2015, 03:29am
bfr bfr is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 6
thanks for the nice description of what it would accomplish.

I suppose it could result in a few more GT calls, but again, to my point...isn't a try that is being put up with the intent of avoiding a shot clock violation just as worthy of the protections from goaltending as a try being made with a good likelihood of scoring?
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