Monday, 22 April 2013


So, I'm watching the NBA and a there's a steal and a pass up the middle of the court to a teammate breaking to the opponent's hoop. The teammate receives the ball around mid court and is fouled by an opponent who is clearly fouling to prevent a breakaway layup. Foul is called, then the refs huddle and go to video replay to determine if had a 'clear path' which if he did would mean (I believe) a technical foul along with the foul that stopped play. Apparently, there is a specific rule defining clear path, something along the lines of the player is in a straight line between the half circle under the hoop and the basket when fouled and is there are no defenders back? Something like that. Anyway a couple of minutes later the refs determined it was a clear path and so the additional foul shot.

Which is a long winded way to lead into my point... I don't know why other sports don't emulate soccer rules in some cases. For example, had the above situation occurred on a pitch then the referee needs to consider if the opponent by fouling broke up a promising attack 1. If the answer is yes, then Bingo, caution for unsporting behaviour. The Laws are silent in defining a promising attack, which places the onus on the official to *recognize* a tactical foul but I much rather take this than a set in stone definition.

Another example, different sport. In tonight's hockey game the goalie was assessed a penalty. Why does he get to stay on the ice while a teammate skater has to sit in the box? Is it because the team needs a goalie? Don't teams carry two goalies? Not sure why the goalie is treated differently when he commits a penalty.

In soccer, if a goalkeeper commits a send off offense, then the keeper is sent off. Can you imagine, the keeper violently strikes an opponent, is shown the red card, but stays in the game as a teammate is sent off in his place. Fantastic!

Anyway, if either of my two readers are either basketball or hockey officials and can enlighten me, please leave a comment. I will wade through the mass of comments and emails I receive to get your replies!

1. LoTG 119 "commits a foul for the tactical purpose of interfering with or breaking up a
promising attack" 

1 comment:

  1. Neil,
    I ref both Bball and Hockey.

    In Canada we use FIBA, not NBA crap, like soccer, breaking up a promising attack or maybe DOGSO, is a "Unsportsmanlike Foul" penalized by 2 shots and ball possession following at half-court opposite scorers table.

    Hockey: If you replace the goalie, how are you going to put that team down to 1 player, or do you suggest play with no goalie? :P