These Points of Emphasis are not in priority order and are considered of equal importance to coaches and officials.
By definition, “a block or charge foul” occurs when a defender impedes his/her opponent to stop him/her from going in that direction. If he/she does not obtain a legal defensive position and contact occurs, it is a blocking foul.
The obtaining and maintaining of a legal guarding position on a player with and without the ball has been a point of emphasis over the years, but yet, remains one of the most difficult plays to coach and officiate.
A. The basics.
To correctly understand the guarding rule, the following points are critical:
B. Guarding a player with the ball.
Points to remember when a defender is guarding a player with the ball:
C. Guarding a player without the ball.
Time and distance are the key factors here. The distance allowed depends on the speed in which the offensive player is moving, with the distance never to exceed two strides, regardless of how fast he or she is moving. Once the defender has met the criteria of both feet touching the court and initially facing the opponent, the defender has obtained a legal guarding position and may move the same as if he/she were guarding a player with the ball.
Use of proper signals and the reporting area
One of the most important tenets of good officiating is good communication. The easiest and quickest way for officials to establish credibility is to effectively communicate with players, coaches, spectators, and the scorer’s table during a high school basketball game. When officials properly and effectively communicate with all stakeholders during a contest, their judgement is less questioned, their confidence is heightened, and their over-all game management is improved.
Good communication centers on the use of proper signals and mechanics. Signals are verbal and non-verbal means of communication by officials and are required by rule. Each time the whistle is sounded in a basketball game, there is an accompanying signal. Virtually all NFHS Basketball-related publications contain the approved list of signals officials should use. Meanwhile, mechanics are the methods or procedures used by officials while officiating the game that help put the official in the best possible position to provide proper court coverage and to provide effective communication to the table officials.
Officials shall be professional in the use of approved signals and mechanics and should not attempt to draw attention to themselves by the use of unapproved, emphatic, or theatrical signs. Adherence to prescribed NFHS signals and mechanics presents an environment where the officials are in charge and the game is well-officiated.
Whether calling a violation or a foul, anytime an official blows his/her whistle, he/she shall also raise his/her hand to stop the clock. If a violation is being called, the official will extend one arm above the head with an open palm/fingers extended, while if a foul is being called, the official will raise one arm high above the head with the fist clenched.
When a violation is observed, an official shall complete the following after blowing his/her whistle and stopping the clock:
All officials are responsible for contact rulings and all fouls. It is imperative that the following procedure be used in this order after an official blows his/her whistle and raising his/her arm to stop the clock:
For a complete description of all 2-person and 3-person mechanics, please refer to the NFHS Basketball Officials Manual.
Across the country, more and more players are being allowed to illegally dribble the basketball. Likely, a combination of increased viewing of other players doing this act and poor enforcement of the rules by officials has led to this decline in proper fundamentals.
The dribble begins by pushing, throwing or batting the ball to the floor before the pivot foot is lifted. (4-15-3) The act of palming/carryingis when the dribbler allows the ball to come to rest in one or both hands and then continues dribbling. (4-15-4b) This causes the dribble to end and is a violation.
Clarification of Intentional and Flagrant Fouls
There is a distinct difference between an Intentional Foul and a Flagrant Foul. A foul should be ruled an Intentional Foul when a player, while playing the ball, causes excessive contact. It should be called away from the ball when it’s a non-basketball play. These are considered either personal or technical fouls.
A Flagrant Foul is violent in nature or a noncontact play demonstrating unacceptable or uncivil behavior. The penalty for a Flagrant Foul is immediate ejection.
There is a concern that there is lack of enforcement for Intentional Fouls. Fouling has become a strategic part at the end of game and officials need to understand the differences between common fouls, Intentional Fouls, and Flagrant Fouls and have the conviction to make the correct call. Was it a basketball play or simply an attempt to stop the clock? As an official, getting the first foul is critical and will help prevent the game from becoming more physical.
4-19-ART. 3 An Intentional foul is a personal or technical foul that may or may not be premeditated and is not based solely on the severity of the act. Intentional fouls include, but are not limited to:
4-19-ART.4 A flagrant foul may be a personal or technical foul of a violent, savage or uncivil nature, or a technical noncontact foul which displays unacceptable conduct. It may or may not be intentional. If personal, it involves, but is not limited to violent contact such as: striking, kicking and kneeing. If technical, it involves dead-ball contact or noncontact at any time which is extreme or persistent, vulgar or abusive conduct. Fighting is a flagrant act.