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Archive for the ‘Rule issues’ Category

Yet another discrepancy between what the rules say, and what is enforced

June 15th, 2011 3 comments

Truehoop wrote a great piece on yet another discrepancy between what’s in the rulebook, and what the refs allow, or in this case, how the league office interprets their own rules.

You might remember the scuffle in Game 6 when DeShawn Stevenson and Udonis Haslem started shoving each other during a timeout. Players from both benches — who were already on the floor — came over to try to break things up.

At the time, the announcers said that the “rulebook” allows players to come off the floor during timeouts. We looked it up, and discovered the rulebook doesn’t say anything about players being allowed to do that during timeouts. It has just become an accepted practice, and it never became an issue until Sunday’s game when it butted up against the rule that IS in the rulebook to not come on to the court during an altercation.

Because the rule of players coming off the bench and getting involved in an altercation IS in the rulebook, we thought that the league would have had to suspend some of the players (if there was going to be a Game 7) if they were to follow the letter of the rulebook like they did in the 2007 playoff series between the Suns and Spurs.

As Truehoop notes, Stu Jackson, who heads up NBA basketball operations, said back in 2007 after players came off the bench during that altercation, “If you break it (the rule), you will get suspended, regardless of what the circumstances are.”

And David Stern said, “Is it a red-letter rule? Absolutely.”

Then we learned the NBA issued this statement during the second half of Game 6:

A player will not automatically be suspended for leaving the bench if he has already left the bench because a timeout was called.

As TrueHoop writes, “The rule is the rule is the rule is a reasonable position. The rule is the rule is the rule, except once in a while … that does not fly.”

If the NBA was a legendary restaurant, many customers would want improvement

May 31st, 2011 4 comments

Since launching RefCalls.com several weeks ago — and analyzing in detail ref calls over the past couple of years — it’s no secret that we and many others are still astonished by the high number of wrong and missed calls that refs make in NBA games.

We still like to give refs some credit when they correctly make some tough calls. You’ll also hear lots of basketball analysts on TV say things like, “There is no harder sport to officiate than an NBA game.” As we head into the marquee event of the season – the NBA Finals — we’ll agree with most of that, but we still believe there is lots of room for improvement.

If you just look at the video below that we put together a few days ago of many of the missed travels during games 3 & 4 of the Miami-Chicago series, you’ll get an understanding of just SOME of the missed calls and bad calls we have featured in a few dozen videos over the past few weeks.

When you think about it, the Navy SEALS (or Army Rangers, Green Berets, and other U.S. Special Ops Forces) have a tough job, too. To become one, you have to overcome some of the toughest mental and physical tests known to man. Their training program and selection process is legendary.

From what we’ve heard, the top annual pay of a SEAL is in the $50k range. On the other hand, we know some of the most senior NBA refs earn over $200k per year. So anyone who says the refs have a tough job is still correct, but when you put it in context, a lot more improvement can be expected based off how much they earn per year in comparison to people with much tougher jobs who make a lot less. For that matter, we all can improve in what we do for a living based on the excellence of the Navy SEALs.

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Misconceptions about traveling & blocking rules need to be resolved by the league

April 30th, 2011 14 comments

Since launching RefCalls.com a couple of weeks ago, we have been encouraged by all the positive comments from readers who have been looking for a site like this one. That’s what we thought would happen before we launched, and it’s always good to have assumptions validated. There have been a few who have stated, “What’s the point?” But there are basketball diehards like us who really think that although it may be somewhat painful or grueling to discuss, it’s in the best interests of basketball.

We want to reiterate that we are not picking on the refs. We know how difficult a job it must be. But almost every industry has some kind of evaluation method for its professionals. For example, every part of an NBA player’s skill-set, physical abilities, ability to learn, etc., are evaluated and quantitatively measured. Doctors, lawyers, politicians, professors, you name it — all of them are evaluated, and thanks to the Internet, most of these evaluations are publicly available. So how come the refs aren’t, and are given a free pass by some people when they don’t have a problem with other professionals’ reputations available for online review?

We are very upfront that we will give refs credit when they make a tough call, or that they need the help of fellow refs, or replay, to make the right call. Some people have even thought we are giving refs too much credit.

Be that as it may, one thing that has surprised us reading comments on this site — as well as other sites that discuss some of the questionable calls/no-calls that we try to bring to everyone’s attention — is the amount of misinformation out there about the rules of the basketball.
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