Monday, November 11, 2013

Basketball: To Save or Not to Save? Two Points in Question

With basketball season well underway, it's time for a quick rules review. During last week's Falcons-Wildcats NCAA Men's Basketball game, Kentucky freshman James Young attempted to save a ball headed out of bounds, throwing the ball high above his head back onto the court, a successful save...until the ball happened to fly straight through opponent Montevallo's basket, referees ruling a two-point award for the Falcons pursuant to NCAA Rule 5, Section 1, Article 4, Provision a (5-1.4.a), which states, “When a player scores a field goal in the opponent’s basket, it shall count two points for the opponent regardless of the location on the playing court from where it was released. Such a field goal shall not be credited to a player in the scorebook but shall be indicated with a footnote.” NFHS and NBA codes agree (NFHS 5-2-1 "two points for the team into whose basket the ball is thrown" and 5-2-3 and NBA 5-I-d), though the NBA credits such a goal to "the opposing player nearest the player whose actions caused the ball to enter the basket."

Young saves ball, back to bucket.
Scenario: (a) Had Young saved the ball but instead had been a member of the Falcons team, what would be the result? (b) What if instead of entering the goal, the ball clanked off the rim and was rebounded by a (Falcons) teammate and the Falcons were unable to get a shot off in, for instance, 23 [NBA] or 34 [NFHS/NCAA] seconds? (c) Young is fouled in the act of saving the ball, after releasing the ball: score the goal?

Answer, NFHS: Three points (5-2-1, "A successful try, tap or thrown ball from the field by a player who is located behind the team's own 19-foot, 9-inch arc counts three points" / Though a try is "an attempt by a player to score two or three points by throwing the ball into a team's own basket" [4-41-2], a try is not presently required for a three-point goal [Case Play 5.2.1 SITUATION B]).
Answer, NCAA: Three points (5-1.4, "A successful try from beyond the three-point line shall count three points..." and 5-1.1, "A try for field goal is an attempt by a player to score two or three points by throwing or tapping the ball into his basket" / BUT Approved Ruling [A.R.] 138[1], "Score three points [on pass attempt entering basket]" // NCAA Rules Error [AR clearly specifies that a ball thrown [passed] @ basket shall be scored two-, or three-, if successful, but does not account for this scenario in Rule 5-1.4 re: 3-pt FG tries]).
Answer, NBA: Three points (5-I-c, "A successful field goal attempt from the area outside the three-point field goal line shall count three points" and 4-X, "A field goal attempt is a player's attempt to shoot the ball into his basket for a field goal...the term is also used to include the flight of the ball until it becomes dead or is touched by a player" and Case Book 370, "If a ball on its upward flight [e.g., pass] toward the basket...continues into the basket, three points shall be awarded").

Answer, NFHS: No penalty (for states not employing a shot clock) / Shot clock violation (for states using a 30- or 35-second boys' shot clock; for instance, CIF addition NFHS 9-14, "the team in control shall attempt a try within 35 seconds").
Answer, NCAA: Shot clock violation (9-12.4, "It is a violation when a try for field goal does not leave the shooter's hand before the expiration of the allotted shot-clock time...or when it does leave the shooter’s hand before the expiration of the allotted shot-clock time and the try does not subsequently strike the ring or flange or enter the basket" and A.R. 136, "When a passed [thrown] ball hits the ring and does not enter the basket, there is no reset of the shot clock").
Answer, NBA: No penalty (7-IV-c, "the 24-second clock shall be reset...(2) ball from the playing court contacting the basket ring of the team which is in possession" and Case Book 437, "The 24-second clock is reset anytime the ball from inbounds touches the basket ring of the team which has possession").

Answer, NFHS: No. Young was never in the act of shooting [no try or tap for goal] and, therefore, the ball became dead immediately upon the foul being committed (6-7, "The ball becomes dead, or remains dead, when...7. a foul occurs...EXCEPTION: a. Article 7 occurs while a try or tap for a field goal is in flight").
Answer, NCAA: No (6-5-1, "The ball shall become dead or remain dead when...d. an official blows the whistle except when a try is in flight" and A.R. 176 "dead while in flight...not a legal try").
Answer, NBA: Yes (6-IV-a, "The ball becomes dead and/or remains dead when...(1)official blows his/her whistle...EXCEPTION: If a field goal attempt is in flight, the ball becomes dead when the goal is made, missed or touched by an offensive player").
All codes agree: continuous motion does not apply when no try for field goal or free throw exists.

Wrap: Montevallo Falcons vs. Kentucky Wildcats, 11/4/13
Video: Falling out of bounds, Young's emergency toss comes crashing through opposing team's bucket
Video: In an attempt to save teammate's blocked shot, Young accidentally throws ball into wrong goal (ALT)


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