A Touchy Subject

By Billy Martin

In a basketball game with older and more skilled athletes, the action around the basket can often require officials to make quick and decisive rulings on players touching the ball, the ring and the net.

Do you know when a player can legally contact any of the above mentioned game pieces?

Whether it’s during a fiercely contested play under the basket, or a lone player leaping up and making contact with the ball, the ring or the net; when you can easily recall WHAT and WHEN it is legal to touch, this type of play will slow down in your mind’s eye and allow you to make a correct, and confident, ruling.

Ball is IN or ON (the Basket) = NO Touch:  A player CANNOT touch the ball, the ring, or the net while the ball is ON the ring or IN the basket.Ball is IN (the Imaginary) Cylinder = No Touch:  A player CANNOT touch the ball when it is IN the imaginary cylinder above the rim.

When you see this action has occurred (by either team), confidently blow your whistle and signal defensive (or offensive) BASKET INTERFERENCE.

It’s important to note that touching the ring or the net, when the ball is in the imaginary cylinder above the ring, is LEGAL.

And it’s also legal for a player to inadvertently pull the ring down while attempting to block a shot; tip a ball or grab a rebound.  If this occurs while the ball is above the ring and it snaps back into position without touching the ball, there is no need for a whistle.

If the ball goes IN the basket – score the goal.If the ball does NOT go in the basket – play should continue.If the ball gets STUCK in the net — then what?  

Ruling:If the ball passed through the rim and remained lodged in the netting (because of a tangle or broken twine) — then it would be counted.

Also a player may legally hang on the ring, if he/she is doing so to avoid injury to themselves or another player.

Remember these tips, and you will always be IN the know and ON the money with your rulings on this touchy subject!

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