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Mailbag Episode: Tough Viewer Basketball Rules Questions

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A quick format basketball rules quiz for basketball referees. How many of the play scenarios would you get right using National Federation of High School Basketball Rules?

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Show Notes

We are back for another episode of the Basketball Rules Expert,

 the YouTube show where we take national federation of high school rules

We lift them off the printed page, breathe life into them. simplify, clarify, amplify and then give them back to you in a form you can take with you onto the basketball court where it’s most important. Greetings again everybody my name is Greg Austin. I’ve been a high school basketball official in the San Francisco bay area for over a decade and I consider myself to be a Basketball Rules Expert. 

This show’s sole purpose is to help you on your journey to becoming a Basketball Rules Expert as well. 

Shout out today to show supporters 

  • Alex Binder
  • Jonathan Lamattina
  • Chet Cooper
  • Daniel Huffman (S)

much appreciated and much love if you want to support the show there’s a link in the show notes below. 

today we have another mailbag episode answering viewer questions questions submitted to the website let’s get started

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Show Transcript

Bloody Jersey. Number Change

Thomas Lyons (via YouTube) what happens if a player bloodies his jersey, then finds a replacement jersey and therefore a new number. Is that an administrative technical?
We have a situation where a team needs to change the player’s number in the book. NFHS says, we have really strict rules about blood so we’re going to have some flexibility here. If a player has blood on the uniform that player cannot continue in, or enter the game. There are remedies though! they can have that jersey cleaned to a satisfactory level so there’s no blood. Or a replacement jersey can be found — either a replacement jersey that the team has or a jersey from a team member who’s not participating. johnny at the end of the bench number 32. he has the right size jersey. we’re going to take johnny’s jersey. the player is going to take that and, correct their situation. obviously they have to do that outside the visual confines. obviously, they have to leave the bench area during the game in order to accomplish that.
They remedy it. They come back. All that’s necessary is that information is provided. Head coach says my player with a bloody jersey number 5 is now going to be number 32. The change is made in the book. We make sure to inform the other head coach so that he’s not surprised there’s no confusion etc. Legal by rule and supported by rule. NFHS says all efforts should be made to allow a player who had blood on their jersey to find a remedy and continue playing. Great question from Thomas lyons.

Goaltending After Time Expires?

shane jones (via YouTube)
Shane asks “Can a defensive player be called for goaltending or basket interference after time has expired?”
Excellent question and forces us to have a solid understanding of when the ball becomes dead. If the ball is live after time has expired they could defensive player can certainly commit a goaltending or basket interference violation. But if the ball is dead they cannot. What’s the the difference? for us a horn sounding and the ball still being live or still or being dead is going to be whether it is a try. A try in flight remains live after the horn expires. If we had a try for goal then a defensive basket interference or goaltending violation could occur.
Tough Rules Questions from Viewers
if it was a pass and not a try then the ball has become dead. if we had a play where there’s a pass and a player contacts the ball within the imaginary cylinder. if the pass was released, and then the horn sounded and then the player contacted the ball in the imaginary cylinder the ball it would not be a violation because the ball would be dead by rule. Understanding what causes the ball to become dead critical to understanding this question. a great question. moving on to our next question

How can we T if we screwed up?

Dan Smyers asks “I have a question relative to the Team Technical for 10.2.1a delay in starting the game or second half by one minute. In 2.4.4 the referee has the responsibility for notification of each team three minutes prior to the restart of the half. If the team wasn’t notified as required, how can we assess a technical foul?
Good question and your skepticism makes sense — it’s very understandable. How can we assess a Technical if we fail to do something that was prescribed?
First of all let’s let’s just address the scenario. The referee is responsible to have someone from game administration notify both teams three minutes prior to the start of the second half. that is defined in the referee’s responsibilities and duties.
At the end of the day, teams bear the ultimate responsibility for their actions. If a team failed to return in time for the half the officials are instructed to put one minute up on the clock. If they delay the start of the half by more than that one minute they are liable for a team technical foul for delay by rule. NFHS throughout our procedures tries to prevent these situations. That’s why the notification of each team is in place. But, in NFHS rules the team always bears the responsibility for their actions. The officials are supposed to notify the head coach when they’ve used their final timeout. That is something that’s built in. But, if the official fails to notify them and the team uses an excessive timeout who’s whose fault is that? It’s the fault of the team — they bear the ultimate responsibility. NFHS tries to build in safeguards to help prevent that, but in the end the team is responsible.
Late in the game the team comes out of the huddle. The ball is put in play. There are 6 players on the court! Team Technical Foul. How did the officials allow that to happen? Simply put, they did. They have procedures in place to try to prevent that from happening, but if it happens the team bears the responsibility. That’s a fundamental concept that’s helpful in understanding National Federation of High School Basketball Rules . Thanks for bringing up this play Dan, much appreciated!

Illegal Equipment. Send ’em back?

Lakerfan Bret Temple is back
A player attempts to substitute into the game and is not wearing the proper color undershirt or package item. would you instruct them to go back to the bench?
We talked in a previous episode about player equipment being a ‘package’: all the same color with certain color requirements.
  • Headband
  • wristband
  • arm sleeve
  • elbow pad
  • tights 
  • knee pad
  • leg sleeve
  • shin sleeve
All those items being part of a ‘package’ and subject to specific rules and restrictions. If a shooting shirt comes off — uh oh wrong color undershirt attempting to enter the game. The correct procedure is the players just not allowed to enter the game because they are illegally equipped. They may remedy their equipment situation and then we’d welcome them back into the ball game. but as they are currently equipped — no.
In this instance undershirt now we’re going to have to go through some hoops. That player is going to have to leave the visual confines in order to change their jersey and remove the undershirt and get correct. we may have to have a discussion with the coach. we don’t want to just say no can’t come in, the undershirt is wrong and then we keep going. Now the player is over on the bench removing their jersey and we’re faced with whether or not to assess a technical foul for that behavior.
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That’s an undershirt. If the offending item is some part of the package or jewelry. If a player is wearing jewelry, they are not allowed to participate by rule. That’s the answer. The player is not allowed to participate. they could substitute in at the next opportunity. That’s the ruling.
Now for practical purposes the player is wearing one of those rubber wristbands. “hey can you get rid of that?” they grab it and they toss it and they’re in the game. “Hey, gotta take that earring out.” they do it real quick, toss to the head coach they’re ready to go. Many, many officials will allow that player to substitute in. but the ruling in this instance is yes you are going to tell the player they are not allowed in. They can substitute in at the next substitution opportunity.

How many indirects?

nefur writes “how many indirect technical fouls can the head coach accumulate?”
The head coach rule is any combination of 3 direct technicals and indirect technicals. if they reach three they’re disqualified. also if they receive two direct technical fouls they are ejected by rule. so in theory a coach could receive two indirect Technical fouls.
An assistant coach gets a Technical foul, so as a result the head coach gets an indirect Technical foul. Later, a team member… say a player coming off the court at the end of a period makes an unsporting remark to the official. They receive a technical foul. that’s a bench technical. the head coach would receive their second indirect technical foul. if they received a third they would be ejected. if they received a direct after receiving two indirects they would be ejected. At any point during the game regardless of indirects they received 2 direct technical fouls or one flagrant Technical Foul they would be ejected by rule

Bench T and Indirect. How many FTS?

lstsxx on YouTube asks
“on a question in the video the answer was a bench technical for a player and an indirect for the coach will four free throws be shot or only two?”
We have a bench technical on a team member. that’s an indirect on the coach. this brings up the fact that indirect technical fouls are not technical fouls. they are simply a bookkeeping mechanism to keep track of whether or not the head coach has controlled bench personnel during the game in a satisfactory fashion. if they have not and accumulate indirect technical fouls they are subject to being ejected for any combination of direct and indirect totaling three.
In this instance we’re only going to shoot two technical foul free throws because there’s only one technical foul. It is super important to just know that 100 percent: indirect technical fouls are not technical fouls.

Two handed tap under .3 on the clock?

Shane jones on YouTube writes regarding the three three-tenths of a second rule would a two-handed volleyball set be a legal tap?
We’re referring here to the rule that says we have an inbounds play with three tenths of a second or less. three tenths, two tenths, or one tenth — a player may not catch the ball and release a try by rule. so the question here is would a two-handed volleyball set be a legal tap? well let’s address two hands. 2 hand tap can definitely be a legal tap. the traditional volleyball set where the player recesses their hands and bends their wrist backwards. if they execute it properly, and tap it as opposed to catch it for an instant then it would be a legal play. but if the officials deem that they have caught the basketball then time has expired by rule. great question shane! let’s move on to our next question

Indirect for Administrative Technicals?

thomas lyons asks
During a time out in the second period the Team B coach requests the scorer change a team member’s number in the scorebook. Team B has already received an administrative technical for failure to submit their roster prior to the 10 minutes before the start of the game. the answer to the question was administrative technical. question is, at this point my read of the rules is that the coach has been assessed with zero technical fouls towards their personal account. is that correct?
that is a hundred percent correct. There’s only one category of Technical fouls that leads to an indirect on the head coach. and that is a bench technical foul. because the coach has the responsibility for the behavior of bench personnel. they do not have the responsibility of players on the court. in theory, they don’t have it on a substitute who’s away from the bench area and has been given a special separation. the behavior of bench personnel is the question. If that behavior leads to a technical foul on bench personnel that’s an indirect on the head coach. administrative, substitute, team, and player technicals do not have any bearing on the head coach. no indirect technical fouls are given. so your read of the rule is correct they have zero Indirect Technical Fouls

Are penalties for all T’s the same?

focusedenergy on YouTube asks
are the penalties for all Technical fouls the same?
yes. yes they are. that’s one of the beauties of NFHS rules is the simplicity of technical fouls. all technical fouls carry the same penalty: two free throws and the ball at the division line opposite the table. important though to remember that an indirect technical foul on a head coach is not a technical foul. that’s a bookkeeping mechanism that recognizes that bench personnel who are the responsibility of the head coach have had some bad behavior and earn some technical fouls. that can potentially affect the status of the head coach. so all technical fouls the exact same penalty. indirect technical fouls are not technical fouls

Assess the T. Team loses possession?

focused energy on YouTube asks
if there’s an administrative technical foul during the game do you stop playing and give the other team free throws and then resume from the division line does it make the offending team lose possession if they have it?
absolutely. absolutely 100%. in high school rules the resulting throw in after a Technical foul will always be to the offended team at the division line opposite the table.
If Team A is dribbling the ball and it’s discovered that Team A has a player who’s not in the book. That is an administrative technical foul for making a change to the book. Team B would get two free throws and the ball for a division line throw in. so in effect Team A would have lost possession. that’s the way all technical fouls work in national federation of high school basketball rules.
I appreciate you joining us today for the Basketball Rules Expert. If you have a question you’d like answered in the mailbag segment there’s a link in the show notes below and a link above before we go shout out to show supporters:
• Alex Binder
• Jonathan Lamattina
• Chet Cooper
• Daniel Huffman (Super Supporter)
much appreciated and much love.
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