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Flagrant Foul Basketball Video - Fitchburg State player ejected

The viral video of the flagrant foul committed by a Fitchburg State player in the basketball game has been viewed by millions. From the cropped view there is an impression that the referees on the game were lacking. The full video shows clearly that that was not the case. The officials handled the play and the aftermath very well on the play that led to the Fitchburg State player being ejected. From a basketball official's perspective, the Flagrant Foul Basketball Video provides us all a chance to get better. Here is our analysis of the Flagrant Foul Basketball Video with Fitchburg State player being ejected.

Video Transcription:

Whoa what time is it? It's time to look at plays!

Hi everybody it’s Greg with abetterofficial.com where we craft video to help basketball officials get better and to take control of their officiating career.

Throughout the season we will be having play review. We are going to start with this play here. I’m fairly certain most people have seen the play. It is all over instagram, twitter, facebook, and the news.

A heinous act. No place in the game for this kind of activity obviously. We are going to look at the play and see what we can learn from it. Not from the short, cropped view that kind of gives the impression the officials were inattentive, but the larger view that tells the full story. We are just going to take a look and see what the crew did, and how we may be able to do better the next time we have a similar scenario.

The scenario

Here is our scenario: it's a 10 point game. 3 minutes remaining in the game. The offending player on the flagrant foul apparently has a technical foul previously in the game. These are the variables that we know.

 

Positioning by the crew fantastic. Trail is working low with a non-competitive matchup. This is all good. Center receives the play and has an excellent look on the play. Lead initiates rotation but let's watch the center official. How are we describing this look? Can we see the feet of the players? Can we see what that swipe? Whether it produce contact? The answer is no. We have accepted something less than an open look on the play.

 

Transition. We have a block charge scenario: a pass and crash in the lane deemed incidental. On that little cropped video from instagram it looks like maybe our trail official is inattentive on this play. No, he is all over this play. Clear. Upgrade. Flagrant. We haven't tossed the player yet.

More Positioning

Let's look at the positioning as a crew on the initial play. We have a lead in great shape. Center is in great shape. We have this potential pass crash in the lane that is going to draw the attention. The lead official it comes to a pinched position as he should on this play. Incidental contact is ruled. We have a player running at a three-point shooter, something we always have to be aware of. Oftentimes players don't have body control etc. We need to stay with our shooters.

Wow. Horrible. Horrible. We are going to: mark, score, foul. No doubt. Good. Now we are going to get together as a crew. Whenever we have atypical plays that we are going to have upgrade and possible consequences. This crew does not have a monitor available to them. It's a lot like high school. All that we have is the information we have between the officials and our officiating crew.

Officials Conference Notes - Flagrant Foul Basketball Video Fitchburg

We are going to have a conference about this play and determine exactly what we have. Our first order of business is to send the teams to their benches. Let's get them in their bench areas that we don't have to deal with them anymore. This crew doesn't do that super effectively. Again, we are looking for things that we can take away for in our game let's get the teams to their benches. We can talk together as a crew. The crew has the ball and this is good. Also, we have a ruling on the floor this is good. And we are going to confer. We have an assistant coach approaching. No.

We are going to come up with a ruling which is fantastic, but let's get these players here back to their bench area we don't have to worry about them leaking in or listening in or whatever. Let's take our meeting as a crew to the division line because what's going to happen next? We are going to get coaches together. Where are we going to get them together? We are going to get them together at the division line.  Let's just think through the scenario so that we when we were confronted with it we can do a better job.

Officials Conference Notes - Flagrant Foul Basketball Video Fitchburg

The officials confer. Here's what i'd want from my crew.  I want us all involved. We have a third official not involved. I assume the taller official is the crew chief on the game. That's an assumption on my part. I want to have a conference between the three of us. We need to understand exactly what we have because we have had possible dead ball contact. That may be something different like in a high school game. If the ball had entered the basket we have dead ball contact. That would  be a technical foul not a personal foul.

Flagrant Foul for Sure

In this instance, obviously, we had contact that is violent or savage in nature. As a result, we definitely have a flagrant foul. But on atypical plays we have variables that we need to piece together as a crew. So, we shouldn’t rush over small details. We are going to cover all the factors of the play because we want our ruling to be 100% accurate. What is the ruling? How we are going to administer the penalty? How we are going to resume play?

These are the variables we need to determine, and we have the best chance of getting the play right if we have all 3 officials contributing.

Let's Act as Peers in the Conference

We have an official putting his arm around the other official. I'm not a big fan of this. I don't like it. I don't like the the optics. The way that we are working here as a crew I'd prefer that we were at the division line and we were having a conversation between all officials and it was between peers. All equal.

We have an extended conversation. Again we are managing players. So, let's get them into their bench area to start and nobody's leaving until we are done until we have a ruling. We have a ruling and we are going to present it to the coaches. But what's missing? What is mission is we are missing the calling official!

The Crew Chief on the game is going tableside to confer with coaches. Fantastic. Also, let's have a second official over so we have a witness. We know how the conversation went. Who said what etc. We want to communicate the ruling to the coaches with the calling official present. There are so many takeaways from this play.

Analysis Of the Preceding play - Flagrant Foul Basketball Video Fitchburg

Rewind to the no call at the other end preceding the flagrant foul.

Let’s go back to the center position on the missed foul on the possible contact on the elbow. I want to compare that to another play that was viral for other reasons. A play with james harden. People considering it a travel. Is this a travel?  People love to pick apart traveling in the NBA. NBA has different traveling rules than us at lower levels. It's always fascinating. The thing about this clip is not whether it's traveling or not, it's the positioning of the center /new trail official. Let's take a look at that.

This is phenomenal display. A textbook approach to a play like this. Hardin moves and the official knows to keep an open look he has got to get lower and lower still. He checks the feet for the three-point line, then he looks up top for elbow contact. He looks at the feet to see if there's the lower body contact by the defender. Then and only then we are going to mark the three-pointer but scoring the three-pointer is not our number one objective.

Officiating the play is job 1

Officiating the play is our number one objective. We have got other officials to help us if the ball goes in the basket etc. A phenomenal display of how you'd want to act as the center or as the trail in this play by absolutely being committed to an open look and doing your job: Job one, Job two, Job three.

We are evaluating all of these components of this play, just a fantastic example. If we go back and look at the previous play that was missing. Bottom line that was missing. Nothing about the body language of the official said that they were motivated, at all costs, to get an open look on the play.

Final Thoughts - Flagrant Foul Basketball Video Fitchburg

When we analyze our game video and we are looking at our positioning. Officials can't always get the best look that's a given. We try to anticipate and we try to be in position etc. When we don't have a look we need to see a body language from the official that is ‘high alert!’ I'm out of position but I'm fighting. I'm fighting for that open look. Because I'm committed to it, because obviously having an open look on plays is the number one factor in call accuracy.

Closing

Hey everybody thanks for sticking around to the end of the video. Much appreciated. We do have additional videos available. Check those out. If you do me a favor now just like this video if you felt it provided value to you. If you want, share it to your association/group. Much appreciated. We can all get better together here at abetterofficial.com. Take care

 

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