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jbehrens
03-21-2008, 07:42 AM
I've got a rules question that always seems to come up during tournament time...

When a referee blows his whistle to signal a foul, out of bounds, whatever to stop the clock, isn't there some allowable reaction time for the guy controlling the clock? If so, why does that go out the window in the last 10 or 20 seconds of a close game? It seems like the refs review the play and determine the exact tenth of a second that the whistle was blown. Unless you have the whistles linked to the game clock, you just can't stop the clock instantaneously.

Thanks.

CDu
03-21-2008, 08:06 AM
I've got a rules question that always seems to come up during tournament time...

When a referee blows his whistle to signal a foul, out of bounds, whatever to stop the clock, isn't there some allowable reaction time for the guy controlling the clock? If so, why does that go out the window in the last 10 or 20 seconds of a close game? It seems like the refs review the play and determine the exact tenth of a second that the whistle was blown. Unless you have the whistles linked to the game clock, you just can't stop the clock instantaneously.

Thanks.

That's precisely why they review it: to correct for the delay in reaction time. Play is supposed to stop when the whistle blows - that's the rule. So a delayed reaction is not following the rules. When you have the technology to know exactly when the official called the timeout, why wouldn't you correct for it?

Rich
03-21-2008, 09:27 AM
I think the original poster is suggesting that we allow for the reaction time throughout the game (i.e., it's not corrected every time there is a blown whistle) so why do the rules change in the last minute? Said another way, that reaction delay is part of the game whether in the first minute or last minute and should be the official time without correction at any point in the game.

DU82
03-21-2008, 09:33 AM
I think the original poster is suggesting that we allow for the reaction time throughout the game (i.e., it's not corrected every time there is a blown whistle) so why do the rules change in the last minute? Said another way, that reaction delay is part of the game whether in the first minute or last minute and should be the official time without correction at any point in the game.

The clock should stop with the whistle, not the foul (that's the human reaction time of the refs.) And the clock is literally supposed to stop with the whistle, that's the technology, and is supposed to remove the human reaction time of the official time keeper. However, more and more, the refs look at the video and stop the clock when the foul occurs, not the whistle.

CDu
03-21-2008, 09:35 AM
I think the original poster is suggesting that we allow for the reaction time throughout the game (i.e., it's not corrected every time there is a blown whistle) so why do the rules change in the last minute? Said another way, that reaction delay is part of the game whether in the first minute or last minute and should be the official time without correction at any point in the game.

There's a big difference between during the regular portion of the game and the final minute: during the regular part of the game, the clock runs on seconds. It's very unlikely that the scorer's table is off by full seconds. And if they are off by noticeable amounts, the officials DO fix it.

It happens more rarely earlier in the games because it is very rare for the officials to miscalculate by multiple full seconds. You'd have to miss by at least 1.5-2 seconds for it to be a discernable difference. That just doesn't happen often.

Olympic Fan
03-21-2008, 11:05 AM
Anybody else see the end of the Marquette-Kentucky game Thursday and wonder about the fouling strategy of Kentucky coach Billy Gillespie?

It was late in the game and Kentucky trailed by less than 10 points and, like all teams in that situation, the 'Cats had to give a couple of fouls.

But instead of going after the man with the ball, Kentucky twice "intentionally" fouled a poor free throw shooter, who was well off the ball. The first time, I couldn't see what happened -- he was not even in the picture. The second time, there was a wider angle: the kid was standing still in the deep corner as the ball crossed midcourt and the Kentucky defender came up to him and wrapped both arms around him.

At least one announcer suggested that might be an intentional foul.

Frankly, I thought it was a violation of the late-game convention regarding fouling. Obviously, a lot of people give "intentional" fouls late in games, but the usual understanding seems to be that when you grab the guy with the ball (or even just as he lets it go), it's treated as a normal foul -- even when the defender just wraps the ballhandler up, not really going for the ball.

The system is fair -- the defense has to chase the ball and react, while the offense has a chance to keep the ball in the hands of its best free throw shooters.

But wrapping up a player away from the ball changes the equation. If the refs are going to call that a simple foul, why would anybody bother chasing the ball? Just survey the floor, pick out the worst free throw shooter there and go hug him.

Obviously, I don't like the development and hope that officials will make it clear that intentionally fouling a player off the ball when he's not involved in the play will, in fact, be called an "intentional" foul.

I just wondered if there any officials out there and what their guidelines are to this situation?

Bluedog
03-21-2008, 11:08 AM
It's my understanding that the officials have an electronic timing device on their bodies that automatically stop the click when they whistle. So, it's not a human reaction time delay from the scorer's table that causes a delay occasionally.

rsvman
03-21-2008, 11:12 AM
I agree with the OP that correcting for tenths of a second in the waning moments of the game is kind of stupid. Given how many times the clock has been stopped during the game up to that point and the amount of lag time for each one, it is quite impossible to know up to the tenth of a second how much time really remains.

Bluedog
03-21-2008, 11:12 AM
I'm not an official or a rules expert, but I believe what you've said is 100% correct. If you intentionally foul somebody without the ball in the closing second, it should have been called as an intentional foul. I believe this rule change was instituted largely due to Wilt Chamberlain. Near the ends of games, teams would run around the court trying to chase him as he tried to avoid being fouled (he didn't have the ball in his possession). At that time, it would just be called as a normal foul, so since he was such a poor free throw shooter, teams would obviously target him. The NBA realized this game of tag was absolutely absurd to watch, so they changed the rule to call it as an "intentional foul" if you clearly intentionally foul somebody without possession of the ball. Any history people out there? I'm not 100% sure with this story, but I definitely remember reading it somewhere.

Edit: Found a quote by Pat Riley:

"The league has a rule that in the last two minutes, if you foul somebody off of the ball, you give up two shots and a possession. The reason they have that rule is that fouling someone off the ball looks foolish. When I played with Wilt, some of the funniest things I ever saw were players that used to chase him like it was hide-and-seek. Wilt would run away from people, and the league changed the rule based on how silly that looked. But why not use that rule throughout the course of a game?"

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0FCJ/is_1_32/ai_n6332441/pg_4

Obviously, the NBA rules aren't identical to NCAA, but I assume they are similar in this case.

rtnorthrup
03-21-2008, 11:27 AM
its almost as silly as randomly placing a football on a field and using an exact 10 yard chain to determine if a player achieved a first down.

mapei
03-21-2008, 11:40 AM
But didn't the NBA go back to ignoring "intentional" fouls and penalizing only "flagrant" fouls? I remember a hack-a-Shaq game where the Portland coach repeatedly fouled Shaq, even told the officials that was what he was going to do. It was seriously non-entertaining to watch.

Indoor66
03-21-2008, 11:43 AM
But didn't the NBA go back to ignoring "intentional" fouls and penalizing only "flagrant" fouls? I remember a hack-a-Shaq game where the Portland coach repeatedly fouled Shaq, even told the officials that was what he was going to do. It was seriously non-entertaining to watch.

Did the Portland coach get thrown out for being on the floor committing fouls?

GrayHare
03-21-2008, 11:46 AM
It's my understanding that the officials have an electronic timing device on their bodies that automatically stop the click when they whistle.

For example, Precision Time Systems (http://www.precisiontime.com/inventor.htm). Apparently, the inventor and president of the company is a graduate of Durham Tech.

Eckster
03-22-2008, 05:55 AM
its almost as silly as randomly placing a football on a field and using an exact 10 yard chain to determine if a player achieved a first down.

Good point, especially since the guys on the sideline are "eyeballing" the placement of the football from a great distance. It's a game of inches, some more exact than others.

I think basketball has come a long way in being more exact about this timing issue w/ whistle electronically tied to clock and replay being used to get the play right in some circumstances. I just find it hard to believe that when dealing with tenths of seconds that they can look at the replay and say it was 2.7 vs. 2.1 seconds left in the game, for example. If the technology is good enough to take the official timekeeper out of the equation, then let it stand.