Have you ever seen....and would it bother you if...

bakahump

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The Back court "violation" call made me ask myself...
"What if the Refs didnt know an (obviously obscure) rule....and brought out a rule book to check. Would I mind?"

Would you?
And has this ever happened before in any sport you can recall? What level?

I think I would be happier that they were trying to get it right as opposed to pissed off that the 3 guys didnt know every rule ever written. 30 second to 5 mins delays are pretty common now why the hell not.
 

azsoxpatsfan

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The Back court "violation" call made me ask myself...
"What if the Refs didnt know an (obviously obscure) rule....and brought out a rule book to check. Would I mind?"

Would you?
And has this ever happened before in any sport you can recall? What level?

I think I would be happier that they were trying to get it right as opposed to pissed off that the 3 guys didnt know every rule ever written. 30 second to 5 mins delays are pretty common now why the hell not.
They didn’t fully pull out the rule book but I think the umpires in the Blue Jays-Rangers Bautista nat flip game had to call up New York to ask for a ruling when Russell Martin threw the ball off the batters bat
 

75cent bleacher seat

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Smokey Joe

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So. Jayson Tatum threw the ball from the backcourt, but because the ball broke the plane of the frontcourt, it was a pass from the frontcourt, because the position of the player doesn't matter, it's the position of the ball.
Then Hayward caught the ball in the frontcourt, but because his back foot was in the backcourt, it's a backcourt violation because it apparently only matters where the player is and not the ball.
Got it?

and they made this call with less then 30 seconds to go in the game.

Clearly Marc Davis wasn't getting enough attention.
 

JCizzle

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Certainly not an obscure rule, but the ticky tack backcourt call reminded me of offsides in hockey where they take ten minutes to zoom down to the pixel level to determine whether a player was offsides minutes before a goal was scored. I probably hate that more than anything else in sports.
 

riboflav

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Yet in order to prevent a BC violation you're allowed to save a ball that goes from the FC to the BC even if the ball breaks the plane. Makes sense.

Anyway, BC violations are everything over, anything back. Tatum had not established himself in the FC. It should not have been called a violation and Davis and the NBA know it.

To expound further: The ball matters the most. But the ball's status is determined by the ball handler. In this case, Tatum. And Tatum was in the BC and does not establish FC status until he is completely over.
 

HowBoutDemSox

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Yet in order to prevent a BC violation you're allowed to save a ball that goes from the FC to the BC even if the ball breaks the plane. Makes sense.

Anyway, BC violations are everything over, anything back. Tatum had not established himself in the FC. It should not have been called a violation and Davis and the NBA know it.

To expound further: The ball matters the most. But the ball's status is determined by the ball handler. In this case, Tatum. And Tatum was in the BC and does not establish FC status until he is completely over.
I think the issue here comes up when you think about the various ways that a ball could get beyond the halfcourt line without being the result of a pass or a ball-handler dribbling it over, like a defender poking the ball away from a point guard bringing the ball upcourt and it rolls beyond the halfcourt line, or other scenarios where the ball gets loose and batted around and winds up in the frontcourt after initially being inbounded and controlled by the team on offense but before that team brings the ball upcourt fully. So the sole determinant of whether a ball has established a frontcourt position can't rely solely on the position of the passing/dribbling player since there isn't always a passing/dribbling player that brings it to the frontcourt; it needs to be objectively determined on the basis of the position of the ball itself.

We intuitively understand that the violation gets whistled based on the position of the player that then touches it being in the backcourt, with players going on their tip-toes to avoid crossing the halfcourt line to grab a ball that itself is in the backcourt (similar to tip-toeing to avoid stepping out of bounds even as the ball floats over out of bounds territory), and then we assume that the first half should be likewise in establishing the ball being in the frontcourt in the first place based on the position of the player that causes it to enter the frontcourt, but since there isn't necessarily a player to reference for that portion of the analysis, the position of the ball needs to control there. There's an incongruity here, which was on display with the Tatum/Hayward play, but it does make some amount of sense (even though I bet it happens plenty often without getting called).
 

JakeRae

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I think the issue here comes up when you think about the various ways that a ball could get beyond the halfcourt line without being the result of a pass or a ball-handler dribbling it over, like a defender poking the ball away from a point guard bringing the ball upcourt and it rolls beyond the halfcourt line, or other scenarios where the ball gets loose and batted around and winds up in the frontcourt after initially being inbounded and controlled by the team on offense but before that team brings the ball upcourt fully. So the sole determinant of whether a ball has established a frontcourt position can't rely solely on the position of the passing/dribbling player since there isn't always a passing/dribbling player that brings it to the frontcourt; it needs to be objectively determined on the basis of the position of the ball itself.

We intuitively understand that the violation gets whistled based on the position of the player that then touches it being in the backcourt, with players going on their tip-toes to avoid crossing the halfcourt line to grab a ball that itself is in the backcourt (similar to tip-toeing to avoid stepping out of bounds even as the ball floats over out of bounds territory), and then we assume that the first half should be likewise in establishing the ball being in the frontcourt in the first place based on the position of the player that causes it to enter the frontcourt, but since there isn't necessarily a player to reference for that portion of the analysis, the position of the ball needs to control there. There's an incongruity here, which was on display with the Tatum/Hayward play, but it does make some amount of sense (even though I bet it happens plenty often without getting called).
It really doesn’t. If you remove the crossing the plane rule nothing bad happens. If a defensive player tips the ball into the frontcourt, then it gets tipped back into the backcourt and recovered, there is no good reason why that needs to or should be a violation. The bigger issue is a pass into the front court that crosses the plain before 8 seconds but is caught after, and a separate rule could account for that. For example, if a ball passes from possession of a backcourt player to a frontcourt player, the time at which the ball shall be deemed to have changed status to front court will be when it crosses the plane.
 

HowBoutDemSox

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Thinking about it more, isn't it a backcourt violation almost anytime someone brings the ball up by dribbling it across the midcourt line? The ball crosses first and their feet are still in the backcourt, shouldn't that be a violation according to this interpretation?

Edit: I guess the rule has different parameters for when the ball crosses into the frontcourt depending on whether it's dribbled to avoid that absurdity:
 
Last edited:

Humphrey

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NBA Rule Book:

a. A team’s frontcourt consists of that part of the court between its endline and the
nearer edge of the midcourt line, including the basket and inbounds part of the backboard.
b. A team’s backcourt consists of the entire midcourt line and the rest of the court to
include the opponent’s basket and inbounds part of the backboard.
c. A ball being held by a player: (1) is in the frontcourt if neither the ball nor the player
is touching the backcourt, (2) is in the backcourt if either the ball or player is touching the
backcourt.
d. A ball being dribbled is (1) in the frontcourt when the ball and both feet of the player
are in the frontcourt, (2) in the backcourt if the ball or either foot of the player is in the
backcourt.
e. The ball is considered in the frontcourt once it has broken the plane of the midcourt
line and is not in player control.
f. The team on offense must bring the ball across the midcourt line within 8 seconds.
EXCEPTION: (1) kicked ball, (2) punched ball, (3) personal or technical foul on the
defensive team, (4) delay-of-game warning on the defensive team or (5) infection control.
g. Frontcourt/backcourt status is not attained until a player with the ball has established
a positive position in either half during (1) a jump ball, (2) a steal by a defensive player,
(3) a throw-in in the last two minutes of the fourth period and last two minutes of any
overtime period or (4) any time the ball is loose.

I bet college is different w/respect to the "ball breaking the plane". I'll see if I can find it.
 

NoXInNixon

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So here's my question: What purpose does the backcourt violation rule serve? Maybe before the shot clock existed it was needed to make it harder to play keepaway. How would the game be any different if the rule didn't exist? You've still only got 24 seconds to shoot. Who cares if the offense retreats that far? Doesn't that benefit the defense if they do?
 

CoffeeNerdness

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Teams could run plays to avoid getting fouled in late game situation, maybe. Team A is inbounding and Team B wants to foul. Team A inbounds into the front court and their receiving player hits another player- who's lost their man- in the backcourt wherr they are able to burn much more time.
 

wiffleballhero

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In the simulacrum
Warning, Not Basketball:

It is not super obscure, but the offsides rule in soccer is not actually about the last defender, but the second to last defender (with the goalie almost always functioning as the last defender). Seeing this rule called correctly in youth soccer when the goalie is perversely out of position and you genuinely only have one defender left to beat, and the pass goes to the kid who may very well have held up to not get past that last defender, well, it is pretty weird.

And yeah, I've seen it called against a youth team I was coaching. I couldn't decide if I was in a Bad News Bears level youth soccer situation or had been Belichicked by the real time 4D chess strategizing of the 11yo goalie on the other team, completely up out of the box.
 

HowBoutDemSox

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Warning, Not Basketball:

It is not super obscure, but the offsides rule in soccer is not actually about the last defender, but the second to last defender (with the goalie almost always functioning as the last defender). Seeing this rule called correctly in youth soccer when the goalie is perversely out of position and you genuinely only have one defender left to beat, and the pass goes to the kid who may very well have held up to not get past that last defender, well, it is pretty weird.

And yeah, I've seen it called against a youth team I was coaching. I couldn't decide if I was in a Bad News Bears level youth soccer situation or had been Belichicked by the real time 4D chess strategizing of the 11yo goalie on the other team, completely up out of the box.
Is there any advantage to soccer’s version of the offsides rule (judged on the basis of the defender’s position) over hockey’s offsides rule (judged on the basis of an objective marker on the ice)? It always seemed weird that the defender could determine where the offensive player was allowed to play, whereas the hockey version fulfills the goal of preventing the offensive players from just hanging around the goal all the time without giving the defenders that kind of ability to dictate where exactly they’re allowed to be. Presumably soccer could incorporate some version of the blue line onto the soccer pitch?
 

tmracht

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I would like that add that offside in soccer doesn't apply in your own half of the field so you kind of have an offside line built in already with the halfway line.

As for the benefits of a static vs dynamic offside line, I think soccer benefits by not have a brick wall at a defined line. Trying to play someone in 1v1 when the defender knows he has a line to defend is much easier than when he and his teammates are the line. The goal of the rule was to increase scoring (shock!). At one point it was the last 3 defenders.
 

wiffleballhero

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In the simulacrum
The soccer rule really should be switched to the last non-goalie defender and the rule should also be changed so that once the ball has entered the final 15 meters of the field (line at the top of the box) with an 'on side' pass or dribble, off sides is no longer in effect. The goal of the rule, I assume, is to not allow the game to become just a bunch of massive clearing kicks downfield to a cherry-picking striker hanging out at the goal. The effect though is to bottle up free flowing offense in tight.

In contrast, hockey really can't have anything like the soccer rule. The game includes space behind the goal and moves in a way that would be just totally impractical to have something like the soccer rule.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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In general on the OP's question I guess my thought is that if three or more professional refs don't know the rule on something and would need a book, I don't care what the result is. I don't really care if they get it "right." Because it is such an obscure and random rule that it doesn't serve the underlying purpose of trying to determine the better team. I'm sort of thinking of ballpark uniqueness rules where you have a line or a crevice or whatever and you need to decide whether a ball in one inch is ok and in one inch is not and it really is just the same play and the prospect for rewarding or not rewarding it one way or the other is negligible. Would I be pissed if my team got lucky and deserved a home run on a ball that actually was called a double? Yeah, of course.

There is a spectrum of when rules matter the most. Most important are rules that players know and comply with to try to obtain an expected result. We're obviously well beyond any of this and solely into the sphere of lucky or technical rules that exist because they kind of have to but really have no ultimate fairness purpose.

At a lower level I would be fine with an ump who doesn't know or doesn't remember a rule or doesn't have partners to consult looks at the rule book.
 

DJnVa

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My favorite part of all this is that while for the one that dinged us, the ball's relation to the line matters, but in the case last night, it doesn't as a the midcourt line essentially becomes like a sideline and players can save ball until it touches something on that side.
 

The Gray Eagle

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Teams could run plays to avoid getting fouled in late game situation, maybe. Team A is inbounding and Team B wants to foul. Team A inbounds into the front court and their receiving player hits another player- who's lost their man- in the backcourt wherr they are able to burn much more time.
To me, this is all the more reason to get rid of the backcourt rule. The stupid intentional fouling sucks and anything that makes it harder is better.

Most sports have too many rules, and the backcourt violation rule is definitely one that they would be better off without IMO.

Look how many rules are in the rulebook over this backcourt violation concept:
NBA Rule Book:
a. A team’s frontcourt consists of that part of the court between its endline and the
nearer edge of the midcourt line, including the basket and inbounds part of the backboard.
b. A team’s backcourt consists of the entire midcourt line and the rest of the court to
include the opponent’s basket and inbounds part of the backboard.
c. A ball being held by a player: (1) is in the frontcourt if neither the ball nor the player
is touching the backcourt, (2) is in the backcourt if either the ball or player is touching the
backcourt.
d. A ball being dribbled is (1) in the frontcourt when the ball and both feet of the player
are in the frontcourt, (2) in the backcourt if the ball or either foot of the player is in the
backcourt.
e. The ball is considered in the frontcourt once it has broken the plane of the midcourt
line and is not in player control.
f. The team on offense must bring the ball across the midcourt line within 8 seconds.
EXCEPTION: (1) kicked ball, (2) punched ball, (3) personal or technical foul on the
defensive team, (4) delay-of-game warning on the defensive team or (5) infection control.
g. Frontcourt/backcourt status is not attained until a player with the ball has established
a positive position in either half during (1) a jump ball, (2) a steal by a defensive player,
(3) a throw-in in the last two minutes of the fourth period and last two minutes of any
overtime period or (4) any time the ball is loose.
And think about how many judgments the refs are required to make because of this rule.
All for what? Because it's harder to intentionally violate the rules at the end of the game when you are losing?
 

PedroKsBambino

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I think the only clear conclusion from all of this is Mark Davis is a bad official.
 

lovegtm

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Thanks for the video.

I’m surprised that no one has yet mentioned that, according to part (c) of the the rule, it’s not solely the ball breaking the plane that matters: Tatum also had to have lost contact with the backcourt (which he had, by jumping).

So Davis would have been correct, for the wrong reason...except that, in the video, the ball isn’t even across the halfway line.

Silver really needs to do a better job forcing these guys’ heads out of their asses. The subsequent upheld foul call on Theis was even worse.

To answer the original question: I’d be very happy if the refs consulted the rule book on the fly to get clarity on a rare edge case.
 

Over Guapo Grande

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I will admit that I have not played basketball competitively since I was the last guy off the bench on my Freshman bball team. But I am failing to see how this is a backcourt violation. The entire body is behind the half court line, and the ball is released in the back court. What am I missing? And I mean that sincerely, as in "what part of the rule am I not grasping?"

33221
 

HowBoutDemSox

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I will admit that I have not played basketball competitively since I was the last guy off the bench on my Freshman bball team. But I am failing to see how this is a backcourt violation. The entire body is behind the half court line, and the ball is released in the back court. What am I missing? And I mean that sincerely, as in "what part of the rule am I not grasping?"

View attachment 33221
Rule e quoted above says: "The ball is considered in the frontcourt once it has broken the plane of the midcourt line and is not in player control." Since Tatum has passed the ball, his position no longer matters, since the ball is no longer in his "control" (note that "control" of a ball by a player is not defined in the rulebook, only team control is, but that's apparently the interpretation) and once the ball, while in flight, has crossed the midcourt line even a milimeter, the ball is in the frontcourt, despite having been released while in the backcourt. Since Hayward caches it with his hands in the frontcourt, it crossed the plan of the midcourt while in flight, and since Hayward's hadn't stepped into the frontcourt, he was technically in the backcourt, touching a ball in the frontcourt.
 

Over Guapo Grande

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Rule e quoted above says: "The ball is considered in the frontcourt once it has broken the plane of the midcourt line and is not in player control." Since Tatum has passed the ball, his position no longer matters, since the ball is no longer in his "control" (note that "control" of a ball by a player is not defined in the rulebook, only team control is, but that's apparently the interpretation) and once the ball, while in flight, has crossed the midcourt line even a milimeter, the ball is in the frontcourt, despite having been released while in the backcourt. Since Hayward caches it with his hands in the frontcourt, it crossed the plan of the midcourt while in flight, and since Hayward's hadn't stepped into the frontcourt, he was technically in the backcourt, touching a ball in the frontcourt.
Thank you for breaking it down.