One way to the locker room!


What happens: 15grey complains hardly with the referee after an offensive foul called (hooking – 3rd player foul). The referee calls technical foul against 15grey (4th player foul).During the free throw, 15grey stays in the middle of the court looking the referee waiting on the center line for the next throw in. To avoid any problem, grey team’s coach decides to substitute 15grey. Anyway, 15grey continues his bad behavior also from the bench, mimicking a fainting; after that, trail and center referees call another technical foul against 15grey. After a speech between two referees 15grey is disqualified (call and signal). The clip does not show how the game resumed after the penalties called: we will analyze the different possibilities to resume the match later on.

Communication: referees’ signals are a powerful tool of communication; anyway, the signals are inefficient if they are proposed in a hasty and superficial way, or if the referees invent some signal during the match. If some signals are omitted and someone are non-standard, everything becomes incomprehensible or interpretable. We mean: during the substitution, referee makes substitution signal (RB fig7), forgetting the beckoning-in for change of status of player/substitute and vice versa (RB fig8). During the substitutions of 20 and 15grey,  substitutes always enter before players leave the court. Obviously 20 e 15grey became substitutes when are in the bench area. When both referees call the 2nd technical foul after signal (RB fig49) they use their right hand to intimate 15grey to go to the locker room (this is not conventional signal). When a player is ejected for his 2nd individual technical foul, the correct signal to be shown is (RB fig51) clenched fists on both hands. In the video this signal is shown after, together with a referees’ call: does it add a new penalty?

Penalties: penalty for offensive foul is: possession orange, deleted by the successive penalty for T foul 15grey (RB art.42) – this is clear! From now on, we must focus on the referees’ signals, during the dead ball and the substitutions, to understand if when the second technical foul is called: 15grey is a player or a substitute?

  • Player: the video does not show the signal (RB fig8). If 15grey is still a player, the second technical foul is charged again to 15grey, that must be disqualified for the rest of the game, without any other penalty added to anybody; on the scoresheet after T1+T1 a GD must be recorded. Game resumes with another 1 free throw and possession for orange team.
  • Substitute: looking the position of players and substitutes, 20 e 15grey in the bench area are substitutes (despite nobody made signal –RB fig8-). Therefore the technical foul called by the referees during the dead ball, will be charged to Coach grey (RB art 36.4.1 2nd dot): this foul doesn’t count in team penalties in the period and the penalty is 1 free throw and possession for orange team. The following signal of clenched fists on both hands (and call), disqualifies 15grey as substitute and determines another penalty charged to Coach grey (B1 recorded on scoresheet – 2nd in the game). After ejection, a D recorded on the scoresheet (RB B.8.3.10) individual fouls of 15grey. Game resumes with one (more) free throws and possession for orange team. If Coach grey was charged before of one T foul (B1 or C1) also him should been ejected (GD recorded on the scoresheet), without any other penalty added!

Considerations: generally any call generates a penalty, but when a double/triple call are on the same infraction we charge only one foul/violation and one penalty: therefore the simultaneous technical foul called by trail and center generate one penalty only. This situation is complex: it is not easy to manage and explain what happened to the players and the bench personnel. In addition, the unconventional signals contribute to create confusion! Counting the calls (and signals in different moments) penalties may be three: T foul to 15gray player, T foul to 15grey substitute (charged on Coach), D foul to 15grey substitute (charged on Coach): then 1+1+1 free throws and possession ball orange.

Conclusions: what do they do?

  • the easiest solution: was to eject 15grey (substitute) when in the bench area he waves disrespectful. T foul charged on Coach grey recording on the scoresheet B1  and D on 15grey individual fouls. 1 free throw and possession orange.
  • the practice solution and so close to what happens on court: T foul to 15grey (substitute). T foul charged on Coach grey recording on the scoresheet B1. 1 free throw an possession orange. 15grey (4 individual fouls) will be part of the game at the next opportunity for grey team.
  • the complex solution, connected to the number of calls and signals makes from referees. T foul and D foul for 15grey substitute, charged on Coach grey (B1 and B1), D on individual fouls of 15grey.
  • the technical error solution or else: ejection of 15grey for two individual T foul, recorded on the scoresheet as T1 +T1 and GD!

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