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  • Every player fill a space on the court, this space is enclosed in an imaginary cylinder starting from feet, just large then shoulders, according his height. Cylinder extends above the player or down his feet, if he’s on air for a vertical jump. If no player, with his cylinder, fills the space adjacent to another opponent, the player may extend legs and arms outside his cylinder, but he will be charged of any contact occurred.


What happened: 3red receive from throw in, closely guarded from 13black. With his back to defender, 3red with right arm low swings elbow towards the torso of 13black, then spinning on the pivot foot 3red turns in his cylinder hitting with the left elbow the face of the opponent. Trail referee calls an offensive foul of 3red. Referee “whispers” something to 13black before making the signals. Play resume with a black throw in on the side line.

Considerations:  during the first try of swinging elbow by 3red, because of the close distance between cylinders, we may configure a T foul situation – no contact!  (RT 36.3.1 dot 6, Int. FIBA 2014 -2nd edition Feb 2015 punto 36-20).  Instead in the second one, excessive swinging elbow, lifted on the head of opponent cause a contact on his face, making necessary a call for a foul.

Conclusions: Personal foul charged against 3red (offensive foul) seems too light related to the type of contact. The contact should have been charged with an unsportsmanlike foul, not excessively hard but dangerous for player safety (eyes, nose, cheekbones are “fragile” zones on which offend!). The call of an unsportsmanlike foul can stop the rise of rough play and revenge feelings of the leading actors of the game. Well done, when referee “whispers” to 13black to don’t fake the effect of contact, for burning passions of players and attendants. Throw-in had to be made from base line, not from side line, in fact the foul occurs in the imaginary area between baseline e free throw line (trapezoidal area).

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