Within the basket!


00:12.2 in the 4th quarter Red 87-85 White. The second free throw by 22white bounce on the ring when 8white taps the ball in the basket. Trail and centre refs grant 2pts for tie the game. The game clock starts late and stops after 2.9”. The referees stop the game and they go to the official’s table to review the play at IRS monitor. After some reviews and one minute they correct the value of the basket in 1pt. Red Coach requests a time-out and after it the game resumes with a throw-in red in frontcourt with 00:12.2 on the game clock.

This is a very interesting situation with many articles of the rules involved. The decision of the referees even if should be shared according to common sense is totally in crash with the rules. Let’s proceed with order:

  • The offensive player can tap the ball within the basket – isn’t goaltending
  • The tap by 8white is legal, the clock must start!
  • A part of the ball is inside the Basket when 8white taps!
  • The value of the basket is 1pt, because the ball is already within the basket!
  • According 2pts instead 1pt is a correctable error!
  • The refs can’t review IRS to establish if the basket counts 1 or 2pts!
  • The IRS protocol allows the review only for 2 or 3pts basket! (FIBA must think to change it)
  • The game clock must be stopped when the ball exit from the net!
  • The refs may review IRS to establish the time elapsed from the tap by 8white to when the ball exit from the net!
  • The time on the game clock must be correct – not 00:09.3, neither 00.12.2
  • The referees must change the value of basket from 2 to 1pt if the error is discover!
  • The game resume with red throw-in at the throw-in line in frontcourt and 14” on the shot clock!

So if the result is partly correct, 1pt granted to team white, we think that the way followed to take the final decision is not correct. Referees must know the rules and they must use them, although sometimes the rules go in an opposite direction from then common sense or sense of justice. Referees may doubt of the value of the basket and they have to match themselves on what’s happened; they also can review IRS to establish the correct time to play, then decide to correct the erroneous awarding of a point and correct with the help of IRS the elapsed time of play. If during the review of the play they add new information (confirm) that the ball was inside the basket or not the decision will be more correct. We think it would be necessary: by FIBA, to correct and explain better the IRS protocol, that now is full of holes and traps; by referees, to know better rules and protocols, and to use one or both when it’s allowed!

Last but not least: the TV commentator told their (wrong) opinion, then they change opinion, but they explain the rule wrongly; is not allowed to any person, like the man behind the table looking the IRS monitor, to suggest the value (1pt) of the basket!

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