Friday, February 27, 2015

Block/Charge Calls

There has been a decent amount of chatter the past few days/weeks on the d3 boards about block/charge calls (not limited to the MIAA board).

In the two situations that stick in my mind, posters were debating calls that were whistled as blocks at the time that they think should have been charges. It wasn't whining about calls that didn't go their team's way, but more about discussing the ever-present gray area in the block/charge rule.

The NCAA tried to eliminate some of that gray area -- and open up space for offense -- with some changed and/or altered rules that were implemented before the 2014 season.

One of those is Rule 4, Section 17, Article 4 which defines legal guarding position. Here's point d:
When the opponent with the ball is airborne, the guard shall have attained legal guarding position before the opponent begins his upward motion with his hands/arms to shoot or pass.
The old rule was that defenders must establish legal guarding position prior to the shooter/passer leaving the playing surface. The new rule pushes that burden further ahead in time, to the point at which the shooter/passer has begun "upward motion with his hands/arms". Back when the rule was new, Coach Vande Streek mentioned in an interview that this would be interpreted to be a player's gather.

So, anyway, here's a couple of screen shots from last night's MIAA Semifinal between Calvin and Alma. This particular call had the Alma contingent (including coach Hargraves) up in arms (and, to be fair, I would have been the same way), but it looks to be a pretty clear by-the-book block call (click to embiggen).

Doug Bradfield was in the middle of the lane, sliding over to defend Jordan Brink. He ended up receiving the blocking foul, for his fifth and final foul of the game. Please excuse the play button symbols in the middle of the shots

The picture on the left is Brink preparing to shoot. He has stopped dribbling and is in the process of bringing the ball up high to shoot. Bradfield is not yet in position.

The picture on the right is the point of contact. Bradfield has obviously moved his feet between the two pictures (it's easy to see because his shoes are the darker maroon color).

It would be a lot closer -- and maybe go the other way -- if we were to take a snapshot of the moment Brink jumped from the court, but that is no longer the reference point.

In this particular case, our MIAA official friends got the call 100% correct.

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