Friday, February 24, 2012

About that technical foul on Appling

When Keith Appling received a technical foul for hanging on the rim during Tuesday's, Twitter lit up.

Yes, it was a foul based on how officials are calling things, but is it a dumb rule?

According to the NCAA rule bookPlayers should not be permitted to hang on or grasp the basket ring in an  excessive, emphatic manner during dunks when there is no possibility of a resulting injury occurring. The intent of the rule does not permit a player to hold the ring and lift his or her body or legs, or in general, hang on or grasp the ring for emphasis. This is especially true for a player who dunks the ball on a breakaway or when no defender is nearby. Injuries, sometimes serious, can occur as a result of grasping/hanging on the ring. Game delays also result when damaged equipment must be fixed or replaced. When there is no obvious injury circumstance to be avoided by grasping/hanging on the ring, doing so in an emphatic matter is a (men) CLASS B and (women) Player/Substitute technical foul.

When you watch Appling's dunk, he pulls himself up as he swings back. Was he showboating? No, he wasn't. He was just trying to get back on defense. But when any player pulls himself up, he's going to get a technical foul, even if it's part of his swinging motion. The same thing happened the night before in the Kentucky/Mississippi State game.

In my opinion, the officials need to relax on calling these plays technical fouls. If I guy does a chin-up or something that is clearly excessive, then call it. Neither Appling nor Davis had any intent on showboating. They're just trying to prevent their swinging momentum from resulting in them falling on their back, like this.

Speaking of the NBA, professional players have the same rule regarding hanging on the rim, but it's not enforced the same way. See this.

I mean, that's about as blatant as you can get in terms of hanging. But James isn't doing a chin-up or anything. He's just swinging himself back to he can land and get back on defense. And NBA players hang on the rim every day. Although this following play was the exact same as James and was called.

I know you don't want to break the rim and cause a delay, but Dwyane Wade's pre-game ritual isn't causing any problems.

In conclusion, yes, Appling's technical foul was deserved based on him pulling himself up and the NCAA precedent. When you pull yourself up, you're going to get the technical foul call. That needs to change. It wasn't in an excessive way that he was showing off. The NCAA officials need to relax on calling those technical fouls, realizing that 1) Dunking is hard and most of these refs have probably never done it. 2) You're probably going to be swinging, so you might need to hang on. 3) In most of these cases, players aren't trying to show off.

And since we mentioned breaking rims,

1 comment:

  1. How about Evan Turner breaking his back on the exact same dunk when he let go immediately? That right there is enough to tell the refs to have discretion in these situations.