Blog Entry

Will refs be punished again for botched call?

Posted on: December 31, 2011 1:55 pm
Edited on: December 31, 2011 2:02 pm
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By Matt Norlander



That's how Wagner defeated Santa Clara Friday night in the nation's oldest regular-season tournament, Santa Clara's Cable Car Classic. There is no dispute: the Seahawks' basket should not have counted.

First of all, before the game-winning shot is launched by Kenny Ortiz, the ball appears to land on the out-of-bounds line. The angle's not great, so it can be disputed, and if you'd like to do that, I won't fight you. But after that no-call, the circus shot -- fun as it is to watch -- should not count. From fifth-grade officiating on up, every stripe should and does know that if the ball falls through the hoop but has to take the roundabout way of travelling from behind the backboard to get there: no points.

If I'm breaking out rules, articles and sections, you know it's serious. Nonetheless, here it is, straight from the official rulebook. Rule 9, Section 3, Article 2, in all its succinct glory:
"The ball shall be out of bounds when any part of the ball passes over the backboard from any direction."
Go ahead and watch it again. Yep, Rule 9, Section 3, Article 2 is most definitely violated. Doesn't much matter, as Santa Clara is now
8-5 and Wagner's stellar season improves to 10-3. It was a 64-62 final; overtime should have been held.

Going forward, the question is, will the West Coast Conference punish its officials for costing a team a game for neglecting a fairly obvious rule?

It's happened before at the Cable Car Classic. Three years ago, in fact, and it was over a rule much less well-known. In 2008, coach Kerry Keating and Santa Clara were on the good end of a botched outcome. The Broncos defeated UTEP after John Bryant hit a game-winning shot. Only Bryant was subbed in after an inadvertent stoppage of time by the officials. With less than a minute remaining, such a substitution isn't allowed.

Bryant, of all people, had to be the one to give Santa Clara the W. UTEP didn't protest -- because it didn't know the rule either. The league reviewed it a few days later, and sure enough, that officiating crew was suspended for one game.

WCC director of officials Dave Libbey was at Friday night's Wagner-Santa Clara game. He knows what happened and he knows it was wrong. The league has yet to offer a retraction or apology. That should come soon, Monday at the latest. And if the league's going to be consistent with disciplining erroneous calls, the three officials from Friday night's game -- Mark Cook, Michael Rapp and Tony Padilla -- deserve to sit a game as well.

The Broncos move on with their season, looking ahead to conference play, but they're still owed a public apology for having a win against a good team ripped from away from them due to an egregious stripes oversight.
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Comments

Since: Mar 7, 2010
Posted on: January 2, 2012 11:16 am
 

Will refs be punished again for botched call?

Its not impossible at all, because the basketball hit the front of the iron, look at the clip again. If you replaced the backboard with a 100-foot-tall sheet of glass that extended to the ceiling, the basketball would not have touched it. He didn't shoot from behind the basket, he shot from out of the lane and it hit front iron. It is pretty obvious that the ball did not go over the backboard.

The only way the bucket shouldn't count is if it bounced out of bounds on the miss, which I admit might have happened, the video is unclear on that.



Since: Mar 7, 2010
Posted on: January 2, 2012 11:13 am
 

Will refs be punished again for botched call?

Its not impossible at all, because the basketball hit the front of the iron, look at the clip again. If you replaced the backboard with a 100-foot-tall sheet of glass that extended to the ceiling, the basketball would not have touched it. He didn't shoot from behind the basket, he shot from out of the lane and it hit front iron. It is pretty obvious that the ball did not go over the backboard.
The only way the bucket shouldn't count is if it bounced out of bounds on the miss, which I admit might have happened, the video is unclear on that.



Since: Jan 1, 2012
Posted on: January 1, 2012 8:05 pm
 

Will refs be punished again for botched call?

How can you say that it didn't go over the backboard Northjayhawk? It's just the camera angle and the trajectory of the shot that makes it look like it's wide of the backboard in the video. It's impossible to shoot a ball from where he did without it going over the backboard because of the angle. And I'm not sure how the ball "sort of curved around the corner," I haven't heard of anyone shooting a curveball in basketball before



Since: Jan 1, 2012
Posted on: January 1, 2012 7:39 pm
 

Will refs be punished again for botched call?

i've watched it multiple times and i agree with you northjayhawk. that was the right call. it just looks a little worse because he was falling out of bounds. i still say the rule should be from inside the lane only. a jumper from the baseline close to the lane can be a rainbow shot that also should still be allowed. hopefully those officials are not suspended for the call. that would be wrong.



Since: Mar 7, 2010
Posted on: January 1, 2012 4:25 pm
 

Will refs be punished again for botched call?

It was not a botched call. The ball did not go over the backboard.



Since: Mar 7, 2010
Posted on: January 1, 2012 4:03 pm
 

Will refs be punished again for botched call?

Matt, why do you believe the ball went over the backboard? I know the announcers are screaming that it did, but watch the clip. It did not. For the ball to be dead, it has to break the plane formed from the top of the backboard to the ceiling. The basketball did not break that plane. It almost did, but the clip clearly shows that the ball sort of curved around the corner before bouncing in.

The only controversy is whether the missed shot hit the back or the side, but assuming it hit the side of the backboard, the refs made the right call on the follow-up game-winning shot.



Since: Jan 1, 2012
Posted on: January 1, 2012 2:45 pm
 

Will refs be punished again for botched call?

Why would anyone expect Dave Libbey to do the right thing and admit his guys blew it ?



Since: Jan 1, 2012
Posted on: January 1, 2012 11:14 am
 

Will refs be punished again for botched call?

if that is the rule, then it needs to be more specific. that basket in no way should be disallowed. it would be impossible for an official to make that judgement call in a split second decision. i know they can review, but that player was outside the lane and falling out of bounds. you can pick several angles outside the lane, on the baseline, that could have made shots taken away. that was an awesome shot and it would be no different than heaving up any other last minute prayer of a shot unless it was in the lane and behind the backboard. just my opinion.



Since: Apr 19, 2008
Posted on: December 31, 2011 6:41 pm
 

Will refs be punished again for botched call?

Wasn't there a shot like that made in a UCLA game a few years ago that counted? Honestly, I believe that the backboard is there to be used by the shooter. If you're going to use it as an obstacle to get the ball overand into the rim then use it as one by all means, lol.



Since: Oct 22, 2009
Posted on: December 31, 2011 5:52 pm
 

Will refs be punished again for botched call?

Interesting article.

I'm suprised there are no protest procedures for NCAA basketball, there are protest procedures for other sports.  If it's an incorrect rule interpretation (not a judgement call), the coach, protests, the rule is looked up, and if a call needs to be reversed by language out of the book, it is, right there on the spot.  If it's open to further interpretation, then it goes to the rules committee. 

Seems like an appropriate application here.


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