A coach made an interesting observation at a recent mandatory coaches rules meeting that I was involved with. He noted that in Rule 10-6-12 (the new article added this year) only talks about contact on the dribbler that involves hands or forearms. He noted that 10-6-12 said nothing about the belly bump.

He went on to say that now the only thing left to play defense with is the feet and the belly.

Earlier I had thought RSBQ was an outdated philosophy when it came to defending the ball handler. I think the four acts outline in 10-6-12 eliminated the need to apply RSBQ because now they are automatic fouls.

But, the coaches observation that the belly bump was not included in 10-6-12 leads me to now think that RSBQ is still a viable officiating guideline or philosophy when it comes to defending the ball handler when there is contact with the defenders body. We as officials have the latitude to decide whether contact with the belly initiated by the defender affects the dribble drivers rhythm, speed, balance, quickness or agility. If it does call a foul. If it doesn’t rule the contact incidental.

I think we need to be mindful that often it may be the dribble driver that initiates contact that may occur on the defenders torso. In this instance we must decide whether the offensive player’s contact caused displacement or separation and if so, call a player control foul. If not rule the contact incidental.

Below is a play where the defender has her hands in clear sight for the official to see ( a good coaching technique to try and sell the official that all is legal) but there is some body contact. Applying RSBQ to this play, however, it would seem to me that there was no foul.

Here is 10-6 ART. 12

The following acts constitute a foul when committed against a ball handler/dribbler:

a. Placing two hands on the player.
b. Placing an extended arm bar on the player.
c. Placing and keeping a hand on the dribbler.
d. Contacting the player more than once with the same hand or alternating hands.

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