Many block-charge plays are difficult to adjudicate. The key is knowing whether or not the defender involved established legal guarding position prior to contact. In the case of an airborne shooter and a block charge play, not only does the defender have to establish legal guarding position, he/she has to do it before the dribble driver leaves the floor.

The aspect of the airborne dribble driver and the block charge call that is so difficult is that the location where the offensive player leaves the floor and the location where the defender establishes legal guarding position are often several feet distant. The covering official cannot have his eyes at two different spots at the same time.

I have a default setting for these situations. My default setting is that on all bang-bang air borne block-charge plays the ruling is a charge. If the play is so close I cannot possible know for sure, i go charge. The reason I go charge is this. A charge call makes the game less physical.

Once dribble drivers know that they better have a clear path to the basket or they are going to end up with a foul, there are a lot more eight foot jumpers, more kick outs, more dishes to players left open by secondary defenders and fewer train wrecks, way fewer train wrecks.

However, if the bang-bang block charges are ruled blocks, dribble drivers are just going to come back for more knowing that they may get a bucket and a plus one. The result will be more train wrecks and more run overs resulting in a rougher more physical game.

Currently defenders cannot even look cross eyed at a dribbler without a foul being called, so i suggest officials don’t allow dribble drivers to just lower their head and plow through the defense and be awarded free throw for doing so. Often defenders give up their life to stop the dribble driver. Let’s reward them for great defense. Go charge on bangers!

If the play is clearly a block, rule it so, and if it is clearly a charge rule it so. But, if it is a “banger” or ‘tweener” or if it is “gray” rule it a charge. Your game will be better for it.

The clip below shows a really close block charge play involving an airborne shooter. The official rules a charge which in my view was the right call.

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