Ray Lutz

Most pendants agree that to be a great jump shooter one has to get his/her legs underneath them and get squared up to the basket.

The last shooting clinic I went to they made a point of “getting small and then ending the shot process tall.” The talked about compressing the knees or “springs” while getting squared up to the bucket and then exploding tall when the ball was released on the shot. This whole process needed to be done rhythmically.

From the officials perspective this “gathering” and “squaring up” process often presents some challenges. More and more players are using illegal movements to get themselves in their ideal shooting position.

Yes, they often travel during this process and they travel so smoothly and fluently that often officials are reticent to call the violation or in some cases are not even aware that a violation has occurred. And, that is understandable because there are often just some subtle differences between the legal and the illegal.

Legal…Catch the ball with one foot on the floor, then jump off that foot and land simultaneously on both feet.

Legal….Catch the ball in the air and land on two feet.

Illegal…Catch the ball with only the pivot foot on the floor, then step with the non-pivot foot and then slide the pivot foot over and reset it before shooting.

Illegal…Catch the ball with two feet on the floor and then “bunny hop” and land on two feet before shooting.

Don’t get me wrong here. I am not suggesting that you “knit pick” shooters. When in doubt the movement should always be ruled legal.

But, when the illegal movement is seen clearly and advantages are gained as far as “gathering’ and “facing up” the violation should be penalized.

Below are some video examples.

In the clip below the shooter catches the pass with his right foot as the pivot foot, then steps with his left foot and finally picks up his pivot foot and sets it down again and then shoots. This illegal move helps him square up to the basket and score.

In the following clip, the point guard catches the ball with his right foot as his pivot foot and the takes a step with his left foot and then picks up his pivot foot and sets it down again. He decides not to shoot but travels again, seconds later, with an illegal spin move and scores.

In this clip, the ball handler receives the ball with her left foot as the pivot foot, then steps with her right foot and then jumps off both feet and lands on both feet simultaneously. In this process, the shooter goes from inside the 3 point arc to outside the three-point arc.

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