I saw this play just before Christmas break. Team A had the ball for a throw in in front court. A1 throws the ball toward A2 but B1 deflects the ball into back court. B1 and A2 both chase after the ball. In the process A2 pushes B1 and is called for a foul. Team B is in the bonus. The officials awarded B1 a bonus free throw.

In discussing this situation after the game, the covering official said that the throw-in ended when B1 touched the ball. He was correct, but Team B never gained team control. Team A was still in control, hence A2’s foul was a team control foul.

Thinks of this situation this way. Team A is in control during the throw in and remains in control until they try for goal or team B gets control. That is until a team B player is holding or dribbling the ball.


Here is a similar situation that happens more often then you would think. I have seen this situation twice already this season, once at the high school level and once at the collegiate level.

A1 is dribbling near the division line, when B1 tips the ball away and it rolls into the back court. A1 and B1 go after the errant ball and some 20 feet into back court A1 pushes B1 in an attempt to recover the ball. A1 is charged with a foul. Team B is in the bonus and in both cases that I witnessed Team B was awarded a bonus free throw attempt. In both cases it should have been ruled a team control foul charged to A1.

Again, keep in mind a Team who is in control stays in control until they shoot the ball or until team B gets control. In the situation above Team B touched the ball but never gained team control. In other words no Team B player held the ball or dribbled it, they simply batted it away from A1.


Below is a play that I saw the first weekend of high school play. The official tosses the ball to begin play. A1 taps it to A2 who leaps into the air and catches it above his head. As soon as A1 lands on the floor, B1 slapped the ball away from A2 who was still holding the ball above his head and team B gained control of the ball. The official score keeper set the AP arrow in favor of Team A.

Since Team A was the first to gain control of the tap, Team B should have been given the first AP arrow. The officials never caught the error.

I didn’t stay for that whole game, but if the game was close near the end and there was a held ball and the arrow favored team A, it would have favored Team B had the arrow been set correctly to begin the game. It conceivably could have made a difference.


Team A has a throw in from the sideline in front court at the free throw line extended. A1’s throw in lodges between the rim and the backboard.

The officials resume play using the alternating possession arrow. Were the officials correct?

I saw this play in a junior high game in November. It is one of those scenarios that we call ‘straight our of the test” plays. The officials were not correct. This is a throw in violation and results in a throw in for Team B at the original throw in location.

Had this been a shot or a pass that lodged between the basket ring and backboard, and not a throw in, then play would be resumed by the AP arrow.


Here is a weird one I saw a couple of weeks ago in a freshman game. A1 has a bonus free throw coming. The official bounces the ball to A1, turns his back and walks out of the lane. A1 muffs the bounced pass from the official and the official doesn’t see the muff because he has his backed turned. When the official turned around A1 was in the lane picking up the ball. The official ruled a free throw violation on A1 and gave the ball to Team B.

Case book ruling 9.1.1 states that if the free thrower muffs the pass from the official, the official should sound his/her whistle and start the free throw process over again with out any violation being called. This same administrative philosophy applies to throw-ins as well.

In contrast, if the free thrower catches the ball and thereafter fumbles the ball and it goes into the lane a free throw violation would be called.

This is a good example of why the administering official doesn’t want to turn their back to the thrower but may be better served by backing out.

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