Dave Hall Officiating encourages all officials to “stay the course” where illegal contact is concerned. This is the second year of the four “absolutes” or automatics fouls that are committed against the ball handler as detailed in 10-6-12.

For many, many years Rule 10-6, also known as the “contact rule,” had 11 articles. Last season article 12 was added to the rule book. It was short, sweet and powerful.

Article 12 in essence rang the death knell for the long time basketball officiating philosophy known as RSBQ.
The philosophy of RSBQ asked officials to judge on the intensity of the contact by whether the ball handler’s rhythm, speed, balance or quickness was significantly impaired. The NFHS rules committee decided in 2014 that officials did not do a good enough job applying the RSBQ philosophy and took away all judgment when it came to illegal contact on the ball handler.

Here is Article 12 for your review. Note the new verbiage referencing the post player.

The following acts constitute a foul when committed against a ball handler/dribbler. A player becomes a ball handler when he/she receives the ball. This would include a player in a post position.

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

So, now when the post player receives the ball officials need to think of her/him as a ball handler. Hands off!

“Constitute a foul.” That phrase took away any judgment and commands officials to enforce the rule literally as written. It is a challenge and takes constant vigilance of the official’s part.

Call the fouls and players and coaches will adjust. The adjustment was often painful last season. It should be less painful this season. Freedom of Movement on the basketball court, for both the offense and the defense is currently the big focus by rules makers.

Let’s make sure we do our part to keep the high school game, a game of finesse and skill, and not let it become a game of purely strength and physicality.

ray lutz

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