There were no real significant rule changes to the National Federation rule code this season. However, often the big rules changes come under the guise of “editorial changes.” And so it was this season.
As you may recall last year rule 4-19 was changed to reflect that there was now team control on a throw-in. Team control on a throw-in then also affected, not only the team control rule, but it also impacted the back court rule and even the three second rule.
The rules makers did not do a good job last year explaining just how long team control existed on the throw-in or how it related to the backcourt rule. This year they tried to clarify further. See below.
A team-control foul is a common foul committed by a member of the team that has team control (including a member of the throw-in team from the start of the throw-in until player control is obtained inbounds.
So, Team A has control even though the throw in has ended, until a Team A member on the court gains player control or until a player of Team B gets player control .
Consider this Team Control play.
A1 has the ball at her disposal for a throw-in on the sideline. (Team A has team control.) The throw-in pass is batted away by B2, (The throw-in ends) and as A2 and B2 try to gain possession of the ball, A2 fouls B2. Team B is in the bonus. The official awards B2 bonus free throws. Is the official correct?
Answer: No, A2 has committed a Team control foul. Team A was still in Team Control.
Consider this Backcourt play.
A2 has player control in front court and passes the ball to A3. A3 tips the pass into backcourt where A3 is the first to touch it. Official rules this play a violation. Is the official correct?
Now consider this play.
A2 has the ball at her disposal for a throw-in from out of bounds on the sideline in front court. A2 passes to A3 who is in front court. A3 muffs the throw-in and the ball rolls into back court where A3 is the first to touch the ball. The official rules a backcourt violation. Is the official correct?
Comment: There is a subtle difference between team control out of bounds in front court and having team control in front court.
A player shall not be the first to touch the ball after it has been in player and team control in the front court, if he/she or a teammate last touched or was touched by the ball in the front court before it went to the backcourt.