Apparently, the NCAA rules committee is no different than you and I when it comes to watching officiating in college basketball, specifically in the paint. Yesterday, in an official release from the No Consistency At All organization, the committee expressed its frustration in the way blocking and charging fouls were called last college basketball season. It is a complaint we voiced over and over and over and over again after watching countless questionable charges called on Marquis Teague and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.
To help address the issue, the committee approved guidelines that are supposed to help the officials, I guess.
— Before the offensive player (with the ball) becomes airborne, the defender must have two feet on the floor, be facing the opponent and be stationary to draw a charge. Otherwise it should be a blocking foul.
— Secondary defenders (help defenders) moving forward or to the side are also in violation, and these should be blocking fouls.
— Contact that is “through the chest” is not de facto proof of a charge. The rule in its entirety must be considered before determining a foul.
— In some cases, it appears that a defender is being rewarded solely for being outside the arc, without considering the other aspects of the rules.
The rules committee plans to continue to work over the next year to improve the consistency of calls made around the charge circle. The circle made its college basketball debut in the 2011-12 season and it was clear that it was an advantage for the defense, despite being implemented for the offensive player. Officials were looking to the defender’s feet, instead of the play, and then rewarding them with a charge call if they were outside of the circle on collisions during drives to the basket.
The committee is looking to give the benefit of the doubt back to the offensive player on 50/50 plays and to prevent defenders from sliding into position underneath an already airborne player.
We’ll let them slide with the poor officiating last year, considering the circle was new and everyone was just adapting to its influence on the game. But there is no excuse next season. I don’t want to see an Alex Poythress poster going the other way because Chane Behanan had his heels outside the circle.
Get it right, stripes.