2017 - 2018 SEASON
With Veteran Long Island Official Skip Yutzler
Commonly Misunderstood Rule Situations

Play 1 - The ball is in control of Team A in their front court. Guard A-1 attempts a pass to teammate A-2 near the division line at mid-court. Defender B-1 reaches in and deflects the pass which then hits A-2 in the hand and heads for the back court. The official does NOT blow his whistle when the ball first touches the floor in the back court. Is this correct?

Answer: YES. There is no back court violation at this point. It is simply a situation in which either team can attempt to get to the ball first. If a Team B player is first to touch the ball, it is legal and that player can grab the ball and hustle down to score. If a Team A player is first to touch the ball, the official will then sound his whistle and call a “back court violation” against Team A. The confusion that occurs is that everyone in the gym knows that the deflection by B-1 probably “caused” the ball to go into the back court, but it is the last touch by A-2 that, by rule, is “deemed” to have caused the ball to go into the back court.  

Play 2- Player A-3 from Team A has the ball out of bounds for a throw in on the end line under their basket. Under intense defensive pressure by Team B, A-3 fires a bullet pass to teammate A-2. The ball hits A-2 in the front court and then goes directly into the back court where it is caught by teammate A-1. The official does NOT blow his whistle even though Team A caught the ball in their back court after being last touched by A-2 in his front court. Is this correct?

Answer: YES. There is no “team control” on any throw in. Therefore, even though the ball was touched by A-3 in his team’s front court, there is still no team control and therefore no back court violation in this situation. NOTE: This ONLY applies to situations involving the throw in and control relative to front court and back court situations. If there is a foul committed by the offense, the in-bounding team is deemed to be in team control on the throw in. As a result, the foul would be considered a “team control foul” for that situation only and no free throws would be awarded.

Play 3 - Offensive player A-5 is playing in the low post area. He catches a lob pass from his teammate and then pivots to attempt a shot. He is immediately off balance as a result of jumping at an awkward angle. His attempt to shoot is clearly weak and off line. Realizing that the shot will miss everything, A-5 hustles around his defender and catches the shot. He then banks in a lay up for a score. Is this legal?

Answer: YES. As long as the official judges that A-5 made a “legitimate try for goal,” once the ball has been released, ANY player (including A-5) is free to grab the missed shot and continue from that point. There is no violation. The player did not “pass to himself” and it is legal for him to grab his own missed shot and play on.

Play 4 - Substitute player A-6 is beckoned into the game by the official during a dead ball. He is observed to be wearing an undershirt beneath his regular game jersey. The game jersey is RED while the undershirt is WHITE. The official directs A-6 to the bench area to remove the WHITE undershirt. Is this correct?

Answer: YES. The undershirt must match the prevailing color of the jersey. The official is correct to deny entry into the game by the substitute in this situation.

Play 5 - A-5 is at the free throw line to attempt the 2nd of two free throws. After the release of his free throw attempt, but before the ball contacts the goal, teammate A-3 who was standing just outside the 3 point arc sprints in to try to secure a rebound if the free throw shot should miss. Is this legal?

Answer: NO. ALL players who are NOT lined up along the free throw lane must remain outside the 3 point arc with the same restrictions as the free throw shooter. That is, they cannot break the plane of the 3 point arc until the ball strikes the goal.

Play 6 - Player A-3 is chasing down a loose ball that is headed out of bounds. He jumps from the inbounds area of the court, catches the ball in mid-air and verbally yells for “time out” before landing out of bounds. The official recognizes the request and grants the time out, Is this legal?

Answer: YES, but only in High School (not in NCAA) After the time out, it will be Team A’s ball for a throw in at the spot nearest to where the ball was at the time of the request.

This column is dedicated to helping readers of longislandbasketball.com among the most knowledgeable fans in the country. If you have a question or play that you wish to have clarified, send it in to our website and we will get the answer for you.
Ask The Ref !

Do you have a question?
 Have you seen a play you didn't understand? Was there a controversy you'd like clarified? Send your questions in and I'll do my best to get you an answer!

Skip Yutzler
IAABO Board 127 
46 Years High School and Junior College Official
Selected 5 times to officiate at the
 New York State High School Championships