Basketball questions

I’ve been watching my fair share of basketball during the playoffs — very exciting, compelling series so far, despite the injuries. However, I have a few questions:

  1. Why do you have to hand the ball to the ref before you throw it in? Wouldn’t it be much more exciting to let players throw it in as soon as they can get a ball, like a soccer throw in? Teams are allowed to do this after a made basket already. Add another commercial break to balance out the faster pace if that’s what it takes.
  2. Why can you only draw a charge if you stay on the ground and fall over? The offensive player can draw a foul while jumping and keeping his feet, why not the defense? If the defender jumps, the best case is a no call. Referees have a big say at the end of basketball games, but it’s not a bigger say than baseball umpires, for example, who must make every ball and strike call. I think one of the reasons people persecute basketball refs (besides the Tim Donaghy scandal) is that the foul rules aren’t especially consistent.
  3. Why do teams get so many timeouts, especially in the first half? They have lots of practiced plays that they can signal in from the sideline. I suppose that the endgame timeout flurries increase the tension on those individual plays, but the downtime in between is no fun, and I bet the rest of the game seems less important by comparison. Again, if we need a couple more evenly spaced TV timeouts or sponsors on the jerseys to compensate, I’m fine with that.

These are my questions. Do you have any answers?

2 responses to “Basketball questions

  1. 1. I agree. As long as it hasn’t touched anyone/anything, it should be ready for a quick throw. However, few balls just go out of bounds without touching people on the sidelines.

    2. Charging in the NBA has gotten ridiculous… why is a defender rewarded for standing still and not doing anything instead of making an earnest attempt at a block??

    3. Not sure what your argument is here… teams have 6 timeouts for the whole game, they just get 1 20-second timeout per half. I don’t think 6 is excessive, especially since 2 or 3 get used to regroup the team…

  2. Thanks for the comments Dan. A couple responses:

    1. I thought a bit about this one – rugby requires that no one else touches it, but not soccer. I think I like the soccer rule better, with ball boys as needed. The rugby rule is mostly because the alternative option (a set lineout) gives the defender team a good chance of stealing I think, so it’s a big advantage to do it quickly.

    3. Doesn’t 7 possible timeouts seem like a lot? No other team sport has more than 3 I believe, and some have none.

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