Article 33. No Charge Area
This is a new inception. The areas are the semi-circles each with a radius of 1.25 meters drawn measured from the centre points immediately below the centre of the baskets to the inner edges of the semi-circles.
The term used “No Charge Area” would instantly draw fear to the defenders. All these years FIBA Rules on “Block or Charge” basing on the principle on legal or illegal defense are crystal -clear. Even that the calls on “Block or Charge” can be very subjective, which have often invited rebuts from the coaches.
Previous rules interpretations were consistent as the principle on “Block or Charge” is uniformly applied through the court. Why then create a “No Charge Area” now? The little itself has already created a bias against good defense. On the other hand, the offensive player would be driving into the area more aggressively towards the basket, provided no illegal contacts are committed by the offensive or defensive player who is within the no charge area. Then the no charge rule is applied. Here it is very clear that in the previous rule the application or call is automatic as the principle is effective anywhere on the court.
The introduction of the no charge area is deemed to make basketball game less dramatic instead of improving it. The coach may consider that it would be a disadvantage to have the defense at this area and has to plan its strategy on defense outside the area. Also taking into consideration that more casualties would sustain on legal or illegal contacts taking place here.
FIBA has dwelled on this article in great details as given in the rule interpretations. It has brought about additional responsibilities to the Referees as it would take sometimes to understand its principles especially the new FIBA Referees.
This rule may be good for NBA which is exclusively for the Professionals. As FIBA caters for all levels of championships, it is definitely not feasible for the Junior Boys or Girls (Cadets).From the explanations above, it would not be a good rule for the FIBA World.
Article 29. Twenty-four Seconds
This rule has undergone a significant change that best be addressed in its segment. First, the 24-second clock shall start when the ball is touched by any player (offensive or defensive) on the court, and the team of the player making the throw-in remains in control of the ball. The difference compare to the previous rule is “control.” The clock starts only when a player gains control of a live ball on the court. This change calls for more attention in operation of the 24-second clock as both the game clock and the 24 second clock will start simultaneously when during the throw-in by the player the ball is legally touched by any player in the court. The change has no tactical implication on the game.
The major change is on the resulting throw-in to be administered in the team frontcourt by the team that previously had control of the ball after the defensive player had committed a foul. When there is 14 seconds or more displayed on the 24 second clock at the time the game was stopped, the 24 second clock shall not be reset but continue from whatever time left on the clock. Under the same situation if 13 seconds or less was displayed on the 24-second clock, it shall be reset to 14 seconds. This concept is interesting and makes the game more dramatic. With either 14 seconds less than 24 seconds left for the offensive team, careful strategy set up for better offensive coordination is required. The momentum of the offensive too shall be maintained and thus speed up the game.
The defensive team has gained an advantage in good defense and would apply every effort to stop the offensive at half court (team backcourt). By delaying the offense, it gains time to strengthen defense.
The rule provides a distinct difference in the 24 seconds timer reset for the backcourt and frontcourt under the same situation as above. With this change the 24-second device must have the element to include the 14 seconds reset button. In addition, to program the 24 second clocks to include the 14 seconds display feature. FIBA has gone in great depth in its rule interpretations quoting the various examples for implementation.
There are other minor changes to the rules for the consistency in application as a result of the research and development carried out by FIBA.
These articles include:
Article 4: Other equipment that players are not authorized to wear including the display of commercial materials.
Article 8: An interval of play ends; beginning and end of a period or the game.
Article 16: Shot taken in the Final Three-Tenths of a second in a period.
Article 20: Forfeit that applies as a more severe penalty. The team shall be disqualified and the results of all the games played by the team shall be nullified as a result of the second forfeit.
Article 28: Eight Seconds, which has been edited. It states that the ball moves into a team’s front court when it touches or is legally touched by the offensive player who has both the feet in contact with the front court.
Article 46: Referee Duties and Power. The use of technical equipment other than to decide the last shot at the end of each period or extra time was released during playing time has added authority. The rule now also to determine if the shot for goal counts for 2 or 3 points. This point is crucial to decide the situation.
The changes on the rules are considered consistence to improve on the weaknesses or gray areas in the previous rules. More importantly to make basketball more exciting and thrilling and yet entertaining to watch.
Col. Lee Kak Kuan
Col Lee Kak Kuan is the FIBA Asia Technical Director with long years of experience in technical matters in the sport. The views expressed here are his personal opinion.