2007-08 Basketball Rules Interpretations

Publisher's Note: The National Federation of State High School Associations is the only source of official high school interpretations. They do not set aside nor modify any rule. They are made and published by the NFHS in response to situations presented.

Robert F. Kanaby, Publisher, NFHS Publications 2007

SITUATION 1: B1 is injured to the point that bench personnel are beckoned to the court. After B1 has been safely moved to the bench, Team B's head coach is notified that a substitute is required and instructs the timer to begin the 20-second replacement interval. Just as the interval begins, two substitutes from Team A approach the scorer's table to enter the game. RULING: Substitutes from either team may enter the game during this dead-ball period until the officials are ready to put the ball in play. The replacement interval is only for the substitute required for B1. If an eligible substitute does not report for B1 by the end of 20 seconds, a technical foul is assessed directly to the Team B head coach.  (3-3-1d; 3-3-5; 10-5-3 Penalty)

SITUATION 2: During the pregame warm-up, the officials notice that all Team B members are wearing jerseys in which the torso is not a single solid color. RULING: The jerseys are illegal. If Team B is unable to change uniforms, the game will begin with 10 free throws, followed by a division line throw-in for Team A. COMMENT: One player technical foul is assessed for each starter and substitute. Once the individual is penalized, he/she is permitted to participate without further penalty for the same infraction. The infraction must be discovered before the ball becomes live when a starter or substitute becomes a player. Therefore, when a substitute enters the game, another technical foul will be assessed.  (3-4-6a; 10-3-2)

SITUATION 3: During an alternating-possession throw-in for Team A, thrower A1 passes the ball directly on the court where it contacts (a) A2 or (b) B2, while he/she is standing on a boundary line. RULING: Out-of-bounds violation on (a) A2; (b) B2. The player was touched by the ball while out of bounds, thereby ending the throw-in. The alternating-possession arrow is reversed and pointed toward Team B's basket when the throw-in ends (when A2/B2 is touched by the ball). A throw-in is awarded at a spot nearest the out-of-bounds violation for (a) Team B; (b) Team A.  (4-42-5; 6-4-4; 9-2-2; 9-3-2)

SITUATION 4: A1 attempts to save a ball that is going out of bounds and is able to deflect the ball to a teammate. A1's momentum carries him/her out of bounds. RULING: No violation. A player's momentum, after performing legal actions on the court, resulting in taking him/her out of bounds is not a violation for leaving the floor for an unauthorized reason. However, if A1 purposely or deceitfully delays returning after legally being out of bounds to gain an advantage, a player technical foul would be assessed. (4-4-3; 9-3-3; 10-3-3)

SITUATION 5: A1, while being defended, is driving from near the free-throw line extended toward the end line. A1 continues toward the end line and pulls up and goes airborne just before the boundary line with his/her momentum carrying him/her out of bounds. Just as A1 goes airborne, he/she passes off to a teammate across the lane and lands out of bounds. RULING: No violation. A player's momentum, after performing legal actions on the court that results in taking him/her out of bounds is not a violation for leaving the floor for an unauthorized reason. However, if A1 purposely or deceitfully delays returning after legally being out of bounds to gain an advantage, a player technical foul would be assessed.  (4-4-3; 9-3-3; 10-3-3)

SITUATION 6: Team A is making a throw-in near the division line in the team's frontcourt. A1's throw-in is deflected by B1, who is applying direct pressure on A1. A2 jumps from the team's frontcourt, catches the ball in the air and lands in the backcourt. RULING: Backcourt violation on Team A. The throw-in ends when it is legally touched by B1. When A2 gains possession/control in the air, he/she has frontcourt status. A backcourt violation has occurred when A2 lands in the backcourt.  (9-9-1; 9-9-3)

SITUATION 7: Team A is making a throw-in near the division line in the team's backcourt (Team B's frontcourt). A1's throw-in is deflected by B1, who is applying direct pressure on A1. B2 jumps from his/her frontcourt, catches the ball in the air and lands in the backcourt. RULING: Backcourt violation on Team B. The throw-in ends with B1's deflection (legal touch). When B2 gains possession/ control in the air, he/she has frontcourt status. A backcourt violation has occurred when B2 lands in backcourt. (9-9-1; 9-9-3)

SITUATION 8: Team A is making a throw-in near the division line in the team's backcourt (Team B's frontcourt). A1's throw-in is intercepted by B1. B1 jumps from his/her frontcourt, catches the ball in the air and lands first foot in the frontcourt and second foot in the backcourt. RULING: No violation, legal play. It doesn't matter if one foot lands before the other provided it is a "normal landing." Since there was no deflection, the throw-in had not ended.  (9-9-1; 9-9-3)

SITUATION 9: Team A is making a throw-in near the division line in the team's frontcourt (Team B's backcourt). A1's throw-in is deflected by B1, who is applying direct pressure on A1. B2 jumps from his/her backcourt and catches the ball in the air. B2 lands with the first foot in the frontcourt and second foot in the backcourt. RULING: Backcourt violation on Team B. The throw-in ends with the deflection (legal touch) by B1. B2 gains possession/control and first lands in Team B's frontcourt and then steps in Team B's backcourt. The provision for making a normal landing only applies to the exceptions of a throw-in and a defensive player, and is only for the player making the initial touch on the ball.  (9-9-1; 9-9-3)

SITUATION 10: A1, in the team's frontcourt, passes to A2, also in the team's frontcourt. B1 deflects the ball toward Team A's backcourt. The ball bounces only in Team A's frontcourt before crossing the division line. While the ball is still in the air over Team A's backcourt, but never having touched in Team A's backcourt, A2 gains possession of the ball while standing in Team A's backcourt. RULING: Backcourt violation on Team A. Team A was still in team control and caused the ball to have backcourt status. Had A2 permitted the ball to bounce in the backcourt after having been deflected by B1, there would have been no backcourt violation.  (4-4-1; 4-4-3; 9-9-1)

SITUATION 11: A1 requests and is granted an excessive time-out. The excessive time-out is discovered (a) immediately; (b) when A1 has the ball at his/her disposal for a throw-in following the time-out; (c) during a dead ball after three minutes have elapsed off the game clock. RULING: In (a), (b) and (c), assess a team technical foul to Team A for the excessive time-out. Team B is awarded two free throws and the ball for a division line throw-in. The penalty for an excessive time-out is assessed when discovered. (10-1-7 Penalty)

SITUATION 12: Following a (a) charged time-out; or (b) a lengthy substitution process involving multiple substitutions for both teams, A5 goes to the bench and remains there mistakenly believing he/she has been replaced by a substitute. The ball is put in play even though Team A has only four players on the court. Team A is bringing the ball into A's frontcourt when the coach of Team A realizes they have only four players. The coach yells for A5 to return, and he/she sprints onto the court and catches up with play. RULING: In (a), the officials shall stop play and assess a team technical foul for not having all players return to the court at approximately the same time after a time-out. The technical foul counts toward the team-foul count. In (b), the officials may permit play to continue without penalty. A5's return to the court was not deceitful, nor did it provide A5 an unfair positioning advantage on the court. COMMENT: Even though neither situation provided A5 or Team A with an advantage, teams are expected to return to the court at approximately the same time following a time-out. The officials should have also followed the prescribed mechanics and counted the number of players on the court, ensuring each team has the legal number of players. (10-1-9; 10-3-3)

SITUATION 13: Team A members are shouting disparaging, racial and/or profane remarks directed toward their own teammates. RULING: Such unsporting acts shall be penalized regardless if directed toward opponents or teammates.  (10-3-7b; 10-4-1c)