Rand: Block/charge call is the most frustrating in sports

  • Updated: March 24, 2013 - 8:09 PM
hide

Ohio State guard Aaron Craft, shown with head coach Thad Matta, right, would not have been “in legal guarding position,” based on his spot on the court during a controversial charging call, acknowledged officiating coordinator John Adams.

Photo: AL BEHRMAN • Associated Press ,

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Aside from making you (probably) light your bracket on fire in a fit of disbelief over all the upsets, the men’s college basketball action over the past few days also cemented this opinion:

The block/charge call, particularly in college basketball, has replaced pass interference in football as the officiating decision that is the most subjective, least understood, most likely to be botched and least likely to make people happy in all of sports.

This opinion was already forming over the first three big days of the tournament, with scrappy defenders playing “help” defense by simply sliding into a spot and hoping they were crashed into by an offensive player (and bailed out by a ref eager to make a dramatic charging call).

It came to a boil in the game between Ohio State and Iowa State. Bear in mind, this author had no rooting interest in this game. If anything, Ohio State winning was favorable because the Buckeyes are the pick to win it all this year. But the charging foul called on Iowa State — with Aaron Craft 1) sliding over late, 2) hovering over the half-circle that dictates a charge not be called and 3) still moving — was an all-time bad call and it cost the Cyclones their best chance at a victory.

John Adams, the NCAA men’s basketball national officiating coordinator, was on CBS after the game and acknowledged that based on Craft’s spot on the court he would not be “in legal guarding position.”

Adams also said it was an “incredibly hard play” to officiate, which is true. The restricted arc near the basket was added before the 2011-12 season as a means to help. Instead, it has only added to the confusion.

Officials are fixated on the arc and often appear not to be watching anything else, such as whether the defender is moving. This leads to more charges being called, which encourages more coaches to teach it as a means of defending. More charges and blocks — instead of legitimate help defense — create more fouls, which slow the game down, take star offensive players out of the game and cheapen the on-court action.

If the botched call on Craft ends up leading to a new way of thinking about the rule, he will be a hero for more than making a last-second shot Sunday.

 

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Texas - WP: N. Martinez 7 FINAL
Oakland - LP: S. Gray 2
Boston - LP: B. Workman 2 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: G. Cole 3
Toronto - LP: A. Sanchez 2 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: D. Robertson 3
Washington - WP: G. Gonzalez 6 FINAL
Miami - LP: B. Hand 2
Los Angeles 7 Top 9th Inning
Chicago Cubs 4
Cleveland 1 Bottom 11th Inning
Houston 1
Milwaukee 2 Top 11th Inning
St. Louis 2
Arizona - LP: A. Reed 6 FINAL
Colorado - WP: L. Hawkins 7
Philadelphia 1 Top 8th Inning
San Diego 4
Seattle 0 Top 6th Inning
LA Angels 0
Tampa Bay 14 FINAL
Atlanta 56
San Diego 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Buffalo
Dallas 9/21/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Washington 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Houston 9/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Minnesota 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Tennessee 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Baltimore 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland
Green Bay 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Indianapolis 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Oakland 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New England
San Francisco 9/21/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Denver 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Kansas City 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Miami
Pittsburgh 9/21/14 7:30 PM
Carolina
Chicago 9/22/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
(5) Auburn 20 FINAL
(20) Kansas State 14
Connecticut 9/19/14 7:00 PM
So Florida
Old Dominion 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Rice
Troy 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(13) Georgia
Georgia Tech 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Virginia Tech
Eastern Mich 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(11) Michigan State
Iowa 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Maryland 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Syracuse
Tulane 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Duke
Hawaii 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Marshall 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Akron
North Carolina 9/20/14 2:30 PM
East Carolina
Army 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Virginia 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(21) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 9/20/14 2:30 PM
SMU
Rutgers 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Central Mich 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Kansas
Utah 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Florida 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(3) Alabama
Louisville 9/20/14 2:30 PM
FIU
Fla Atlantic 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Wyoming
Indiana 9/20/14 3:00 PM
(18) Missouri
San Jose St 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Minnesota
Texas State 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Illinois
Massachusetts 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Penn State
Georgia State 9/20/14 5:00 PM
Washington
Appalachian St 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Miss State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
(8) LSU
Northern Ill 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas
Middle Tennessee 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Memphis
Utah State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Miami-Ohio 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Idaho 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Ohio U
Ball State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
(14) So Carolina 9/20/14 6:30 PM
Vanderbilt
(4) Oklahoma 9/20/14 6:30 PM
West Virginia
Ga Southern 9/20/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
UNLV 9/20/14 7:00 PM
Houston
(22) Clemson 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(1) Florida State
Miami-Florida 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(24) Nebraska
New Mexico 9/20/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 9/20/14 9:00 PM
Arizona
Louisiana 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Boise State
(2) Oregon 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
San Diego St 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Oregon State
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(25) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(12) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Toronto 9/19/14 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Edmonton 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Calgary 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Ottawa 9/21/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Montreal 9/26/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 9/26/14 9:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/27/14 5:30 PM
Winnipeg
Brt Columbia 9/27/14 8:30 PM
Calgary

ADVERTISEMENT

Advertisement
Golden Gavel by Star Tribune

Countdown to great deals

Bid Sept. 21-29

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Will Adrian Peterson ever play for the Vikings again?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close