Hand Check

December 2, 2013
By

I am sure you have seen long basketball games either in person or on TV this year.  All of us who complained of rough play in basketball are now enduring these long games.  Just like all rule changes, this one will take adjustment time for the players and officials.  As I understand it, you may put your hand on a player to find out where he is, but then you must remove the hand because the second time you do it or if you continue to hold on you are “hand checking”–and that is now a foul.  In the past, the referees would not call fouls in this situation unless the defensive player was totally impeding the movement of the player with the ball.  To the bigger, stronger players this meant “if I don’t knock him down, I probably won’t be called for a foul.”  Players, naturally, will take longer to adjust than the officials, and that is why the games now are lasting so long.  Hopefully by Christmas, everyone will have adjusted and–just like all rules–the game will go on and the time taken to play will get back to normal.  What this has already done is forced players to actually play defense instead of grabbing and shoving.  That was the intent of the rule all along.

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