Gotta know the rules!

Posted: Friday, March 16, 2012 by Travis Cody in

I get that these are young guys.  I get that the moment is tense and exciting. 

But dude!  You have to know the rules!

Kid from UNC-Asheville lines up at the three point line on a free throw late in the game against Syracuse.  He runs in and rebounds the missed shot.  What's the problem?  He ran in before the ball hit the rim.  The rule says you have to wait for the ball to hit the rim if you are not lined up in one of the designated spots along the lane.  He didn't wait, the Syracuse player gets to retry the missed free throw, makes it, and Syracuse holds on to win the game.

Kid from St Mary's slid to the side on a baseline spot throw in...that's a traveling violation.  The rule is that the only time you can run the baseline is after a made shot.  It came late in the game with St Mary's ahead by 1 and a chance to get fouled and go to the line for free throws and make it tough for Purdue to win.  But the violation was called.  Purdue scored and held on to win the game.

Kid from Notre Dame did the same thing the kid from UNC-Asheville did, but with his own guy on the line for a one-and-one to possibly tie the game with just seconds to play.  Wipe out the made free throw and give Xavier the ball.  Xavier held on to win the game.

I've never seen so many games hinge on late mistakes like this.  I've seen turnovers, missed shots, tough fouls, bang-bang calls that could go either way, completely blown calls...or just kids making great plays to steal a game. 

But not knowing the rules?  That's just a gut-wrenching way to lose.


  1. I wonder how much is the result of these kids being in the biggest tournament of their young lives.

  1. Linda says:

    I wonder if it's nerves or pressure or that they just flat out forgot as opposed to not necessarily knowing the rules? Like Nick said, maybe it's because they're in the biggest game of their lives that they're making what are basically simple mistakes?

  1. I do agree with the possibility that the kids may have forgotten in the excitement of the moment. And that's why we hug them and remind them that a single play often doesn't win or lose a game. And it's also why I won't use their names.

    I've been in that situation. Muscle memory can take over, and that's kind of what you want so you can focus on the play in front of you. Because you practice these situations so that the rules are second nature and they don't get in the way of what you're trying to do. You practice these situations so you can't blank on the rules when it counts.

    It's a shame these kids blanked on the rules at such crucial moments in games that their teams had a chance to win. I hurt for them.

  1. Ivanhoe says:

    You know my hubby watches every single game and I just peek here and there.... but he yells a lot this year! Lot of unhapiness here.

  1. Akelamalu says:

    Everyone makes mistakes. x

  1. Anonymous says:

    I read your post to GN. She just shook her head. She's only in 8th grade, but all I've heard this week from her is "B-ball is my life, Gram", so we've been watching Girls State High School Tourney and NCAA as we get the chance. I know she thinks she may not make the same mistakes, but I like having discussions with her. Thanks for the post. GGG

  1. And that's what killed Ohio State in Saturday. Unbelievable. My husband was really bummed. Stupid mistake.