Blocking Fouls

  • July 1, 2014 at 6:13 pm #711
    Bruno Gravato

    17.8. Blocking Fouls:
    17.8.1. A Blocking Foul occurs when a player takes a position that a moving opponent
    will be unable to avoid and contact results.

    It seems that, by definition, a blocking foul can be called both by an offensive player as well as a defensive player, right?

    Situation 1:
    – Player A (offense) is running in a straight line
    – Player B (defense) jumps in front of him in a way that contact can’t be avoided

    I’d say this is a typical blocking foul by the defender. No doubts here, just an example of what most people seem to understand what a blocking foul is…

    Situation 2:
    – Player A (offense) is running in a straight line
    – Player B (defense) is chasing player A closely from behind (1 or 2 meters behind)
    – Player A is unaware of player B position and makes a sudden change of direction or pace
    – Player B is unable to avoid contact and bumps into player A

    May the defender (player B ) call a blocking foul on player A?

    I see this situation happening quite often. Cutters often change direction without being aware where the defender is and contact results. Usually the offensive player calls a foul on the defender but, in my opinion, the contact was provoked by the cutter, not the defender… Am I right?

    It’s true that the offensive player doesn’t have to look 360ยบ around before changing direction, but on the other hand, the defender also shouldn’t need to keep a “safe distance” to be prepared to avoid contact if the player he’s chasing suddenly decides to invert direction and run into him…

    I’ve seen nasty collisions and injuries as a result of these situations…
    Rules wise, who needs to be more careful? Offensive or Defensive players? Or both equally?


    July 2, 2014 at 9:12 pm #713
    Bruno Gravato

    After reading some of the threads on the video section, I just realized that Situation 2 that I examplified could fall into the Dangerous Play category.

    17.1. Dangerous Play:
    17.1.1. Recklessdisregardforthesafetyoffellowplayersisconsidereddangerousplay
    and is to be treated as a foul, regardless of whether or when contact occurs. This rule is not superseded by any other rule.

    I’m still curious though to know whether a blocking foul can be called against the offense, or should always be a dangerous play foul?

    July 3, 2014 at 12:17 am #714
    Florian Pfender

    In essence, the blocking foul rule gives every player the right to the space and time required to come to a stop in a straight line. If contact occurs, it is the fault of the player who “claimed” that space/time later.

    This means that chasing D always needs to allow O to slow down without contact, if D is close this usually means that D needs to play with a bit of separation to one side.

    On the other hand, if O changes direction into the path of D who was giving O space to slow down, it *can* be a blocking foul if D can’t avoid contact. It still remains D’s job to avoid that contact if possible, so if D is chasing by 3m, say, and watching O, it is reasonable to assume that D can avoid the contact unless O cuts directly into D.

    July 3, 2014 at 2:53 am #715
    Bruno Gravato

    Thank you Flo.

    Very good answer!

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