A. Joseph Antony

Hyderabad: The Federation Internationale de Basketball (FIBA) Technical Commission, the expert group dealing with the rules, has recommended some changes, approved by the FIBA Central Board.

It seeks to unify rules worldwide after studying their implementation in the professional game and their incorporation at the amateur level.

FIBA Commissioner Norman Isaac said while some changes would come into force in 2010, those listed below would become operational from October 1, 2008.

Explaining them, he said the modifications stated in Articles 28.1.3 and 30.1.2 would have far-reaching effects pertaining to the ball’s progress from the back to the front court.

If one foot of a player in possession of the ball is in contact with the front court, it is deemed that he has established his position there.

He is prohibited from both passing or retracing his steps to the back court.

The new rule states that a player’s position is established only when both feet are implanted in the front court.

It also permits a player not in possession of the ball, but positioned in the front court, to collect a pass in the air and land in his team’s back court.

Violation

Under Article 31, which deals with goal tending and interference, a defender’s bid to stall the ball on its downward path through the ring and into the net, is seen as a simple violation.

Hereafter, any such act by a defender will be penalised as interference and carries with it all the relevant rule consequences, which includes a bonus throw and any more awarded for fouls committed on players.

This stringent penalty seeks to clean up interference and protect the attacking team from any unwarranted intrusion into the game’s smooth flow.

To give free rein to a player on a fast break, any contact by a defender from behind or laterally, will be penalised as an unsportsmanlike foul under Article 36.1.4 and not as a personal foul, as at present.

The penalty will thus be doubled, carrying two free throws, followed by a throw-in from the centre line for the attacking team.

To curb rough play, a technical foul will be called if a player resorts to excessive swinging of elbows, even if no contact is made with an opponent.

Article 38.3.1 as of now allows this, but without body contact. Article 25.2.3 will allow a fallen player to slide and pass the ball, now considered illegal.

Inner wear in addition to the vest, permitted on medical advice, will henceforth be prohibited under Article 4.3.

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