March 11, 2009

Pre-game dunk costs team forfeit: A Montana school was forced to forfeit a boys' basketball state-tournament game after one of its players shattered a backboard with a pre-game dunk.

posted by jjzucal to basketball at 07:24 PM - 7 comments

There are a few teams near where I live that are currently in Butte, taking place in the Montana State Championships. Before clicking on the link, I was wondering which of my local teams were involved, but Harlem isn't one of them. As far as the driving distance is concerned, that is relatively normal here. 168 miles really isn't that bad considering the size of the state. Teams near me will drive that and more routinely throughout the season for conference games and/or tournaments.

If a backboard is broken with a dunk in a game, Mount said there is a technical called, but it is not a forfeit. He wonders why there is a difference.

That seems to be a backwards rule. If it happens pregame, at least there would be opportunity to fix it, while not delaying a game already in progress. I smell a revision.

posted by BoKnows at 08:20 PM on March 11, 2009

The reason the rule is stated that way is because it is preventable in the pre-game. During the game it is considered heat of the moment and before it is considered more "on purpose". It makes sense to me.

posted by amatzek at 09:04 PM on March 11, 2009

Unless of course, the coach is correct in that the backboard was broken during the previous game. And then not inspected. Which seems entirely possible.

Personally, I don't like warm-up rules that prevent players from warming up. If it were baseball, would there be a rule preventing players in the batting cage from hitting balls over the wall? Hockey players that couldn't take slap shots? Backboards that break are weakened over time, I'd be willing to guess that the backboard in question has been hanging there for quite a while. The Harlem player(s) were just unlucky it happened to them. I don't think it deserves a forfeit. The technical makes more sense whether it be before or during a game.

posted by BoKnows at 09:36 PM on March 11, 2009

Having been a former official in Pennsylvania, I believe the no-dunk rule may be national in scope and is there to prevent pre-game unsportsmanlike conduct. We have some programs in northern New Jersey who could turn warmups into a highlight reel if given the opportunity. Put yourself in an opponent's sneaker, especially if that squad has nowhere the talent as the dunkmasters. It's called intimidation.

posted by jjzucal at 10:00 PM on March 11, 2009

I don't doubt the rules intention, just the penalization. A technical foul or, multiple technical fouls, would send the same message to a "showboat" team. But a forfeit seems overly harsh.

posted by BoKnows at 10:06 PM on March 11, 2009

Put yourself in an opponent's sneaker, especially if that squad has nowhere the talent as the dunkmasters. It's called intimidation

Does a team forfeit a game for intimidation done during a game? No, it draws a technical foul at most. Why so harsh a punishment if done pre-game?

If a technical foul isn't enough, perhaps an ejection for the player that broke the backboard. Pretty harsh, but not to the level of a forfeit.

posted by dviking at 11:08 PM on March 11, 2009

This is fundamentally a bad rule - like the leaving the bench rule in the NBA - because the rule itself implies intention. It's a forfeit during the pre-game because the rule presuposes that the intention was to break the backboard. How can a rule possibly know that? Seems a little too simple.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 05:56 PM on March 13, 2009

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