Archive for October, 2011

Monday, October 31st, 2011

Rules panel approves restricted-area arc for Div. I

Divisions II and III get one-year delay; women’s three-point line also moved

By Greg Johnson

The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel during its conference call on Monday approved adding a visible restricted-area arc three feet from the center of the basket where a secondary defender cannot legally take a charge in Division I men’s and women’s games.

The panel delayed implementation of the arc until the 2012-13 season for Divisions II and III to allow those schools time to plan and place the restricted-area arc in their home arenas. For the upcoming season, secondary defenders in Divisions II and III men’s games will not be allowed to draw a charge in an unmarked area directly beneath the basket, which was the men’s rule in 2010-11. In Divisions II and III women’s games, secondary defenders will not be allowed to draw a charge in an unmarked area three feet from the center of the basket.

The Playing Rules Oversight Panel is the final approval body for playing rules proposals from sport and rules committees. The panel of representatives from all three NCAA divisions convenes periodically to consider recommendations.

The three-foot restricted area was recommended by the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Basketball Rules Committees in an attempt to limit the number of collisions near the basket on charge/block plays. The arc is also intended to provide some benefit to offensive players who have legally gained an advantage.

Last season, the men’s committee experimented with a restricted-area arc two feet from the center of the basket during multi-team events and exhibition games. The experiment extended the previous year’s rules change that made it illegal for a secondary defender to take a charge underneath the basket.

Some basketball stakeholders wanted visible markings to better define the area where a secondary defender can legally take a charge.

After seeing the arc painted on the court and reviewing data, the committee recommended a three-foot arc as being the suitable distance for the college game, where the lane is 12-feet wide.

Because the visible arc is not being applied in Divisions II and III until the 2012-13 season, though, officials in men’s games in those divisions will revert to the previous “directly underneath the basket” parameter and wait until the arc is actually on the floor the following year to start calling the rule three feet out.

The Women’s Basketball Rules Committee had not previously operated with a restricted area at all, so when that group began discussing an arc, it did so with the three-foot distance in mind from the start. As a result, the way women’s officials will deal with the delay in implementation of the arc for Divisions II and III games is different from their men’s officiating counterparts, since there was no rule to revert to as there was for the men. Thus, the women are moving to the three-foot distance immediately instead of teaching the rule one way this year and another way in subsequent seasons.

Women’s three-point line moved

The Playing Rules Oversight Panel also approved moving the women’s three-point line in all three divisions back a foot to 20 feet, 9 inches for the 2011-12 season.

The Women’s Basketball Rules Committee made the recommendation after examining the distance of the shot for the last several years. Last season, the committee asked teams to track the number of three-point field goal attempts taken behind the 20-foot, 9-inch line and the current 19-foot, 9-inch line during exhibition games and 40-minute game-like scrimmages.

Data from 194 institutions (100 in Division I, 57 in Division II and 34 in Division III) showed that most of the attempts and makes came from behind the 20-foot, 9-inch line.

Of the shots tracked, teams were 1,046 of 3,203 (33 percent) from behind the 20-foot, 9-inch line. The data also revealed that teams were 546 for 1,823 (30 percent) between 19 feet, 9 inches and 20 feet, 9 inches.

Fouls language

The panel also approved a change in nomenclature on fouls that are deemed more severe than a “common” foul in both men’s and women’s basketball. The terms “Flagrant 1” and “Flagrant 2” will now be used. A Flagrant 1 foul takes the place of an intentional foul and the Flagrant 2 foul replaces the previous flagrant foul.

An example of a Flagrant 1 foul would be when a player swings an elbow and makes illegal, non-excessive contact with an opponent above the shoulders. The team whose player was struck would receive two free throws and possession of the ball. Previously, this type of foul was called an intentional foul. The committee wanted to move away from the word “intentional,” because a player’s intent was never the point to the rule.

An example of a Flagrant 2 foul would be when a player swings an elbow excessively and makes contact with an opponent above the shoulders. In this case, the player who threw the elbow would be ejected from the game, and the other team would receive two free throws and the ball.

Women’s experimental rule

Women’s basketball teams in all three divisions will test a 10-second half-court rule in closed scrimmages and exhibition games next season. The women’s rules committee wants teams to report the number of turnovers, fouls, points and other relevant data to determine the effect the rule has on play.

Proponents believe adding a 10-second count to cross half court would increase the tempo and strategy of the game with more teams extending their defense. Opponents believe it would add more stoppages, such as turnovers and fouls by teams that are trying to press full court.

There was some sentiment that if a 10-second back court rule is added to the women’s game, the shot clock should be increased to 35 seconds from the current 30. For purposes of the experimental rule, a 30-second shot clock will be used.

Other men’s and women’s basketball rules changes

  • The panel approved a change regarding coaches being able to request a monitor review of flagrant fouls. In the women’s game, a coach can request a review of the monitor to determine whether a Flagrant 1 foul for elbow contact or a Flagrant 2 foul occurred. In the men’s game, the change allows coaches to request a review for a potential Flagrant 2 foul that was not detected. If it is determined that no such foul occurred in a men’s or women’s game, the team requesting the monitor review will be charged a timeout. If no timeouts remain, the team is assessed a technical foul for taking too many timeouts.

  • Another approved change centers on the rare “double foul.” In scenarios where two fouls occur of differing penalties, both fouls will be enforced. For example, Player A reaches in and commits a common foul against Player B. Player B responds with an elbow that is considered a Flagrant 1 or Flagrant 2 foul. If in the bonus, both players will shoot free throws with the lane cleared, with Team A shooting last and receiving the ball. Previously, this scenario was considered as offsetting fouls.
  • The panel approved a rules change intended to administer timeouts more efficiently. If a team does not return to the court after the first horn, officials will formally warn the team for delay of game. Any subsequent time that the team is late taking the court for play, the official will make the ball ready for play regardless of whether the team that has received a formal warning is ready. No technical fouls will be assessed in these situations.

Men’s volleyball

The Playing Rules Oversight Panel also approved a proposal for the newly created NCAA Division III Men’s Volleyball Championship (to begin in the spring of 2012) that will allow teams to use the 12-unlimited substitution rule. Division I men’s volleyball has a six-person substitution rule, but the 12-unlimited substitution rule fits into the Division III core value of participation.

Fans Going Out of Control

Sunday, October 30th, 2011

A couple of weeks ago I saw a tv show about Steve Bartman, a man who caught a baseball and was claimed to have ruined the Cubs chances of winning. The Cubs outfielder Moises Alou was about to catch a foul ball that would have marked the second out of the inning, meaning that the Cubs were only four outs away from winning the National League pennant, when Steve Bartman deflected the ball away from the outfielders hands. Bart had to be escorted from the stadium by cops because of the angry fans.

Bartman was a lifelong fan of the Cubs and would never intend to hurt them. He now remains invisible to the public. Because of the intensity of Cubs fans and how cruel they were to him, Bartman is now scarred for the rest of his life. His seat in the Wrigley stadium is now a tourist attraction. It may all seem like a big joke to people but his life is now ruined.

There have been multiple other incidents where sports fans have gone out of control and affected someones life. In 1993, Monica Seles  was stabbed by a fan during a tennis match in Germany.In 1994 during the FIFA World Cup, Columbian soccer player Andres Escobar accidentally scored on his own goal in a game against the United States. Escobar was confronted outside a bar  by a gunman who shot the player six times, killing him. And in July 2000 at the 2002 FIFA World Cup, 13 people were trampled to death in a riot.

Fans need to calm down. It’s ridiculous how extreme their actions are. Killing should never be an answer but in the result of a bad game? Seriously people take a chill pill. Yes the sport is amazing but the only ones who deserve to be upset over a game are the players. They are the ones that put in the hard work, let them deal with it in a safe and professional manner.

Another example:


Unexpected Effects of Title IX: Men Playing on Women’s Teams

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

Stereotypical, when people mention Title IX, we immediately think of the increased funding and opportunities for female athlete, but what we don’t think about is the literal meaning of the regulation.  What the  ruling really calls for is equal opportunities for the sexes.  Since female athletes are the most commonly underprivileged, they are normally seen as the only benefactors of Title IX.  If you’re thinking this, like I did, think again!

I recently discovered that there are a few male athletes currently reaping the benefits of these new laws of equality.  Field hockey is a predominately female sport, and I have been unable to find any male team, which seems to be the problem for many male enthusiasts of the sport as well.  Therefore, men have been joining women’s field hockey teams in both high school and college.

Many people argue that having men on the team is an unfair advantage, much like the issue of trans gender athletes, but they have not been able to come up with any instance where it can be proven illegal.  As a matter of fact, then men on these teams are perfectly within their rights according to Title IX, because the schools have not provided a male team for them to compete on.  In order to comply with the laws of equal opportunity, these men have to be allowed to tryout for these teams and play if they make the cut.

LeBron one of the best players in the game?

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

LeBron James is the most contoversial NBA player in the game today. It wasn’t just his decision to go to Miami that made people upset, but the way he did it. James guaranteed “not 1, not 2, not 3, not 4, not 5, not 6, not 7 championships”, yet more. This changed the public’s perception of James as a humble basketball star to an ignorant, bigheaded athlete. Now that he is with Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh, and the Heat, people expect instant results.

Since the end of the 2011 NBA Finals all the talk about LeBron was how he was a choke artist and who was unable to finish the fourth quarter. They have even gone as far as saying LeBron is no longer a top player in the NBA. I am truly unable to understand how this can even be a valid argument: moreover, it seems as though everyone has dropped him from the top ever since he went to Miami. Just because an individual dislikes a player does not mean that he automatically should be written off as a bad player. James is no longer one of the most liked guys in the NBA, but he still certainly is one of the best players.

The stats James has provided is unbelievable compared to the average NBA player. And when one looks beyond his stats it is obvious that he can take over a game. The man can dominate anyone guarding him and when he is on James is unstoppable. Additionally, everyone tends to forget that he won back to back MVP’s and NBA defensive first team in the seasons of 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 as well. This was only two and three years ago and without him the Cavaliers would never have made the playoffs. Yes James may have a history of choking in the playoffs: however, everytime he chokes his team loses which just shows his value as a player on his team.

Personally I believe LeBron James to be a beast and easily one of the top three players currently in the NBA.

Horse Murders and Money

Friday, October 21st, 2011

So this afternoon my friend walked into my room in her equestrian boots. Being a rider, she was frustrated with the horses, with the people, and with the sport. It occurred to me that besides from learning how to say equestrian in French four years ago and glimpsing a couple seconds of the Derby one year, I didn’t know much about horseback riding at all. I knew nothing but what Seabiscuit taught me.

I looked up controversies within the equestrian sport the instant she was gone and up popped horse murders. With my mind blown away, I found out it was a controversy within the late 1970s that revolved around an insurance fraud. The best of the best horses in the league were insured for death or wrong-doing. You would think that’d be a good thing. Instead, many owners took this as an excuse to kill their horse(s) and gather the insurance money. It stretched so far beyond the boundaries of money that a woman was murdered to prevent her from ratting the horse owners of any crime. Now what’s so paralleling about this controversy is that it relates to so many issues to this day in the world of sports.

It has all to do with ethics and money.

Money is power, or so that’s what many of us think today. Money holds opportunity and success. It’s a number that has the ability to label people into classes and cliques. It causes addiction and superficial impulses, as well as greed and envy. Money just seems to hold so many problems and unfortunately overshadowing all the good it brings to the world as well. In sports money is a big deal. It’s so big that people would do just about anything to get it. Whether it’s creating a plot to win big at the betting office or to kill horses. Money can manipulate the greatest of men to do crazy things.

In some instances, money is portrayed as bigger than the sport. Is that what sports come down to today?


Female Athletes

Thursday, October 20th, 2011

How do we perceive women and sports?

On the April 4 edition of MSNBC’s Imus in the Morning, host Don Imus referred to the Rutgers University women’s basketball team, which is comprised of eight African-American and two white players, as “nappy-headed hos” immediately after the show’s executive producer, Bernard McGuirk, called the team “hard-core hos.” Later, former Imus sports announcer Sid Rosenberg, who was filling in for sportscaster Chris Carlin, said: “The more I look at Rutgers, they look exactly like the [National Basketball Association’s] Toronto Raptors.”


I don’t agree with what society has to say about female athletes, I believe they are judged negatively and they aren’t given the exact same chance as male athletes either. You could look at the pay rate and come to that conclusion on your own. Why is it that female athletes are judge the way they are? Does society view women as being something different other than an athlete?

Everyone has their own personal view, I can’t argue with that, but what you say can really affect others, and there is always a right and wrong time to say something. Even though Don Imus said what he said, and admitted to it, doesn’t change the fact that he views female athletes as nappy-headed Hos. Unfortunately that was the only racial slur that has been brought up with female athletes, or an offensive comment in that matter. Don Imus isn’t the only person who thinks that and it is sad that females are looked down upon like that because they would rather play a sport than act like what a society says a female should act.





Wednesday, October 19th, 2011

In today’s day and age coaching has been seen more as as a back-burner rather than an actual occupation with strenuous teaching.  I feel that with the talent, strength, and athleticism it ultimately takes away the ability of the coach.  Coaches such as Bill Belichick, Phil Jackson, and Joe Girardi  have such talented players that their roles of coaching are limited and diminished which I feel takes away from the game.  A great example of a Coach in my eyes is Vince Lombardi from the Green Bay Packers.

Vince Lombardi was more than a coach, he was an icon and a role model for his players.  He was not just a great coach, he was also a great leader who knew how to motivate his players.  He would make all his players into leaders with this philosophy “only by knowing yourself can you become an effective leader”.   Coach Lombardi was remarkable for his ability to win in which he expected 110 percent from all of his players. Winning was not his only goal, he was each player to reach the best of his ability not only as a football player, but as a person as well.  Every season he would promise his player that with obedience  and discipline they will win a championship, which was true because in his 11 year career he won 149 games and 7 Championships (five NFL championships and two Super Bowls).  At his time of coaching there was a lot of problems with race, which was never a factor for Vince Lombardi.  Coach Lombardi was a public figure who many people looked up to because he was all about shaping people into becoming men.

Bart Starr was a premier NFL quarterback under Vince Lombardi.  He is considered one of the best QB’s  to have played the game and he credits his coach for much of his success.  A great story that I saw on HBO films about Coach Lombardi on Bart Starr really caught my eye.  Coach Lombardi was always very hard and harsh on his players because he demanded excellence.  Bart would always get yelled at during practice and one day he decided to talk to coach in his office.  He told him that if he expected him to play at a high level, he was going to need for him to stop yelling at him so he can make decisions without him be ostracized all the time.  After that meeting he never again gave him an earful during practice, and that’s why I highly value Coach Lombardi because he respected what his players thought.

Vince Lombardi was the greatest coach in my mind because he carried himself with such high manner that it reflected on his players.  His many philosophies are still used today in coaching, but I feel they aren’t implemented as well.  Coaches today have an easier way out with such talent that they don’t get as much credit. With Coach Lombardi he went down as the greatest NFL coach of all time and now the Super Bowl Trophy is named after him.  His legacy will live on forever and his quotes will remain in our minds.  With that I leave you with a great video of his accomplishments and my favorite quote “They call it coaching but it is teaching.  you do not just tell them…you show them the reasons…

Men Coaching Women

Thursday, October 13th, 2011

In a lot of sports, or at least every sports team that i have ever been on the coach is male. Im not sure if its because men are more successful or if coaching is seen more as a mans job. In women’s sports a male coach is something that makes sense competitively, but not necessarily emotionally. Women’s emotions play a large role in performance and coachability. I wonder how much a coach has to change his style or if he has to go to a different type of coaching academy to be licensed just so he can coach women.

Many of my coaches talk about how sometimes they wish we would play like guys or make comparisons to male athletes and the differences that they see between style of play. Men do this or men do that why can’t you play more like them. The same goes for criticism, a coach can’t criticize a female athlete in the same ways he can a male athlete, cursing and even yelling won’t have the same effect.

Female athletes are constantly pushing for equality in play, but when they are shown it in certain aspects they set themselves back by not being able to handle to the same degree that male athletes do.

Let them Play

Monday, October 10th, 2011

The greed today in the business that is professional sports has become so unbearable that I wonder, in twenty twenty five years is it only going to get worse? I know, this is a business and these people deal with ALOT of money and separating this money accordingly can be an even more daunting task than actually earning it. However, owners need to step away from there sense of pride that this is my team i own this franchise, and i pay these players. The only reason these owners are paid like they are is because of the fans that attend and watch these games on television, and the players for drawing those before mentioned crowds. The credit goes to the owners for selecting the right players and developing a model for a team to build into in the hope of winning a championship in that sport. Isn’t it awesome for them? If i had the opportunity to do this I’d do it for minimum wage; owning a successful sporting franchise trying to draft the right players. Granted I understand there is much about this business i know close to nothing about such as handling all the franchises money, determining ticket pricing, etc, but heck they hire people to do all that nonsense anyways right? I know these owners remember deep down why they wanted this job (or it least i hope some of them) and want to watch their team become successful continuing to grow.

What does a 3 percent difference in money made really mean to them? This is the difference being argued about in the NBA lockout. It is said that the owners offered a deal of 50-50 split in money made towards basketball, that is a 7 % decrease for the players in terms of what they made last year. The players are said to have made an offer of 53%, but the owners will not budge. Some say the owners are being greedy, some say the players, but the fact is people buy the tickets to watch the players on the floor, they turn the television on to watch John Wall, Kobe Bryant, Dwayne Wade not some owner we’ve hardly even heard of. The players are still finding a way to compete Lebron James and Dwayne Wade each hoisting teams and playing against each other for sport, and it has actually been really good basketball. If the owners keep this up many players will start finding new homes across the country, and who can blame them for trying to keep playing the sport they love for their profession?

The owners are heading down a slippery slope; even the greedy NFL owners found a way to make a deal happen while the NBA sits on there hands waiting for someone to budge. Well keep sitting long enough, and before you know it the games biggest stars will be playing in front of beloved fans in Europe or Asia, and not think twice about it. So let them play, recognize the players significance to the owners success and it will help the players realize the owners significance in their success. That way we can all watch Kobe and Derrick Rose duke it out on Christmas day, in anticipation of another great round of NBA playoffs.


Friday, October 7th, 2011

Playing down to your competition is something every athlete
has heard before. If you have not giving into the temptation to slack off on a
game against a much lesser opponent, I commend you. The action is involuntary,
there’s nothing to get the heart pounding, the blood flowing and your mind
flooded with nothing but the task at hand. One on one against pops does not
usually result in, depending on the situational father-child relationship, a
bloodied nose and a blackened eye. In order to feel the rush of competition,
the high of playing at your best, you truly must be playing the best. Some of
my best baskets have been scored due to the fact that I wanted to flatten the
girl I was posted up in. I wanted to downright slam her on the floor, hover
above and ask if she was ready for tonight cause she was going to need a hot
compress and a bubble bath after I sent her home. I jumped higher, moved quicker
and turned toward the goal with more force than I could naturally. Not only in
basketball do I feel the rush of the need to level the competition but also in
track, a non contact, self control, under pressure sport where most of the time
my only competition was myself. Not saying I did not have other competition
from the teams I threw against but I knew, just as they did, it would take a
really good day for one of them to reach me.  Which got to me. I had no one to look at with disgust,
no one to watch warming up and feel my heart rate quicken and my stomach
tighten when her punch fell uncomfortably close to my mark. Sometimes however,
someone big, someone naturally made for the shot, wide hips, long legs strong
arms and core, would walk past me to her teams tent and I would feel it. It was
her I was watching during warm ups. After I would pop a few, way past most all
my other competition, I would take a quick glance, see her watching me and
smile at my coach, he always understood. Coach liked that I had someone pushing
me, he knew just as I knew, it was what I needed. Warming up for states I had
my eye on someone, she was the only threat within a foot of me. My first throw
however, I lined up, stared at her coach, placed the cold ball against my neck,
dropped my back forward, pushed off my foot and twisted my body to throw a foot
past my record. The usually calm crown around the pit burst into cheer with
excitement. Some Dads looking at their daughters with eyes that said “Well
there’s who you have to chase. You better pick it up.” Having someone to beat
is the best way to do your best.