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Time Out

By Staff | Feb 4, 2009

Roger Kimble

Last week, we finished the article with a test. Here’s the question and a few more bizarre circumstances regarding overtime periods in basketball.

1. The score is tied with time running out and the dribbler is on a fast break to try to win the game. He misses the lay up and the horn sounds to end the game.

He is very unhappy because he thinks he was fouled in the act of shooting and should get two free throws. As the referees prepare for overtime, that player uses profane language toward them and a technical foul is charged to the player. What happens now?

* Here is the answer. The score was tied as the fourth quarter ended, requiring an overtime period. The OT will begin with the other team shooting two free throws with no one in the lane spaces. They will then have the ball for a throw-in at the division line opposite the scorers’ table. When the clock starts for overtime, one team may be ahead by two points!

2. The score is Blue 62, White 60 late in the fourth quarter. A White player is fouled and the horn sounds immediately after the foul is called. The White team is in the bonus, so the foul shooter will have a 1-1 opportunity to tie the game.

He makes both free throws to tie the score at 62. Therefore, an overtime period will be played, beginning with a jump ball. The Blue team catches the tip and makes a layup to take the lead at 64 to White 62.

Immediately after the basket, the horn sounds and the scorekeepers are waving their hands to the officials to indicate an error. The officials are notified that the White team was not really in the bonus, as there were only six team fouls instead of seven. The White foul shooter should not have been given a 1-1 (which tied the game).

Oh, nooooo! What happens now?

You might be surprised.

* Removing unmerited free throws is a correctable error and can be done in this situation because the error was recognized before the ball became live a second time. However, this correction will not make everyone happy.

First, according to the rules, the two points which were scored on the 1-1 free throws are removed from the White team’s score. That leaves the score at Blue 64, White 60. The coach for the Blue team is now screaming to the officials, saying that his team should have won the game by the score of 62-60 in regulation because his team had this lead prior to those unmerited free throws.

I’ll bet you most fans would be in total agreement with him and thinking for sure that overtime should have never occurred. The coach and the fans would be wrong.

Once an overtime period starts with the ball becoming live, the extra period cannot be cancelled even though the points prior to it were. The score is 64-60 and because the Blue team just scored a basket, the White team continues the overtime period with a throw-in under the blue basket.

Both are somewhat bizarre, but strange things do happen in sports and officials must prepared to act when the unexpected happens.