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Teknisk foul - en del av spillet

Den tidligere Euroleague dommeren Todd Warnick fra Israel har skrevet en artikkel om tekniske foul og belyser en rekke gode argumenter og forhold som kan være viktige å ta stilling til for god avvikling av temperamentsfulle basketballkamper. Warnick, som utdannet seg i USA på 70-tallet, har over 30 års bakgrunn som dommer på Europeisk toppnivå og hjemme i den israelske ligaen. Etter at han ga seg som dommer er han nå instruktør både for dommerne i Israel og både instruktør og kommissær for FIBA Europe. Artikkelen om tekniske fouls er tidligere publisert på bl.a. FIBA Europes interne webside, og argumentene avspeiler det som er offisiell holdning til en regel som svært mange utøvere har et misforstått forhold til. Vi tar for oss § 38 Teknisk foul; Just Part of the Game?

Technical Fouls: Just Part of the Game

I haven't done a statistical analysis, but technical fouls in European basketball are by any measurement a rare breed indeed, and thus the question: Why? Are we afraid of offending someone? Is it because referees think the penalty according to FIBA rules is too strong (in the NBA the penalty is one free throw and the game is restarted from where it was stopped)? Why is it that some players, coaches and bench personnel can behave inappropriately - without any penalty whatsoever?

As basketball continues to grow and the financial aspects of the game change, players and coaches are under increasing pressure to perform well at all times, which means that they often use almost EVERY means available in order to win.

That includes of course, trying to pressure YOU to make the calls that they want, in their favor.

Personally, I am increasingly concerned with the behavior of some of our players and coaches. But, I'm also concerned that as a group, we should not tolerate situations where players embarrass referees, or that coaches and/or bench personnel complain about every call, without being punished for their actions.

Here are some things to think about with regards to player and bench behavior and some things to consider when deciding to call a technical foul:

  1. A player should be able to speak with an official about a game situation, provided that he remains relatively calm and courteous. We do not want however, to see situations in which a player undermines the referee's authority by dismissing his call with a flick of his hand, "applauds" the referee's call, or runs to the other side of the court in protest. In general, the referee runs the risk of losing respect when he DOESN'T call a technical foul in these situations.
  2. FIBA instituted some years ago a coach's box. This box was not designed for decorative purposes! It was put there to define the parameters of the coaches' movement on the sideline. If the coach is stepping slightly out of the box on a regular basis to give instructions to his players – he can be asked politely to stay within the box. If he is coming out of the box to protest a call and especially if he is coming on to the floor (like too many NCAA coaches) or to the scorer's table, strong consideration must be given to calling a technical foul.
  3. By rule, ONLY the coach is allowed to REMAIN standing. That doesn’t mean that others on the bench cannot get up in response to a specific play, or that the assistant coach cannot get up to whisper in the coach's ear. It does NOT mean that the coach, the assistant coach, the manager and chairman of the team can continually stand and protest calls. Referees should use COMMON SENSE and get this situation under control FROM THE BEGINNING OF THE GAME.

Artikkelforfatter Todd WarnickHere are some other thoughts:

  • Perhaps nothing undermines the authority of a referee more than running to the bench time after time and warning the coach, "one more time and a technical foul". Repeated warnings only result in putting the focus on YOU, and not the game. Your authority will be far more respected – in the future as well - should you follow through immediately on your threats.
  • It is also dismaying to see a player protest a call and for the referee to whistle and then call him over and then lecture him about his behavior, as if he is a football referee about to give him a "yellow card". This situation only invites problems: you warn him, he answers you, you answer him, he answers you and you end up giving him a technical foul. Don't "bait" a player or coach into a technical foul.
  • Coaches sometimes take advantage of referees who have already called a technical foul against them, thinking that they won't give a second one that will result in their expulsion. DO NOT be afraid of this situation, and be ready to expel the coach should he continue to repeat the same behavior that caused the first technical foul.
  • DO NOT give a technical foul in the 4th quarter for the same inappropriate behavior that has gone on the entire game, or that was not penalised previously.
  • Referees sometimes miss calls or they make a tough call that causes an emotional, but appropriate reaction, within the framework of the game. You have to also know when to "eat" the whistle and let the player or coach blow off steam because of a mistake or difficult call that you have made. After a tough call, step away from the scorer's table and signal from about 8 meters and not directly in front of the bench and coach of the offended team – and then get the game going as quickly as possible.
  • START the game properly: make sure that there are NO extraneous people on the benches beyond what is allowed by rule and regulation, and make sure that everyone is sitting properly except for the coach, who is of course, allowed to stand within the confines of the coach's box.
  • EVALUATE after the game: was there something we could have done to avoid these situations?

Technical fouls are in the rule book for some very good reasons, but unfortunately, calling these fouls has become over the years a "special event". I believe that everyone involved in the game – referees, coaches, players, fans, the media, the leagues and the federations - have to learn to relate to technical fouls as just part of the game, which is really what they are.