Orlando Smith
Years ago

Advantage/disadvantage is it helping or hindering

I was just reading a post and the clarification on a rule got back to the concept of advantage disadvantage and I got to thinking is this concept hepling or hurting the game. I have an examples...

A referee told me that a player can stay in the key as long as he wants if he is not gaining an advantage. If he gets the ball and shoots right away no violaton, if he chooses to pass then there is a 3 second violation. Although I dont understand this intrepretation I am lead to wonder how we got to the point of a confused long explanation for the following rule...

26.1.1 - A player shall not remain in the opponents' restricted area for more than three (3) consecutive seconds while his team is in control of a live ball in the frontcourt and the game clock is running.

Are referees, players and coaches using the advantage/disadvantage concept to death and avoiding the rules because of lack of understanding?

In another situation this week at Port Adelaide a shot was released the 24 sec. buzzer sounded the ball missed everything the defending team rebounded and ran the floor. I assumed there should have been a violation called but the referees cited advantage/disadvantage to let the game continue. I looked up the rule and the rule states as follows...

29.1.2 - If the ball hits the backboard (not the ring) or misses the ring, a violation has occurred unless the opponents have gained immediate and clear control of the ball, in which case the signal shall be disregarded and the game shall continue.

If the rule book cites a clear cut advantage/disadvantage rule then by all means enforce it. but if the adv/dis isn't in the rule book is it reasonable to expect no additional intrepretation is necessary.

Thanks for your comments

Topic #9320 | Report this topic

Years ago

The issue about whether the player has the ball is not relevant for the 3 second violation. Whilst a player is in the key he is gaining an advantage whether he has the ball or not because the opposition will generally need to pay more defensive attention to someone so close to the basket. He also gains an advantage for rebounding position. Just call 3 seconds if the've been in there that long - don't complicate things by trying to interpret the game.

Reply #105472 | Report this post

Years ago

One person's opinion.

But that isn't the rule or the way the rule is to be interpreted.

Reply #105476 | Report this post

gary ayres hair  
Years ago

it is about players and umpires reading what they want out of it - if the ref is yelling keep going - players should play thru it - if the players are looking for calls taht are there the ref should call it

it all about getting on teh same page on game day

game management

Reply #105477 | Report this post

Years ago

At the Nationals 16 girls this year a 203 cm girl pitched a tent in the key and wasn't pinged once. The explanation is covered above in that she wasn't getting the ball in attack. This failed to acknowledge that she blocked paths illegally and won every rebound because she could remain under the basket without penalty.
Enforce the bloody rule or change it and make it consistent. yet another example of hands on dick basketball rule dithering.

Reply #105478 | Report this post

Orlando Smith  
Years ago

Anon 105476;

the rule as above in my earlier post is
26.1.1 - A player shall not remain in the opponents' restricted area for more than three (3) consecutive seconds while his team is in control of a live ball in the frontcourt and the game clock is running. (this is cut and pasted from the official basketball rules 2006 as approved by FIBA Central Board March 2006)
how do you believe it should be interpreted? It seems pretty black and white to me.

Reply #105481 | Report this post

Years ago

It also say that the game should also flow with as little stops in play as possible thats where the whole advantage concept came into play. I am an umpire and i was taught a player can remain in the key just so long as they are not doing 1 of 3 things which are looking for a entry pass eg posting up if the player in the key receves a pass or if the players team mate shoots as soon as the ball leaves the hands its automatic 3 seconds.

Advantage also happens with fouls if your on a fast break and someone fouls you mid court but you manage to brush it off would you rather the umpire call a foul or get an open layup i know wat one i would choose....

Reply #105483 | Report this post

Years ago

The rule book needs to be considered in its entirety, not just individual sections. For example, the advantgae/disadvantage principle is clearly stated to apply to both fouls and viloations in the following excerpt:

"47.3 When deciding on a personal contact or violation, the officials shall, in each instance, have regard to and weigh the following fundamental principles:
" The spirit and intent of the rules and the need to uphold the integrity of the game.
" Consistency in the application of the concept of 'advantage/disadvantage', whereby the officials should not seek to interrupt the flow of the game unnecessarily in order to penalise personal contact that is incidental and which does not give the player responsible an advantage nor place his opponent at a disadvantage.
" Consistency in the application of common sense to each game, bearing in mind the abilities of the players concerned and their attitude and conduct during the game.
" Consistency in the maintenance of a balance between game control and game flow, having a 'feeling' for what the participants are trying to do and calling what is right for the game."

So, in summary, don't bother yelling at referees to call a violation when your team has done nothing proactively on defence to earn that violation. For example, a travel in the backcourt, when no defensive pressure has been applied.

Reply #105484 | Report this post

Years ago

I will explain how we (the refs) are told to interprate this violation.

If a player has been in the restricted area for more than 3 seconds then while the ball is in the front cour the we simply call the violation, however most times we will talk to the player to move out to prevent having to make the call.

2. If we dont make the call early and then the ball is passed in to a player who has been in the key for more than 3 seconds then we give them the chance to get a shot up.

3. If they pass out then we call 3 seconds straight away.

With this interpretation we are calling it by the rule but also talking to prevent a call which will disrupt the flow of the game.

Also no one wants to see 3 seconds called when a player has the ball under the bucket and is about to shoot.

The modern day spectator wants to see players put the ball in the hole so to speak.

hope this helps explain why the call is not made very often

Reply #105485 | Report this post

Years ago


well done - you have just clearly explained to me why the standard of umpiring is so bad.

Whoever issued those instructions (if this is the case) needs to be sacked.

Points 2 and 3 are absolutely absurd and make no sense. Just umpire to the rule - fair enough tell them to get out - if they dont call it regardless of whether they have the ball, get the ball, shoot, pass or fart!

.. and as for this comment:

"Also no one wants to see 3 seconds called when a player has the ball under the bucket and is about to shoot."

How about the defensive team who have just been screwed over by having to bust their arse to guard the player in the keyway for longer 3 seconds.

Reply #105487 | Report this post

Years ago

The comment about no one wanting to see 3 seconds called is I guess a personal comment and some will think differently.

Points 2 and 3 are correct.

If the ball is passed in to the player in the key way and then 3 seconds is called with out letting the player try to get a shot up, then the referee coaches will kick butt!!!

this is fact

this is the modern game

you say it makes no sense but it is called "game flow"

get with the times, 3 seconds is not going to be called as tight as you would like

Reply #105489 | Report this post

Years ago

The game is not Black and White. It is not easy to put into words how adv/disad is to be applied in every single situation which is why there is a training DVD to help officials have an understanding how things should be called. The officials in the video showed they are human because it actually shows them calling incorrectly. The referees are like players, they all make mistakes. So accept that in every game officials will err. When was the last time you shot at 100% or made no turnovers. Most officials call % would be over a conservative error rate of 50%. Most players at all levels would be happy with a 50% shooting %

Reply #105490 | Report this post

Years ago

I think if nothing else this thread has highlighted how difficult a job refereeing is.

Also the fact that referees get blamed for the rules themselves because people simply disagree with a rule and the way it's meant to be applied.

And people wonder why there's such a shortage of referees!!

Reply #105494 | Report this post

Graeme LeBroy  
Years ago

If anyone has a problem with advantage disadvantage I think they should contact FIBA and stop complaining on a forum. You may not like the rule, or the interpretation of it, but that is the way it is. The directions are coming from FIBA so #105487 I hope you have good call rates to call internationally to voice your opinion on a certain fella's job! But I don't think he will be sacked anytime soon!

Reply #105495 | Report this post

Years ago

That's REALLY interesting! I always thought it was completely unfair for someone to stand in the keyway for AGES till they got the ball and then be allowed to have a shot.
Isn't that when most of the supporters are yelling out
'How Lo-ooong??'
How is it fair for someone, eg Anstey, to stand in the keyway, elbowing everyone out till he gets the ball, and then turn around and have a shot which according to above, is OK?
Shows what I know! I was under the impression that if someone is in the keyway for longer than 3 sec, and he gets the ball, THEN it is called 3 seconds. I didn't know that it only happens if he passes the ball out rather than having a shot.
Doesn't really seem fair, but if 'them's the rules, then them's the rules.'
Learn something new every day.

Reply #105497 | Report this post

Years ago

"Also no one wants to see 3 seconds called when a player has the ball under the bucket and is about to shoot" they do when that player has been in there for 5-10 seconds

Reply #105501 | Report this post

Years ago

105487 - couldn't agree more. And from ok's posts and 105483's post, it seems refs have been told different things.

Reply #105502 | Report this post

Years ago

Dana just to clarify for you.
Remember my point number 1, if the player is in the key for more than 3 seconds a violation is called as per the rules.

So if the ball is passed in to the key after he stands in there for 6 or 7 seconds then the umpire is instucted not to call it and let them get a shot up.

this means that it simply should have been called earlier.

the reason not many 3 seconds are called is because you have to remember the count only starts when the ball is in the front court

many people forget this too

Reply #105503 | Report this post

Years ago

my biggest frustrations are hand check fouls in the backcourt. Sure they didn't get the steal so why call the foul? The foul should be called because if it doesn't they will keep trying and sooner or later they will get a legitimate steal. The advantage in making the call is the player who is fouling gets into foul trouble and therefore eases up on the ball pressure.

Reply #105504 | Report this post

Years ago

"this means that it simply should have been called earlier."

Precisely - it should have been called after 3 seconds!

This again re-iterates that your points 2. and 3. from an earlier post are not relevant. It should never get to a case where a player gets the ball in the key after having been there for more than 3 seconds! If this happens the umpire has made a mistake by not calliong the three seconds earlier.

Reply #105505 | Report this post

Years ago

It also seems as tho the defensive team has to wear an umpiring mistake when a player is allowed to get the ball in the key after being there for more than 3 seconds. Because according to the "rules" or "interpretation of the rules" they are not allowed to call three seconds if they shoot it straight away.

I have seen some higher level refs call three seconds on a player who has been in there too long as soon as they receive the ball. I'm sure most players, coaches and spectators will agree that this is the logical way to deal with situations where a player has been in the key longer than three seconds (for whatever reason - oversight/mistake by ref, adv/disadv interpretation).

I've even once seen a player been allowed to camp in the key for about 7 or 8 seconds and not receive the ball but get the offensive rebound only to have three seconds then called. I'm not suggesting the interpretation should go this far, but it seemed a fair enough call to me at the time (and I was on the offending player's team!). The idea of distinguishing between a pass and a shot tho is ridiculous.

Reply #105506 | Report this post

Years ago


Agreed, call it once (the first time) and it stops it happening again. Same for off the ball stuff - like illegal bumping and holding of cutters.

If you don't call it early and allow it - then it can really become an issue later in the game when the umpire looks like a fool for calling it then but allowing it for the previous 3 quarters.

Reply #105507 | Report this post

Years ago

I agree but my point is if the player has been in the key for around 3 seconds then the officials are not going to be quick on the whistle, so if the ball then comes in to the key it is too late to make the call so let them get the shot up.

By this stage the coaches are yelling for three seconds but remember the coach counts much quicker than the umpire too

Reply #105509 | Report this post

Darren Wilson  
Years ago

For 24 Sec query - the rules as stated - clearly play on. In regard to the more than 3 second violation. There are references to a potential offending player being given time should they be making the effort to clear the paint.
Refs are supposed to see and then call. Therefore they should have focus on the offending player for more than 3 secs making sure that they are not gaining an advantage and are not making an effort to clear the paint. So what about the other players? Chances are that someone is trying to keep the potential offender in the paint whilst yelling How Long? Normally difficult to hear this because the crowd has stopped yelling out Travel! and are catcalling 3 secunZ!
(Most amusing when they confuse the two).

Given that the paint is shared responsibility (both refs are meant to be looking there - Yes means in a 2 man game that there are areas where one of ref's SHOULD have primary resonsibility) if the main focus is being absolutely accurate in regard to more than 3 seconds, THEN WHAT ABOUT THE REST OF THE GAME? Ball handler with defense and post plays probably deserve at least some scruitiny.
So 3 secs is an aspect that encompasses priority, game flow and advantage/disadvantage. Not easy to get right all of the time.

Reply #105510 | Report this post

Years ago


Great idea, except we are expecting people with little understanding of the game to make these decision when they are only learning to ref.

Reply #105511 | Report this post

Mott the Hoople  
Years ago

As a coach, I like the refs talking to the players warning them to get out of the key. Once they have had that warning ping them and hopefully point 1 over-rules points 2 & 3.

Generally I think this rule is very well reffed.

Reply #105512 | Report this post

Years ago

I have a question for "ok" are you actually a ref coz what your trying to argue jus makes no sence. how is it to late to call 3 seconds it should be called as soon as the offensive player recives the ball, if the player is alowed to put up the shot then it is a disadvantage to the other team.

Reply #105513 | Report this post

typical supporter  
Years ago


i think you are mistaken, if a player has been in the key for longer than 3 seconds and then receives the ball they will be pinged for a violation, that is the FIBA interpretation. For example, if they have been in there for 6-7 secs and receive the ball they will be violating and punished accordingly (no chance for a shot) - if another player gets the ball and shoots (while that same player is still in the key) then a referee will not call the violation - no disadvantage. Bearing in mind that despite the common misconception, a player that is camping and has a good position for a rebound is not technically gaining an advantage, therefore, for all you whiners out there (i of course do not mean you 'ok')- stop whingeing it aint going to be called.

In my opinion, the only way a referee can deal with the question 'How Long' is to say 'Why do you think I wear pants'.

Reply #105515 | Report this post

Graeme LeBroy  
Years ago

8 inches is also a good reply!

Reply #105519 | Report this post

Years ago

I have umpired in the past at aba womans level and one of the top evaluators in SA coached me on the 3 second rule.

He kicked my butt for calling 3 seconds because the ball was passed in, then I whistled the 3 second violation and canceled the basket which was scored half a second after my whistle.

I was told it was wrong to cancel the basket and if it is not called b4 it is passed in to the keyway player then let the player shoot the ball.

If he stuffs around with it then sure then you can call 3 seconds

i dont care if you think it is wrong but this is how aba refs are told to call it

Reply #105520 | Report this post

Years ago

ha aba id be suprised if u kno wat that stands for. and as for ur umpiring you prob ref down at mv with that joke of an umpire bully n the rest of the clowns

Reply #105522 | Report this post

my opinion only  
Years ago

i am a ref also, I say don't call 3 seconds unless you have to - it's a bad call to make, just talk them out of it!!!

Reply #105523 | Report this post

typical supporter  
Years ago

i think you answered your own question 'Ok' - he kicked your butt because you cancelled the basket ie you were too late. You should call it when he gets the ball and before he looks at shooting - if you are too slow then forget about it - the trick is to not be too slow!

Reply #105524 | Report this post

Years ago

One Missisippi...Two Missisippi...Three Missisippi... unless you spell it instead of saying it, it should take 3 seconds.

Reply #105527 | Report this post

typical supporter  
Years ago

i guess instead of arguing we could always send out the 'Whistle Signal' into the night air - and Trevor Baker from his underground lair could respond so the people of Gotham City can sleep in peace....

Reply #105529 | Report this post

Rex Hunt  
Years ago

Hey Graeme,

I'd have thought 12 inches would have been a better reply. (That's using the old fisherman's scale that I use).

Yibbadi Yibbada

Reply #105530 | Report this post

Years ago

I'm invincible, I'm paying money, the girl's happy, she's got no money, I got my rocks off, how good is this?

Reply #105532 | Report this post

Graeme LeBroy  
Years ago

12 inches would have been flat out greedy!

Reply #105717 | Report this post

Years ago

Charlie if you were to spell it it'd take less time than if other people were to spell it ;)

MI - Double S - I - Double S - I - Double P - I


Reply #105726 | Report this post

Years ago

Good find on Article 26.1.1 however you only needed to read one more paragraph to pick up the intent of the rule.

26.1.2 Allowances must be made for a player who:
" Makes an attempt to leave the restricted area.
" Is in the restricted area when he or his team-mate is in the act of shooting and
the ball is leaving or has just left the player's hand(s) on the shot for a field goal.
" Dribbles in the restricted area to shoot for a field goal after having been there
for less than three (3) seconds.

Dot point 1. He went in there with the intent to cut thru (and was trying to get out the other side), got bumped, held, pushed back in and then finally blocked (intent to leave).

Dot point 2. Rip and Ready (triple threat), is the player in the act or not?

Dot point 3. Receives the ball at 2 - 3 seconds in the key, now wants to use his dribble to beat his player.

Sometimes we need to go back to the Naismith 13 and work our way back. "Feel for the game"

Reply #105728 | Report this post

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