Officials to put emphasis on blocks, charges this season

By Joel Jellison

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — While it’s not as drastic as the NBA’s approach to “flopping,” expect to see blocks called often this season.

Big 12 Coordinator of Men’s Basketball officials Curtis Shaw said officials will be putting an emphasis on blocks and charges, especially on the “50/50” plays.

The NCAA rules committee decided to put extra attention in that direction to avoid what it believes is a significant injury issue, in particular when areas of the floor are not consistent in terms of traction.

Officials will be looking to correctly call blocks against players who make late movement in setting their feet and keeping tabs on help defenders creating contact from the side.

One emphasis, Shaw said, is that contact through the chest is no longer proof of a charge. Officials will now consider the rule in its entirety before making a call.

The NBA made a move against its players this offseason by instilling rules against flopping and promising to fine violators of the rule.

Shaw said he doesn’t expect similar rules to come to the college game. Instead, he said it tends to trickle down and as NBA players adjust to the rule, college players will adjust their game. He also said he doesn’t see flopping to be as serious an issue in the college game as it has become in the pro game.

Another emphasis this season will be on bench decorum, as the referees will look to crack down on unsportsmanlike conduct from the bench,

Most of the emphasis falls on the coaches themselves, including questioning the integrity of an official, using profane, vulgar, threatening or derogatory remarks towards officials.

Also being emphasized is eliminating prolonged negative responses to a call/no-call which is considered to be disrespectful or unprofessional.

One particular thing Shaw said they will be looking to eliminate is coaches specifically taking off their coats in a negative manner is response to officials.

Continual criticism of officials will also warrant more technical fouls this season.

Shaw said he doesn’t expect the emphasis to produce an abundance of calls against coaches or the bench, as he estimated 90 percent of coaches in the country handle themselves in a professional manner.

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