The Fight at the Rim: Goaltending or a Legal Block.
Image c/o: EPA/Erik S. Lesser Shutterstock Out
For decades as the game of basketball has evolved, we’ve seen more and more players able to leap towards the top of the rim, not just from height of body but from height of jump and reach as well.
This has complicated the matter for rules makers and referees calling the game to determine how a play is called versus perceived.
This comes most influentially in the aspect of the rule surrounding what is Goaltending against what is a Block.
As the rule states in the NCAA and NBA, it is considered to be Goaltending when the trajectory of the basketball is in a state of downward motion towards the rim and net when impacted by an opposing player therefore preventing it from going through the basket.
However, what happens when a defending player reaches a position with their hand and impacts the basketball prior to it reaching that downward trajectory? What happens when the shooting player has capability of so much force that they bend the player’s hand backwards making it look as though the defending player went underneath to reject the shot?
These are age old questions in basketball that as the game continues to evolve will only become harder and harder to answer. Sure, we now have the ability of instant replay, video review, whatever you might want to call it as. But do we really want to see the game slowed down by constantly wondering if it was a Goaltend or a Block? It would take hours to just complete a quarter.
The situation has been debated and will continue to be debated for long after this article has left the main page feed of this website. However, as a writer and analyst of the game, I will still forever personally contend, if the ball is on its way down, you were just in the way of the score, even if you “got there first”. Basket is good, two points!
Basketball fans, leave your thoughts in the comments below!