Officials: Rethink The 3-Point Foul Call


It’s one of the deadliest foul calls in basketball because it grants not just two but three foul shots. However, too many times this year I have seen the three-point shot foul stretched and interpreted in too many ways.

My understanding of the call is that if a defender makes contact with the shooter by invading the shooter’s space it is a foul. But just getting the defender up in the air should not grant the shooter those three shots.

A defender should have the right to his own air space just like the shooter does. Sure, a good pump fake always gets the defender up in the air, but if the offensive player has to drastically change his shooting motion in order to make contact with defender, then it should not be a foul.

Additionally, the shooter must be shooting the ball. Obvious continuation should not be allowed by the officials after contact has been made.

In this league, it’s hard enough as it is to defend such talented shooters. So why are they getting the benefit of the doubt when it comes to getting calls?

For a foul, the defender must:

  • Directly invade the shooter’s space – his natural range of motion.
  • Make contact with his ball hand arm.
  • Alter the proper landing of the shooter.

The offensive player must not:

  • Oddly or unnaturally lean into a defender that’s up in the air just to get the call.
  • Kick out his leg or any body part.
  • Flop to the ground even when very little contact was made.

The Cavaliers have some very talented shooters, and this rule cleanup may actually hurt the hometown team more than help. That being said, the game needs to be played fairly, and this is a rule that I believe has had too much room for interpretation.

This offseason, the officials should set a new standard for calling fouls beyond the arc, or really all jump shots in general.

-Zach Shafron


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