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No flopping allowed

by ja on 6/12/2008 11:09:20 AM

Just about every sports fan knows that Floppers can potentially ruin a game. Apparently the NBA rules committee has figured that out as well. Last week the NBA announced to the teams that flopping will no longer be tolerated. Well, actually it will be tolerated – it’s just that any player who is deemed to have flopped will be fined. While it’s not near enough it is a start. See a short blurb about it here  (includes some commentary from NBA fans on the subject).

So what do I think about the NBA fining for flops. Well, I thinks it’s a start.  But certainly more can be done. There are basically three scenerios in which flops occur. There might be no call at all, there might be a defensive foul called, and there might be an offensive foul called. I’ll discuss each scenerio and my opinion about what ought to be done about it to get things under control.

 When there is a No-Call

I don’t think we should worry too much about flops on a no call. Why? Because when you flop you put yourself at a disadvantage if you don’t get the call. You end up out of position and the other team could take advantage of your flop attempt. This holds true on both the offensive end and the defensive end. So - no call, no flop.

I would like to consider and exception to the no call, no flop rule. I have seen too many instances where a player takes a jump shot and then just automatically falls down as if they got fouled. It’s harder to really accuse them of flopping (maybe they just fall over when then shoot?), but to be fair to defenders trying to earn fake calls we should also be looking at any offensive players trying to trick the refs into making calls.

When there is a call

Offensive fouls:

I think I want to steal one from the NFL here. Give the coaches two challenges per game and let’s implement a flop panel. So, on the challenged play the panel watches the play exactly 3 times and silent vote flop or no flop. They decide collectively whether it was a flop or not. The flop panel can be the refs or it could be people not even in the arena. We can all spot most flops on tv replay anyway. Let’s give them a title to make it sound official. Flop diagnostic specialists. If it’s not the officials then we not only straighten out the game, but we help the economy by creating new jobs!

Now, before we start talking about slowing down the game and what not keep a couple of things in mind. Since offensive fouls are rare (maybe 5 per game) it won’t slow the game much to have an in game review “flop-crew review”.

Penalty: If an offensive foul is called based on a defender flopping then make it a one shot foul and the ball for the offensive team. Plus put all the time back on the shot clock and some time back on the game clock (up to whatever it was at the start of the possession) so the team can get back into the offensive flow again. If it’s voted a non-flop then call it an offensive foul and move on.

Defensive fouls:

When a defender gets called for the foul it is far more likely that the foul really occurred. Even if it didn’t occur it’s less likely that the offensive player flopped to get the call. Think about it. Flopping offensively (while you have the ball) is not easy.  To draw the kind of attention needed to get the call you basically have to take a chance on losing the ball if it results in a no call. Coaches can be allowed to use a challenge here as well, but since a foul is a foul (even if it is “sold”) they probably won’t ever use it.

Penalty: If a defensive foul is called and it is decided that the offense faked the contact then it will be a loss of the ball for the offense.

These changes we would go a long way towards cleaning up the flopping and would give the game back some of what old school fans miss… you know… basketball. Maybe we can convince some of these players to save the acting for the theaters and to keep it out of the arenas.

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