Sometimes basketball officials confuse the act of delaying returning to the court after being out of bounds legally with leaving the court for an unauthorized reason. Hopefully, you will never have to deal with either one of these situations, but if the occasion raises its ugly head it may be good for you to have some idea about each of these rule situations.
For a player to be guilty of delaying his/her return to the playing court after legally being out of bounds, the act must be seen as purposeful and intentionally deceitful by the official. Make sure the act is an elephant and not a mouse if you decide to get involved.
Usually this act, that carries a technical foul as its penalty, occurs on a throw-in when the thrower waits for a second or two after releasing the ball, and then runs four or five steps out of bounds, then enters in bounds behind a screen to receive a pass and presumably an open shot.
Leaving the court for an unauthorized reason is a violation and is not penalized with a technical foul. An example might be a post person leaving the court to try and avoid a three-second call. Another classic example is an offensive player running out of bounds around a double screen near the end line. The basic rule premise is that the game is played in bounds and leaving the court to get an advantage is punishable by a violation call giving the ball to the opposition nearest where the offender went out of bounds. The violation occurs when the player goes out of bounds. There are a couple of exceptions, however. See below.
Don’t confuse great hustle where a player’s momentum takes him or her out of bounds with leaving the court illegally. Picture a play where an athletic player jumps in the air near the side line to bat an errant pass back in bounds and his/her momentum takes him/her out of bounds. This play is perfectly legal. The same is true of a player who drives hard to the bucket for a layup and his/her momentum takes that player out of bounds. Perfectly legal!
Below is a clip of an official calling a technical foul on a thrower for delaying his return to the court after releasing the ball on a throw-in. the video is not the best quality but the action of the thrower does not look purposeful or deceitful to me. This call was made twice in this game. This is not an elephant, it isn’t even a mouse. Make it be big if you are going to gt involved in this.
RULE BOOK AND CASE RULINGS ON DELAY RETURNING AFTER BEING LEGALLY OUT OF BOUNDS
A player shall not:
Purposely and/or deceitfully delay returning after legally being out of bounds.
CASE RULINGS FOR 10.3.2
10.3.2 SITUATION A:
A1 has the ball out of bounds for a throw-in. A1 completes the throw-in to A2 and then purposefully delays his/her return by taking four or five steps along the end line prior to coming inbounds behind a screen set by A3 and A4. A1 gets a return pass from A2 and takes an unchallenged try for goal.
RULING: A1 is charged with a technical foul for purposefully delaying his/her return to the court following the throw-in. A1′s movement out of bounds along the end line was to take advantage of the screen and return to the court in a more advantageous position.
After a lengthy substitution process involving multiple substitutions for both Team A and Team B, A5 goes to the bench and remains there, mistakenly believing he/she has been replaced. The ball is put in play even though Team A has only four players on the court. Team A is bringing the ball into A’s front court when the coach of Team A realizes they have only four players. The coach yells for A5 to return and he/she sprints directly onto the court and catches up with the play.
RULING: No technical foul is charged to A5. A5′s return to the court was not deceitful, nor did it provide A5 an unfair positioning advantage on the court.
RULE BOOK AND CASE RULINGS ON LEAVING THE FLOOR FOR AN UNAUTHORIZED REASON
A player shall not leave the court for an unauthorized reason.
PENALTY: (Section 3) The ball is dead when the violation occurs and is awarded to the opponents for a throw-in from the designated out-of-bounds spot nearest the violation. (See 6-7-9 Exception d)
CASE RULINGS FOR 9.3.3
9.3.3 SITUATION A:
A1 receives a pass while in the restricted area of the lane. A1 passes the ball to A2 outside the three-point line. In order to get the three-second count stopped, A1 steps directly out of bounds under A’s basket.
RULING: A1 is charged with a violation for leaving the court for an unauthorized reason. (9-7)
9.3.3 SITUATION D:
The score is tied 60 to 60 with four seconds remaining in the game. A1 has a fast break and is near the free-throw line on his/her way to an uncontested lay-up. B5 running down the court near the sideline, intentionally runs out of bounds in the hopes of getting a leaving-the-floor violation called.
RULING: B5′s intentional violation should be ignored and A1′s activity should continue without interruption.
COMMENT: Non-contact, away from the ball, illegal defensive violations (i.e. excessively swinging the elbows, leaving the floor for an unauthorized reason) specifically designed to stop the clock near the end of a period or take away a clear advantageous position by the offense should be temporarily ignored. The defensive team should not benefit from the tactic. If time is not a factor, the defense should be penalized with the violation or a technical foul for unsporting behavior. (10-1-8)
9.3.3 SITUATION B:
A1 and A2 set a double screen near the end line. A3 intentionally goes out of bounds outside the end line to have his/her defender detained by the double screen.
RULING: The official shall call a violation on A3 as soon as he/she steps out of bounds. The ball is awarded to Team B at a designated spot nearest to where the violation occurred.
9.3.3 SITUATION C:
A1 and A2 set a double screen near the end line. B3 intentionally goes out of bounds outside the end line to avoid being detained by A1 and A2. Just as B3 goes out of bounds, A3′s try is in flight.
RULING: B3 is called for a leaving-the-floor violation. Team A will receive the ball out of bounds at a spot nearest to where the violation occurred. Since the violation is on the defense, the ball does not become dead until the try has ended. If the try is successful, it will count. (6-7-9 Exception d)
Leave the playing court for an unauthorized reason to demonstrate resentment, disgust or intimidation.
CASE RULING FOR 10.3.6
10.3.6 SITUATION C:
With 4 minutes remaining in the second quarter, B1 commits his/her third foul against airborne shooter A1; the try is unsuccessful. Team B’s coach sends B6 to the scorer’s table to replace B1 after A1′s first free-throw. B1′s replacement may not enter the game until after A1′s first free throw. B1, disgusted with the official’s call and realizing he/she will soon leave the game, goes and sits on the end of Team B’s bench just after the official reports the foul.
RULING: B1 is assessed an unsporting technical foul for leaving the court for an unauthorized reason to demonstrate disgust. A1 will attempt the two shooting-foul free throws followed by any Team A member attempting the two free throws for the technical foul. (10-3-6i; 3-3-2)