One of the biggest, if not the biggest key to winning a tournament game is to stay out of individual player and team foul trouble.
Don’t have the game decided by who is playing or not who is playing.
With 3 officials look for more fouls to be called in the tournament atmosphere because 6 eyes will see more then 4 eyes, because officials want to move on as they are being evaluated and there is a tendency to call something then not call something especially when it comes to fouls.
Back when there were just 2 officials, tournament games usually had more fouls called then in regular season games and our scorebooks always revealed this and also was the same or more for 3 person officiating.
Some hints on not fouling or not getting in foul trouble:
1. Move your feet, don’t reach.
2. Don’t attempt to block a shot until the ball leaves the shooters hands
3. Don’t leave your feet guarding the player with the ball until he/she leaves their feet to shoot
4. Make sure when you leave your feet that you have a good open shot
5. Don’t get player control fouls (they are really player-out-of-control-fouls) because if they were in control of their bodies they would not get player control fouls, they would be in control of their bodies and thus not charge into the defender.
6. If your best player is in foul trouble-go zone defense to protect him/her.
7. Make sure you as a coach and the players know how many fouls they have on them after each foul is called.
8. Remember direct technical fouls count as personal fouls.
SET A GOAL OF COMMITTING NO MORE THAN 6 FOULS PER HALF, THIS WILL KEEP THE OTHER TEAM OFF THE FOUL LINE AND YOU OUT OF FOUL TROUBLE.
Many tournament games turn into Henhouse Games, because of all the fowls, make sure your game is not one of them.
Games are won and lost at the foul line with the clock stopped.
If you are ahead, DON’T FOUL.
If you are behind make sure you go for the ball on an attempted steal and if not successful then foul.
Also remember if you have a 3 point lead and under 10 seconds and you are on defense make sure to foul the player with the ball as soon as he start to dribble.
Or if it is on a throw in go for the steal and foul if you do not get it and if you miss the steal and misss fouling make sure to foul the player as soon as he/she starts to dribblew the ball.
You need to practice these late game situations in practice. Put time on the clock and the situation. Practice this once every practice so you are prepared to do this.
This way they cannot throw up a last ditch tying 3 pointer. They will have to make the first foul shot, miss the second foul shot, get the rebound and then score in order to tie the game up.
Good luck to all the tourney teams and make sure you don’t foul up.