After watching a lot of attempted and made alley oop dunks in the NCAA’s Big Dance and currently in the NBA playoffs, one of the most, if not the most dangerous plays in basketball is the attempted dunking the basketball on the move from a high pass from a teammate above the basket level which ends up many times having the player have to grasp the rim either intentionally to prevent injury to himself or other players beneath him.
Many pull down the rim and many hang or swing on it so to gain attention from the fans in a “look at me” and “look at what I did”. Most players that dunk can dunk without grasping the rim. If they can’t then they shouldn’t be trying.
Here are the 3 rules in NBA, college and high school rule books pertaining to grasping or hanging on the rim
NBA Rule 12A section 4 Article a. Technical Fouls
Article a. An offensive player who deliberately hangs on his Basket Ring, net, backboard or supports, shall be assessed a non sportsmanlike technical foul and a $500 fine. EXCEPTION to prevent injury to himself or others
College Rule 9 section 17 Basket Interference and Goal tending (same for High School)
Article 2 Basket Interference occurs when a player 1. touches the ball or any part of the basket (Rim) while the ball is on or within the basket
College Rule 10 Section 4. Class B Technical Infractions (Same for High School)
Article 1 A technical foul shall be assessed to a player or a substitute for the following infractions:
f. Grasping either basket in an excessive, emphatic manner during the official’s jurisdiction when the player is not, in the judgement of the official, trying to prevent injury to self or others
Now these are the high school, college basketball and NBA rules, yet most if not every official enforces NBA Rule 12A section 4 article a, College Rule 9 section 17 article 2 and High School Rule 10 Section 4 Article 1 sub article f.
When breaking this rule intentionally to bring attention to themselves by grasping the rim and then hanging on it for a second there should be a technical foul.
How can officials be allowed to enforce one rule and then intentionally ignore another?
If this is too continue then it is time to either enforce the rules or remove them from the rule books.
However, I have another possible solution. Why not count the made dunk when the rim is grasped and count the basket only 1 point?
This would immediately stop this dangerous attention getting act.
The reason players are allowed to break this rule intentionally really falls on their coaches if officials are not going to enforce this rule.
Coaches should not want to take a chance of an injury or a missed dunk.
If coaches told their players if they dunk and grasp the rim unless to prevent injury to self or others then they will enforce John Wooden’s “coaches best friend the bench rule” and you will be done for the remainder of the game.
Speaking of missed dunks, a missed attempted dunk was costly in this years NCAA’s Big Dance Tournament when 9 seed University of Central Florida almost had a major upset of number 1 Duke late in the game as they lost 77-76 when the player could have just laid the ball off the backboard.
When coaching I had a dunking rule that to dunk a player had to 1. stop, 2. leave the floor off both feet 3. dunk the ball and 4. only touch the rim with their forearms. If they didn’t dunk that way or missed the dunk then I enforced the “Wooden Rule”.
So to take care of this problem that is not enforced anyway, either 1. enforce the rule in the rule books, 2. have the coaches enforce their own “Wooden Rule” or 3. count the successful dunk only 1 point if a player grasps the rim unless to prevent injury.
After all it doesn’t take too much skill to dunk a basketball, all it takes is size and size is a very big advantage in a game where the target and scoring method is 10 feet from the floor. The taller you are the closer you are to the basket. Now if you are 6 feet or under and can dunk then that does take some skills and jumping ability. But how many 6 footers or under playing the game today at all levels can dunk the basketball on the 10 foot high basket without touching the rim?
So why do we give an advantage to the tall players who can dunk and we allow them to break a rule to do it. That doesn’t seem fair. Basketball is a discriminatory game as it seems to favor those that are closer to the basket then those that are not so why do we let those that have an advantage because of their height break a rule to help them gain an advantage that they already possess.
THAT IS WHY I AM RECOMMENDING THAT IF A PLAYER GRASPS THE RIM ON A DUNK AND IT IS NOT TO PREVENT INJURY TO HIMSELF OR OTHERS THEN THE DUNK SHOULD ONLY COUNT 1 POINT.