You can’t satisfy everybody all at the same time. Believe me I’ve tried.
During a basketball game there’s almost always one call that’ll always split the fans down the middle. include here — the block/charge call.
It is undeniably the most difficult call for a referee to make and it has to be done in a split second. So why do we have this rule? Why are we allowing players to not even make an attempt for the ball while playing defense but instead just stand like a wall and let someone run into them?
My opinion? Eliminate the rule altogether. Grow a pair and start playing defense. College, professional, overseas and everywhere. Just stop.
There’s a reason you never see someone take a charge during a pickup game at the gym or in any game that’s not officiated. You’ll become a pariah if you have the audacity to call a charge on someone. It’s a bail-out play.
I participated in a game where a guy called it twice on a single possession. Yes, a single possession, as the first time he said it we all stopped and looked at him like he was out of his mind. It was the most ridiculous thing I’d ever seen and I shook my head in embarrassment for him.
At what age does a player get coached to stand in front of a moving object and brace themselves to get run over?
“I’m sick of charges. I hate it. I don’t coach it anymore,” said Michigan State Head Coach Tom Izzo last week during a conversation with Mike DeCourcy of the Sporting News.
I’ll never be a coach on Izzo’s level, but I did spend one year on the bench leading a pack of eighth graders. During one particular practice I literally taught them how to foul hard, but without the intent to hurt a player.
They enjoyed it because I made myself the offensive player and let them take their aggression out on me from running so many lines. You may frown upon my tactics of teaching 13 and 14-year-olds how to foul, but it is part of the game.
Sliding more than a half second before an offensive player occupies the space is also part of the game, but should not be.
I have been part of discussions where someone argues that taking a charge is better than blocking a shot. They said a blocked shot only guarantees the other team doesn’t score at that very moment. An offensive foul means there are no points scored, it gets your team the ball back and the offensive player has another foul racked up against him.
While this may be true, it is a risky play that more often than not has the defender on his backside with a shocked look on his face as to why he just picked up a foul, because in their eyes, they’re always perfectly set.
Basketball should not be decided by the referees. The best ones are never noticed. By giving up your body to take a charge, you’re basically saying "I’m not good enough to defend this guy so I’m going to plant myself right here and hope the official makes the right call." I’ll even act a little and give a flop to sell the call.
So the next time a player on your favorite team attempts to take a charge but picks up the foul, instead of yelling at the referee, yell at the player for not playing defense. Or tell him to take his talents to Hollywood because he’s not wanted on the court.