PDBA 2018 Winter Domestic Season Rule Changes

Welcome to all the new and returning teams to the PDBA 2018 Winter Domestic Season.

As of this season, we are enforcing the rules that FIBA have introduced.

Below is the details of the changes:-

  1. The “Unnecessary Contact” Unsportsmanlike Foul (new, additional rule)

This new rule applies to contact on a dribbler in transition if the defender has not established a Legal Guarding Position.

This will typically occur on a steal or turnover when a defensive player tries to impede the dribbler by reaching across or bumping them.

It does not matter if the contact is intended or accidental – it is still an Unsportsmanlike Foul.

It does not matter where any of the other defenders are on the court – there may be one or more defenders between the ball handler and the basket, but it is still an Unsportsmanlike Foul.

Transition starts with the steal or turnover and ends with the start of the Act of Shooting, or when the offense stops and sets up.

The “fast-break” Unsportsmanlike foul still applies as well. This new “Unnecessary Contact” Unsportsmanlike Foul is an additional ruling, intended to clean the game up in transition.

For guidance, if the defender has a legal guarding position in front of the dribbler but does not quite adjust in time and is called for a Blocking Foul, normally call this a common Foul.

If the defender does not ever have a legal guarding position on transition, which usually occurs if they are beaten at the start of the turnover, then the defensive foul will usually be an “Unnecessary Contact” Unsportsmanlike Foul.

  1. The new application of the Travel Rule

First, there is NO CHANGE to the travel rule regarding players who receive the ball while stationary. There are NO extra steps permitted, and the player must still release the ball BEFORE commencing a dribble. This is UNCHANGED.

The rule has changed for players who gain control of the ball while on the move. Essentially, they are allowed an extra step. This will become effective particularly for the “spin move”, but also applies to “catch and dribble” or “catch and shoot” situations as well.

This new rule can be hard to apply at high speed. For guidance, if the move looks “a bit wrong” but you are not certain, allow it. If it is clearly illegal even under the new rule, then call the Travel.

  1. One Unsportsmanlike Foul plus Technical Foul means disqualification.

For some time we have had Two Technical Fouls or Two Unsportsmanlike Fouls by the same player in the same game meaning that they are disqualified and have to leave the game (and the court area in most cases, although common sense might need to be applied for Juniors and in some venues).

Now the rules have added One Unsportsmanlike Foul plus Technical Foul means disqualification. This makes common sense.

Please note that the disqualification is NOT an extra foul – it simply means that the particular player can no longer play in that game.

Below are some videos to help with the changes:-

It may take some time for players and officials to fully adapt to these changes.

A friendly reminder to all coaches and players of the high expectations we have as a league on player and coach behaviour and that we have zero tolerance for disrespectful behaviour towards referees.

Referees are an integral part of the sport and the PDBA Domestic league is an important one for the development, education and experience it provides to the next generation of elite referees within the state.

Referees are human like all of us and mistakes will occur from time to time. Basketball Victoria and the PDBA can only be proactive in ensuring these officials are educated further on these errors (if any are made), to ensure we are achieving continuous improvement and upskilling them where appropriate.

Be rest assured Basketball Victoria and the PDBA has strong and prominent systems in place for driving continued improvement in this area, with coaching and reviewing processes occurring each day across all PDBA Domestic matches throughout the season.

If you have any questions, please ask the referee supervisor on the night.


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