Goaltending in Basketball may not have a profound effect on the outcome of most games but it is still an important rule to understand- and many people don’t. Here are some tips to better your understanding.
The Basic Idea
Blocking the shot of an offensive player is a great defensive move. However, with basketball players being so tall, it would be possible for a tall player to simply stand under the basket and hit away every shot right before it fell through the mesh. Goaltending is meant to prevent this, as basketball would become very mundane and no one would play or watch. The basic rule is that a player cannot interfere with the ball while it is travelling downward in an arc toward the basket, or after it has bounced off the rim, and is still in the air above it.
The Dos and Don’ts
As a rough guide, refs and players use “the imaginary cylinder”. The idea is to imagine a cylinder rises straight up from the rim to the ceiling. If the ball is touched while in that zone, goaltending can be called. After a long shot, a ball will often bounce off of the backboard. A player cannot touch it until it falls below rim height again. Also, a player cannot reach through the net to touch the ball, or fling the rim in an attempt to bounce the ball away.
The call will only be made if the ref believes the ball would’ve gone in. The referee will award the offensive team the points that they would have received if the ball had been allowed to score.
Goaltending may not have massive consequence, but at least now you understand it a little better.