Friday, March 23, 2007

It Was NOT A Traveling Violation

Like most sports fans, there are certain announcers I like, some I tolerate, and some I turn the volume way down on. The guys doing the tournament generally rate higher than tolerable for me, although they do get quite a few things wrong over the course of several games.

The finish of the Georgetown - Vanderbilt game this evening produced one of those announcer moments that just irritate me - getting the rules wrong and then criticizing the officials who applied the rule correctly. I can tolerate the questioning of the officials' judgement, although rarely do I see a replay where even judgement calls look bad. But it is inexcusable for announcers on site or in studio to not know the rule, and then question "how could they make/miss that call?"

The specific play was the game winning shot by Georgetown. The player received the ball, pivoted a couple of times without ever lifting/moving the pivot foot, stepped through 2 players while lifting his pivot foot, released the ball for the shot, and returned his pivot foot to the floor.

Both of the studio announcers went off on the officials for not calling a travel on the play, showing the replay repeatedly, which clearly showed that he did lift his pivot foot and then released the shot prior to returning to the floor, and stating that lifting his pivot foot before the shot should have been called a travel.

Dudes! That is NOT a travelling violation. If you couldn't lift your pivot foot before releasing the ball on the shot you could never shoot a jump shot, a layup, a dunk - you would always have to have at least one foot on the floor when shooting or passing the ball! In fairness, I must point out that the rules state that it is a traveling violation to lift the pivot foot prior to starting a dribble, or to lift the pivot foot and return it to the floor without releasing the ball for a shot or a pass. But these guys were embarrassingly wrong tonight.

Thus endeth the rant.

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