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Beyond the Arc: Another draft in the books, Josh Webster leaves, and clarifying what actually constitutes a charge

Plenty of hoops happenings to get into, even at this slow time of year.

Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

The Draft

Another Draft has come and gone. Smith ended up in Philly following being traded by the Suns. Unsurprisingly, Deandre Ayton snagged the top draft spot.

Both Keenan Evans and Zach Smith went undrafted sadly, but later found their new homes. There is some real star power in this rookie class, but potential for busts too.

Josh Webster leaves Lubbock

Well, Webster is moving on. Can’t say there is any real surprise here. Many, myself included, thought Webster might eventually share the PG role. Some even thought he might start outright in the future. But he never really showed he could command the position. With the new blood in the program, playing time might have been sparse for him.

Nonetheless, he was a great teammate this year and played extremely hard when given the chance. Raider Nation can only be rooting for him moving forward. Good luck!

What on earth actually is a charge?

We all know one call that makes everyone mad. The call that almost always causes passionate debates among even the tightest of friends. That call is the block/charge distinction. So, let me throw my whistle on and try to clear the air around basketball’s most debated call.

First, one common misunderstanding is that you have to stand perfectly still to draw a charge. That is partially true, as refs use small details to make a tough call. But that simplification ignores the larger point of the rule. A defender must establish legal guarding position to draw a charge.

What this means is a defender does not have to be set, but rather established in front of the offensive player and gained legal guarding position. That’s why blocks tend to be most often called if a defender slides over late. The motion does not cause the foul, rather his lack of positioning does.

This explains the charges you will see when a defender is sliding. If he was on time, and established his guarding position he will earn his charge. But as an offensive player how can you drive and avoid a turnover? Don’t worry, there is still a way to make the defender look silly and earn the treasured and-one.

To avoid a charge, an offensive player must be able to cross the defenders body before contact occurs. So, reasonably in a game if you can get the ball and your shoulders past a defender you will likely avoid the charge.

If the offensive player is able to do that, and then contact occurs a block should be called. This is because if you clear a player with that much of your body, the defender is likely leaning over to draw the contact. This puts him out of legal guarding position

Additionally, thanks to the NCAA, “a defensive player is not permitted to move into the path of an offensive player once he has started his upward motion with the ball to attempt a field goal or pass. If the defensive player is not in legal guarding position by this time, it is a blocking foul.”

That is a new rule clarification just added, intended to ease the burden on an offensive player. Expect a lot less charges next season as a result.

This is the hardest call in basketball to make. I worked as an intramural referee, and the veteran official that trained me basically said just make a call and stick with it. It is almost always 50/50 guess unless it is the rare moment when the call is plain as day.

As a fan it hard to appreciate how much an official is watching and how fast the game is moving. Do not be surprised when this call gets blown, but hopefully now you all feel you understand it a bit better.

Got any questions on the rule, or think I misinterpreted something? Let me know on twitter or the comments! I can’t claim to be a rules expert so join the discussion if you have more insight than I.