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You’re Nuts: Should charges be banned in basketball?

Some say it’s a skill to tactfully fall down, others think it’s shameful. Where do you stand?

Syndication: DetroitFreePress Kirthmon F. Dozier, Detroit Free Press

With our latest series of “Which Big Ten (Insert class here) will have the biggest impact this season, we are moving on. And we have a controversial one this week: Should we just ban charges in basketball? Are they that problematic now?

But before we get into it, let’s look at last week.

We debated which Big Ten senior we thought would have the biggest impact. Connor won with 55 percent of the vote with his pick of Zach Edey, while Justin got 30 percent of the vote with his pick of Jamison Battle. 15 percent of people picked someone else.

Here are the updated standings:

After 116 weeks:

Connor- 51
Justin- 48
Other- 13

(There have been four ties)

And now on to this week.

Today’s Question: Should charges be banned?

Connor: No

Montana Tech v Boise State Photo by Loren Orr/Getty Images

Blocks and charges are two of the most difficult calls in basketball because of the gray area that’s involved. Some block/charge calls happen in the restricted arc under the basket, making the call — and potential review — a whole lot easier. Was the defensive player in the cirlce, or was he out? A call is made, maybe there’s a review after, but usually not.

Those calls right under the basket are the clear-cut ones. Adding this semi-circle drectly under the basmet makes it so that defenders can’t become traffic cones in the way of every single layup, dunk, etc. — you know, the highest percentage shots possible.

The confusing part is when a block or charge is called away from the basket.

The definiton of charge is “A personal foul that occurs when a player with the ball runs into an opponent while making no attempt to stop and/or change direction. The key factor in judging a charge is whether the defender was stationary or moving.”

The charge call prevents basketball from turning into football. A player should be able to utilize their strength to get past opponents and out-muscle defenders, but simply throwing your weight around to move your defender isn’t basketball. Slamming into your defender or pushing them out of the way isn’t basketball, either.

Charge calls away from the basket are tougher to get right 100% of the time because it is up to the discretion of the referee if the defensive player had set his or her feet or not before the offensive player made contact. However, there are also situations where a defender is not set, and the offensive player is still called for the foul because it was clear that the offensive player’s intent was too muscle right through the defender, not around or past them.

Even though it’s a problematic call, and we’ll never get it right 100% of the time, I think it is important to have a rule in place that prevents offensive players from using brute strength to score the basketball. If we just remove the block/charge call, basketball would just become a mix of football/MMA below the basket every game — what’s the point?

It takes practice, skill, and a lot of repetition to master footwork around the basket that helps you score around a defender. It takes hours upon hours of practice to master the art of escaping a defender without just plowing into them. Those things are what make the best players so impressive. We can’t get rid of the block/charge call.

Justin: Yes

Okay, so hear me out on this one. I recognize the premise of the question on the surface is crazy. Charges have always been a large part of the game, and they are just there, what do you mean they should be illegal, Justin?

Well, let’s talk about it.

I like to see the best players play. And last year in the NBA playoffs, two of the best players in the sport were hurt because of guys taking charges. Ja Morant and Giannis Antetokounmpo dealt with serious injuries because of late charge attempts by Anthony Davis and Kevin Love.

This is where it gets messy for me. If a player is set and ready to take the charge before the offensive player gets to his spot, fine. I still don’t love it and wish they would just play defense, but at least that way the offensive player knows the risk he is taking if he tries to take off for a dunk. But in both of these instances and many others, the defensive player is late rotating, and they do this in an attempt to trick the referee into making a charge call.

However, since the defensive player is late rotating and is still trying to get the charge call, the offensive player is already in the air and has no way to defend themselves or protect themselves. They will almost always have a bad landing, because they are essentially landing on a person.

Charges, in general, aren’t the issue. It is how they are called, enforced, and rewarded in today’s game. Have you ever seen a team inbound the ball, and as the ball handler turns around, the defender is just standing there and he falls down? That gets called sometimes. It’s truly no good for anyone.

Once players start getting hurt because a player is late to rotate or recover, something needs to change. And since I cannot trust the refs will start calling it accurately, let’s just get rid of it.


Should charges be banned?

This poll is closed

  • 26%
    Yes (Justin)
    (4 votes)
  • 66%
    No (Connor)
    (10 votes)
  • 6%
    I’m on the fence
    (1 vote)
15 votes total Vote Now