Offensive Charging-Why is it never called?

by bdp
(Uxbridge, ma)

Basketball Charging Foul

Basketball Charging Foul

In watching many basketball games at all levels from youth to pro, it continuously astounds me that clear offensive charging is hardly ever called.


There is no call so frustrating as when a good defensive player has clearly set his feet and is standing with arms straight up, then comes (typically) a quick little guard who goes flying into the chest of the defensive player.

The defensive player takes the blow and ends up on his rear-end, and the refs call is blocking, with the offensive player getting 2 shots.

Recently, after 3 calls in a row went this way in a game, I call out to the ref and he explained that "the player was allowed a half a step"
I have no idea what he meant by this.

Does anyone have a good understanding of the charge/block rule? I am beginning to doubt my sanity on this point. If you can't establish position defensively, how can you ever defend against a layup?

-Frustrated Fan.

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Feb 11, 2008
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I'd have to agree with you on this.
by: Joe Waters - webmaster

Thanks for the post...and the great topic.

I often wonder the same thing about the charging rule in basketball. As I was watching some college basketball and NBA games this weekend, I noticed several times that a charge could've been called on the offensive player. Instead, a block was called on the defensive player.

To the referees' credit, it is often a split-second decision for them. The offensive player in driving toward the basket at full-speed and then the defender moves quickly in front of them to establish position in an attempt to draw the charge.

If anyone is a basketball referee, can you give everyone a quick lesson on the charging foul. I think it would benefit the visitors of this greatly. Thanks!


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