Jump Balls? No!

I’ve been having an email discussion with Dan Lewis of www.armchairgm.com about various rules issues. We’ve talked about my Ban The Charge article as well as his points about intentional fouling at the end of games and refs judging the intent of players.
All that rule talk reminded me of something that’s been pissing me off for years. In every single game I watch on TV, at some point there’s a tie ball situation and the announcers go off on a rant about how they need to bring back the jump ball. They go on and on about how unfair the possession arrow is. Mike Patrick and Dick Vitale (go figure) are the worst about this.
Every time they do this, I want to throw things at my TV. Are they nuts?
Think about this fairly common situation – the ball is dumped down into the post to Sven Bigwhitestiff. As Sven makes his clumsy move, he dribbles the ball once or twice. Meanwhile, the point guard on the defense, Punky Webster, drops down and ties up the big man. Great play by Punky right? Not in Dick Vitale’s feeble mind. With a jump ball, Punky gained no advantage at all. All he did was make the offense reset with a new shotclock, because he has no hope of outjumping big Sven.
With the possession arrow, at least he earned something. If he didn’t give his team possession, he earned them the next possession. Maybe that’s not the ideal way to handle the situation, but it’s much fairer than using height to settle a dispute (uh oh, I feel a Caddyshack quote coming on).
Judge Smails: Then how do you measure yourself with other golfers?
Ty Webb: By height.

Sorry about that. Back to jump balls …
An even better idea is to automatically give possession to the team that is on defense. It should be up to the offense to retain clear possession of the ball. If they let the D tie it up, they lose it.
Maybe then Dick could stop ranting about the damn jump ball and get back to what he does best – talking about Duke.

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