How many times have you watched an NBA game and the announcer in determining whether a call should have been a charge or a block mulls over whether the defender's feet were set? Roughly every one?
Here is the reality that might shock a lot of NBA fans. Feet being said are not the test of a charge call. In fact, NBA refs make fun of fans for doing that, according to Henry Abbot of ESPN.
A lot of calls that look like charges are correctly called blocks. When you rewind these plays on your Tivo, don't do what referees make fun of fans for doing: Trying to decide if the players feet were set before the contact. That's not the standard. What you want to know is: Is the defensive player's torso set in position before the offensive player begins his upward motion? The defense can not slide into position after the offensive player has reached this stage.
That's according to Abbot's conversations with Joe Borgia, who, for most of the last 15 years, has been the foremost expert in the world on the NBA rules. He is the vice president of referee operations. He's the son of Sid Borgia, who spent 20 years as an NBA official himself.
He only helps write the rules and teach referees how to interpret them and call them on the court. He knows more about the rules than you do; I can guarantee it.
The point here is that it's not "me" who is telling you this. It's Borgia, who told Abbot, who wrote about it, and got quote here.
According to Brogia, it's not whether the feet are in position it's whether the torso is in position. So every time you're getting told that it's the feet, you're getting told something wrong, no matter how many times you've been told that.
I know this is shocking. I know that some people reading this are having there world order upset and wondering if next I'm going to challenge the existence of gravity. I'm fully aware that the near universal perception is that charging has something to do with the feet being set. It doesn't.
So why does the entire world believe something that isn't true? Because we learned to watch NBA basketball from the announcers who are repeatedly telling you what's wrong.
It's time they bore accountability! The NBA should be allowed to fine announcers who are misinforming the public. I'm not sure how the logistics of this would work out, but technically, they could fine the network in question and let the network deal with it.
There's a lot of bad information regarding rules that gets passed on by the announcers that the fans then take as gospel. (Look up restricted area and lower-defensive box if you want to learn another misconception). In truth, that's why there's a lot of the booing of perfectly legitimate calls.
Alternative Penalty: Allow NBA officials to announce a game of announcers announcing a game and reviewing their performance.