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Growing Interest for Restricted Circle in High School Basketball

Officials say adding a restricted circle would make officiating the game easier (Photo by VYPE Media's Bradley Collier).

Originally Appeared on VYPE

SAN ANTONIO – While the current debate in high school basketball is whether or not to add a shot clock to add more excitement to the game, there is a growing interest for something else not in high school… the restricted circle.

If you are unfamiliar with it, the restricted circle is a semi-circle found in the paint near the hoop in men's and women's college and pro basketball. Added a few years ago, the restricted circle defines where a defender can draw a charge and where it cannot. If the defender's foot is touching or inside the circle, or any part of its body is on/inside the circle, the official cannot call a charge. It can only call a block on the defender, or not make a call at all.

This was put in years ago, so that defenders couldn't just stand under the hoop and take a late charge. It also was put in to make it easier for officials to decide what to call, especially in a late game scenario, or at least what not to call.

I spoke with several officials who have worked UIL basketball title games in the last couple years and each said it would be a good thing so that officials don't have to deal with a gray area. One official who worked a state title game on Saturday was in the stands watching the Wagner-Timberview 5A final. I had dinner with him and he said that game showed why the restricted circle would be a great addition.

"There were a couple of close block-charge calls," he said. "If the restricted circle were used in high school, it would have taken some of the gray area out and allowed the crew to better determine whether to call a block, a charge, or nothing."


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Composite photo by Jack Brame

As things continue to relax as far as the COVID-19 pandemic is concerned, a return to a semblance of normalcy seems imminent. The NBA has some parameters in place for a potential return. Training camps are set to open late this month and the season is supposed to open July 31. Whether that's the rumored Disney-centered one-stop shop or another form, they have a plan in place to return. There's also no argument between the league and players going back and forth about money either (MLB could learn a lesson here).

So when it comes to the potential return, how does that fare for the local team? The Rockets were 40-24 and tied for the fifth seed in the West when the season was shut down. Since they're getting ready to return potentially, we need to be looking at what chances they may have in making a run in the playoffs towards an NBA title.



Harden's new physique

According to his new trainer, James Harden has done more cardio workouts and lost some weight. Specifically, he's done more football player workouts as opposed to basketball player workouts. There was a pic of Harden floating around showing an obvious loss of weight. His new-found cardio and weight loss could mean more late-game and late-season success for Harden and the Rockets.

Westbrook's edge

Russell Westbrook has a competitive fire that can't be put out. It's like one of those never-ending burning torches you see at monuments. He wants nothing more than to prove he's a winner on a high level. Given that he's reunited with a long time friend in Harden, his competitive nature could help fill the gap where Harden may lack. These two have proven they can coexist very well this season. Now could be their time to take surge.

Small-ball

When the Rockets traded Clint Capela, they fully committed to small-ball. There were times they didn't have a guy in the lineup over 6'5. The tallest guy that gets regular time is roughly 6'8. The smaller, quicker lineup is an advantage on the offensive end, but can be a huge liability on the defensive end. Given the stoppage and restart of the season, it could help them. Suppose other teams are sluggish and can't get their chemistry straight. Houston's advantage is that they go through one or two guys and eat off their shooting. Shooting can be worked on during times like these, whereas other aspects of your game can't.


I'm not saying the Rockets have a built-in advantage, but they have as good a shot as they've ever had in the past. The field is wide open to any team that's in the playoff hunt. No team will have a built-in advantage over others. With the Rockets' unique brand of ball, they may be able to make a run at a title this season. Couple that with Harden's weight loss and Westbrook's competitive nature, it could be very interesting. Whenever the NBA comes back this season, which I believe they will, I think this team has a legit shot at winning it all.

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