Over the years fans have called for tighter rules regarding hand checking, arm bars and when players dip their shoulders on a drive. However, the interpretation of that depends on which side of the ball the fan is sitting.
If one looks at the statistics from games played in November and December there are huge numbers of fouls and free throws taken. If there was a gripe-o-meter it would be in the red with fans screaming that there are too many fouls called and the games are taking longer.
A check with Quikstats Iowa, a statistical web site used by the schools to record game stats, the fouls and free throws are similar to two years ago. Last season saw fewer fouls and free throws seemingly because official were letting the players have more freedom to move. At least in talking with area coaches, they feel that was the case.
This year it appears fouls were called early in the season and players have begun to adjust.
“Every year the association gives points of emphasis for the officials to follow, most of the times these are rules that the association feels weren’t called well,” said Oskaloosa girls coach Steve Kaisand. “This year they added a few rules in hopes of limiting contact, especially in the post. Early in the season, you could tell the emphasis was in getting hands off as a defender. Over time two main things happened, players learned how to play defense with less contact and officials started letting a little more contact happen again.”
Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont’s Tony Fenton agrees with Kaisand.
“I think early in the year they were calling games tighter than the previous years but lately I feel that the games are not being called as tight,” said Fenton. “Some of the points of emphasis this year are not being called. We have had many games where the offense is pushing off in the post or using hand checking.”