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Original Issue


A college-basketball quiz to test the ingenuity and add to the knowledge of the casual fan and the armchair expert

? Can a team play with fewer than five players?

•A team must begin a game with five players. If it has no substitutes to replace players who have fouled out, it may continue with fewer than five men. Upon occasion, a team with a one-man advantage caused by fouling out has voluntarily sacrificed a player to equalize the game.

? Team A has used its allotted five timeouts. The coach of Team A, however, wishes to discuss the game situation with his players. He signals his captain to ask for another time-out. Can his team get it?

•Yes, at a price. Time-outs in excess of five are charged as technical fouls. Such a request is rare since the technical foul results in a free throw for the opposition.

? When is the three-second rule invoked by a referee?

•This violation is called when an offensive player remains in the free-throw lane for more than three seconds.

? Team A has the ball out of bounds. The throw-in, aimed for the tall center, is so high that the ball goes into the basket without touching any player. Does Team A have a goal?

•No. The ball is considered dead until a player on the floor touches it. Team B would gain possession for the violation.

? If a shot enters the basket from below, goes through and drops back into the basket again, is it a goal?

•No. A goal is scored only when a ball enters the basket from above and remains in the basket or passes through.

? While the ball is in flight on a try for a field goal, a player from Team A pushes an opponent. Another player from Team B bats the ball away from the rim. What happens?

•Team A gets two points on the field-goal try because of illegal goal tending by Team B; then the teams move to the other end of the floor and the player from Team B who was pushed shoots a free throw.

? 1) A player from Team A sticks out his leg and blocks a pass. Can he recover the ball? 2) A player from Team A scrambles after a loose ball which rolls off his leg. Can he recover the ball?

•1) No. The kick is intentional, and it is a fundamental of basketball that the ball must be played with the hands. The ball goes over to Team B. 2) Yes. An accidental kick is not a violation.

? A ball is passed in bounds by Team A. It bounces off an official without touching a player and rolls out of bounds. Does Team A try again?

•No. It is Team B's ball. As in baseball, the official is considered a part of the playing field.

? A player accidentally taps a ball into his opponents' basket. Who gets credit for the goal?

•It is added to the opponents' score, mentioned in a footnote, but not credited to any individual player.

? Team A has possession. One of its players with control of the ball steps on an outside line, but does not touch the boll while he is out of bounds. Is this a violation?

•Yes. The key word is "control." The play is ruled as a continued dribble, and the ball is dead when the player steps on the line. Team B is given the ball.