"Flops have no place in our game - they either fool referees into calling undeserved fouls or fool fans into thinking the referees missed a foul call, accordingly, both the Board of Governors and the Competition Committee felt strongly that any player who the league determines following video review, to have committed a flop should - after a warning - be given an automatic penalty."
That is the official statement from Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations at the NBA Stu Jackson as the world’s premier basketball competition moves to end ‘flopping’.
Flopping is essentially the act of taking a fall in basketball, their equivalent to diving in football. It has been called our current ‘cancer’ by FIFA vice-president Jim Boyce perhaps, ironically, a tad over-dramatically. A defensive player will fall to the ground under little or no physical contact from an offensive opponent to earn a charging call and therefore earn a technical foul.
In the same way that diving in the Premier League has a certain group of players consistently blamed for ‘diving’ the same is apparent in the NBA. Vlade Divac, Dennis Rodman, Manu Ginobli and Derek Fisher have all picked up a reputation for ‘flopping’ while the new poster-boy of the NBA the LA Clippers Blake Griffin is also being singled out in some circles. Laurent Koscielny recently hit out at Luis Suarez; well Detroit Piston Rasheed Wallace said this of Hedo Turkoglu in 2009:
‘’They've got to know that he's a damn flopper. That's all Turkododo do. Flopping shouldn't get you nowhere. He acts like I shot him. That's not basketball, man. That's not defense. That's garbage, what it is. I'm glad I don't have too much of it left.’’
But as the opening statement shows the NBA have apparently had enough of the continuous usage of this tactic in the game. It is a long time coming, they have tried and failed in the past to prevent players from ‘flopping’ but they feel the new regulations and the threat of retrospective bans could be the preventative factor they have been looking for.
The NBA have worded the act of ‘flopping’ thusly:
"any physical act that appears to have been intended to cause the referees to call a foul on another player. The primary factor in determining whether a player committed a flop is whether his physical reaction to contact with another player is inconsistent with what would reasonably be expected given the force or direction of the contact."
You could even use the same wording for diving in association football. America currently leads the way in cracking down on simulation in ‘soccer’ with suspensions and fines being used in the MLS to great effect.
So are the Americans getting it right in both the NBA and MLS – should FIFA and the FA take note?
What do you think?
image: © Mike Disharoon