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NBA Jam Chronicles - Goaltending

After my post on shot blocking you had to expect one on goaltending. So here it is. Enjoy.


I've played a lot of NBA Jam and I still have very little idea how they officiate goaltending. The NBA rulebook makes it clear "that a field goal attempt may not be touched on its downward flight toward the basket." However, not a game goes by where I don't catch shots that are clearly on their downward flight. It's just the way it is. So when goaltending is called (3-4 times a game, if not more) it comes off as completely arbitrary. I've even been whistled for goaltending while blocking a dunk, which is odd.  On the bright side the poor officiating gives it a more authentic NBA feel.  Two final points:  

  • There is a referee during the jump ball.  As the action starts he backs up towards the scorer's table and then disappears, which is nice because it is a small court. So when goaltending is called the whistle simply blows and the verdict is handed down.  
  • I always thought it was interesting that goaltending made it into the game. Keeps in mind that traveling (impossible to move after picking up the dribble), out of bounds, and fouls do not exist. As a result goaltending and the 24-second shot clock (thankfully) provide the only semblance of order.

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