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Identifying a traveling violation is one of the toughest calls in basketball. Many feel it is the toughest call to make during a game because of the frequency of decisions. So, it is important to understand why officials struggle to get the play right before diving into how to get the play right.

Camps and clinics offer great forums for educating officials. It is easy to take several ideas and various tips or philosophy from a camp and use what is helpful during the season.

Players are faster than ever and make their moves quickly, and that makes it more challenging than ever for officials to quickly locate a player’s pivot foot. If an official does not fully understand the traveling rule, they will fail to know if a traveling violation occurred because they cannot identify the pivot foot. When that occurs, officials will often misapply an advantage or disadvantage perception to the action, which is incorrect regardless of the call or no-call.

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“To me it is a challenging play definitely,” said Dee Kantner. “But if we just adhere to fundamentals. I don’t care whatever subject you’re talking, I think you start with the fundamentals and then you build on it. But people are trying to get to graduate level before they’ve done the elementary. We’ve got to stick with the elementary first and build until it becomes rote behavior, identifying the pivot foot, recognizing what a travel is, recognize when a travel doesn’t occur on a legal step through, and not calling a travel just because it looks or because the fans call for traveling.”

There are so many different ways that traveling can occur — making a pass, catching a pass, starting a dribble, ending a dribble, catching a rebound and coming to the floor, and many more.

The game will continue to get faster. Players will continue to get stronger and push the envelope. Coaches will push their student-athletes harder. An official needs to adjust with the game while maintaining a rules knowledge, sound mechanics and philosophy that leads to making correct decisions.


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Note: This article is archival in nature. Rules, interpretations, mechanics, philosophies and other information may or may not be correct for the current year.

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