Every basketball coach wants their players to take charges, but let’s face it, on just about every attempt to draw the charge it’s a 50-50 chance that the call goes either way. With the speed of today’s game, it’s getting harder and harder for officials to determine (in a split second) what is and what isn’t a charge. Ultimately, it comes down to what a ref thinks she sees and even then many times the reasons given for the call don’t sound anything like what’s in the rule book.

When I saw Mano Watsa and Sefu Bernard teach this skill during one of their PGC Basketball camps, I knew I had to capture it for Dynamic Defense. Their teaching progression and drills were simply excellent! You’ll find two of their teaching points on this excerpt from Level 1 of Dynamic Defense.

Why is Taking the Charge in Level 1? A Level 1 defender in the Dynamic Defensive System must be able to do everything possible to keep the ball from being dribbled into the middle one-third of the floor. On the half-court, that comes down to this – don’t let the ball into the lane!

Well, sometimes it takes a collision to keep the ball out of the lane. Sometimes you have to “close this door” with your body and a Level 1 Dynamic Defender will do it every time. Remember, though, in that split second before making a decision, officials are looking for cues. Give them the right ones and the calls will tend to fall in your favor. I don’t want the percentages to be 50-50; I want the percentages to tilt heavily in the favor of my defenders. That’s why I asked Mano and Sefu to teach this skill – it’s that important.

3 Responses

  1. Rick,

    Your point about the game moving faster and making it more difficult to officiate the block-charge call is spot-on. As a part-time official myself, that’s the most difficult call to make. It’s hard to take everything into consideration in that split-second, did the defender beat him to the spot? Was the defender’s feet still moving or is he set? Did the offensive player occupy the space before the defender got there in the situation of an offensive player being already in the air shooting a runner, floater, or layup?

    With the techniques demonstrated in the clip, you’re definitely more likely to get the call, great stuff!


    1. Scott,
      In reading your comment I had to reply about the “defender moving his feet or is he set?”. I have officiated for the last 12 years, and a lot of officials don’t understand the rules surrounding a charge. According to the rules established by NHFS, which most if not all high schools in the United States play with, a defender has to establish legal guarding position. Once he has done that he can move laterally in either direction, and can also move backwards. The only thing he cannot do is move forward and initiate contact. Also, a player can protect himself by bending over, which is something I have never seen playing or officiating. I am sure that would make for an akward charge call.

  2. Nate,

    appreciate the feedback and I won’t disagree with the legal guarding position…How is that defined then? Most officials I know and have worked with who are high-school certified won’t give a player a charge call if feet are stil moving…



Leave a Reply