Chapter 15: Update of Basketball Rules

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Comments about this discussion:

Started

Some of the unicyclists in France have offered their version of new basketball rules. As a non-player, I need help from others about these suggested changes. I'll be sharing with a few people I know who are not on this committee and I invite the rest of you to do the same.

 

Basketball rules

Basketball rules with edits shown

Comment

Looks like the Uni Basketball enthusiasts in France have been giving this a lot of thought; Merci!

 

  • If there is a permanent-looking link for the FIBA Basketball Rules, we should include it (or generic link to FIBA)
  • The new bullet in 15B.1 is a little unclear; can I wear kneepads? If not hard ones, can I wear volleyball kneepads? Needs to be more specific about what is allowed and not
  • 15B.2: I don’t know where they got 507mm, but I hope it works as a reasonable maximum, not cutting out any popular uni configurations
  • 15B.5.23 has a lot in it; it might need to be broken down to separate the many situations described in there; either into subsections or maybe just with bullets
  • 15B.5.9 (Spectacular Tricks): I like it! I don't know that those things were allowed under the old rules, but if there’s a proper place for it, I think it will add to the game, especially for spectators!

 

That’s what I get after a quick read. I’ve watched a lot of NBA basketball in recent years (season tickets to the Sacramento Kings), and played in the Group B tournament at Unicon 19, but I'm still not knowledgable enough to be a referee.  😊

Comment

For the record: I only know uni basketball from occasionally watching a game. Can't contribute here.

Comment

The change from 24+ Class to 24 Class is significant, because it disallows some stock 24 inch tires.

In American basketball (non-unicycle), I have always heard of screening referred to as a pick. I'm not sure if this is a translation issue from the French riders, or if it's just me thinking American terminology is correct!

In general, I think the rule additions seem reasonable.

If we are to accept these rule changes, it must be clear that some editing is allowed when implemented into the rulebook – provided that no rule intent is changed.

Comment

They haven't changed from 24+ to 24 they have gone with a different way of measuring what they allow.

Their changes allow all tyres that are put on a rim that has a Bead Seat Diameter of 507. Technically I could ride my 24" x 4 inch fat tyre with that definition.

They state the maximum diameter of the rim is 507mm not the tyre. I believe they are talking about about Bead Seat Diameter as 507mm is the standard for "regular" 24". An example of the 24" that I ride with 507 bead seat diameter here

How to measure bead seat diameter.

 

Funnily enough with that particular wording they have actually removed all regular 24" unicycles from what is allowed as the Bead Seat Diameter is slightly smaller than the rim diameter meaning every 24" rim is probably about 10mm larger than 507mm. I assume that is not how it was meant to be implemented though.

 

 

Their Rules

15B.2 Unicycles

Only standard unicycles may be used, as defined in section 1D.1. The maximum diameter of the rim is 507 mm (classic 24" rim).

 

Definition in IUF rulebook

Unicycle, Standard: A Standard Unicycle has only one wheel. It is driven by crank arms directly attached to the wheel’s axle/hub, with no gearing or additional drive system. Pedals and cranks rotate to power the wheel. Is balanced and controlled by the rider only, with no additional support devices. Brakes and extended handles/handlebars are permitted. For some events, such as track racing, standard unicycles have restrictions on wheel size and/or crank arm length. Other events may specify other restrictions. When not noted otherwise, there are no size limitations.

Comment

I know nothing about basketball however.

Comment

How is a basketball official supposed to measure the bead seat diameter of a rim on a whole unicycle that's just been handed to him/her? I appreciate the concept, but it doesn't seem functional. Our rule for Track racing is a little restrictive for what should be allowed for basketball, though I'd like to see a non-marking 24 x 4" tire). If there isn't a good way to measure based on bead seat diameter, a different method will be needed.

To be a useful measurement, it has to be the outside diameter of the rim, I think. But how is that easier to measure than the actual wheel diameter?

Comment

Funnily enough it may be quite easy to measure these wheel sizes.

You could potentially just have an unbuilt rim of the correct size and place it over the top of the built rim. This would work surprisingly well I think as the closest BSD rim to 507mm is the 24 x 1 size or 24 x 1 1/8 which both have a BSD of 520mm. 

There is not a huge range of rims with different BSD because there are not enough tyre standards.

So basically the only real common BSD around 24" are 507mm, 520mm and 540mm. You would probably be able to gauge if the rim was larger than the 507 quite easily, and since you can technically make a 24 x 4inch tyre on a 507 is there isn't much issue with people going to 540mm anyway as those tyres are smaller.

Whether or not you want to allow 24 x 4 inch tyres in basketball and the fact that the text says outer diameter not BSD is another matter though :|   

Comment

All tires list their BSD on them.

Comment

Unfortunately all tires don't seem to list their BSD, including the 24" Miyata tires all the Japanese riders are likely to be using. Maybe newer ones do, but the ones I have are blank on the subject. The other 24" tire I have is the 3" Duro that's on my old Wilder, which also doesn't have BSD on it. So much for "all".

But if rim sizes come in fairly large increments, as Steven suggests, it might not be very hard to tell if one is in the correct range. But why not go by diameter, like we do on the track? We would need a specially made box or caliper device, but it would be quicker than trying to find the right numbers on the side of the tire. And it would be consistent with Track, other than probably being a slightly larger size.

Our Track size was arbitrarily set at 24.333", since an exact 24" would have eliminated some commonly available (at least at that time) tires. But I know this has cut out some thicker tires from being used for Track, but should be fine for basketball, so we would need to figure out a maximum size if we don't go with rim size. 

Comment

My guess is their reasoning is that they don't actually care about diameter that much as long as it isnt stupidly big. If they did they would limit the outer diameter not the inner diameter.

 

I imagine the 24 standard rim is required purely to stop sillyness with 27.5 and larger wheels being used. The largest wheel you could possibly make with their current rules would be a 24" fat tyre wheel the size of a 26 however it most likely would not be useful because of the extremely heavy weight and autosteer of the fat tyre.

This way they actually barely need to assess wheel size at all and no box is needed because its fairly obvious if something is a 26 or larger rim.

Comment

Cyclocross used BSD rules for a while. I personally think it's a great solution to the wheel size problem because it allows everything we want to allow without allowing too much. I can generally glance a wheel and tell you if it's in the correct range or not, and I don't have to measure. How simple! However, many people had issues with how to check the size and didn't like the inability to just measure the tire, which to them was simpler. It comes down to what is most easy (least work) versus most basic (most elementary definition). In the case of cyclocross, BSD lost even after being in effect as a rule for a few years. I think we should follow the example of cyclocross even though I am personally in favor of the BSD rule.

Comment

- If there is a permanent-looking link for the FIBA Basketball Rules, we should include it (or generic link to FIBA)
 + Good idea. I propose to replace "(the FIBA rules)" by "(the currently valid FIBA rules, cf.
http://www.fiba.basketball/documents)".

 - The new bullet in 15B.1 is a little unclear; can I wear kneepads?
If not hard ones, can I wear volleyball kneepads? Needs to be more specific about what is allowed and not
 + "No hard clothing/protections, especially above the knees." Could be replaced by something like "No clothing/protection whose exterior is hard. If possible, no protections at all above the knees.
Definitely no helmet.". I am not sure it is much clearer that way though. The idea behind this rule is that a player may protect oneself, but not if it increases the possibility of injuries for the others. Please feel free to suggest a better wording of the rule.

 - 15B.5.23 has a lot in it; it might need to be broken down to separate the many situations described in there; either into subsections or maybe just with bullets
 + Anything that makes the rules clearer is good. I can try to think about a better presentation of 15B.5.3, but feel free to propose actual changes if you have some ideas about it.

 - 15B.5.9 (Spectacular Tricks): I like it! I don't know that those things were allowed under the old rules, but if there’s a proper place for it, I think it will add to the game, especially for spectators!
 + Few players are able to perform those tricks, but such tricks are indeed impressive and appreciated by the spectators (and the other players). We wanted to explicitly allow them, but also to restrict their use for security reasons.

 - In American basketball (non-unicycle), I have always heard of screening referred to as a pick. I'm not sure if this is a translation issue from the French riders, or if it's just me thinking American terminology is correct!
 + I heard a lot about picks indeed, like in "pick and roll" as people say even in French, but the current FIBA rules apparently prefer the term "screening" (see Section 33.7).

 - If we are to accept these rule changes, it must be clear that some editing is allowed when implemented into the rulebook – provided that no rule intent is changed.
 + We are not English native speakers. So you are most welcome to edit the rules in order to improve the quality of the text (and indeed without modifying the intent of the rules).

Concerning the wheel size, the idea was to allow for larger tires than those allowed in the 24 Class. This is what Romain Bresson from BAM indeed uses I think. The 24+ class allows that but it also allows 26" rims with a sufficiently thin tire (so that the outer diameter of the whole wheel is respecting the constraint). I do not want to allow that. On the other hand, nobody did that so far, so perhaps it is indeed not a good idea to change the rule on that matter. Anyway, I chose 507mm because I had the feeling that it was the only rim size for 24". Apparently it is not, so another solution should be found if we think the 24+ class is too large. Just an additional note: we definitely do not want to check the wheel size precisely before matches or competitions.

The following comment you made summarizes fairly well my mindset about this question:
"My guess is their reasoning is that they don't actually care about diameter that much as long as it isnt stupidly big. If they did they would limit the outer diameter not the inner diameter.

I imagine the 24 standard rim is required purely to stop sillyness with 27.5 and larger wheels being used. The largest wheel you could possibly make with their current rules would be a 24" fat tyre wheel the size of a 26 however it most likely would not be useful because of the extremely heavy weight and autosteer of the fat tyre.

This way they actually barely need to assess wheel size at all and no box is needed because its fairly obvious if something is a 26 or larger rim.

Comment

Wheel size: I'm very much in favor of the idea of "not too anal" measuring. The "24 Class" we use for Track is too small, leaving out many tires that are over 1.75" but wheel size is not so critical here as it is in Track. I think we can get by with tires at are marked 24" on the side being sufficient, along with non-marking of course.

We have the "24+ Class" defined in the Rulebook, which I believe is intended for Basketball. The upside of this is that it's done, and people have, in the past, agreed to a 640mm size. The downside is that this requires measuring if a wheel size is in question. I believe our current 640 limit is fine with the vast majority of players, but I also believe it hasn't been tested; tires haven't been measured. it has probably been done by eye for the most part. I'm all for a simpler rule, if possible, that doesn't require having a tire-measuring jig to be on hand. If our basic intent is to allow anything up to a 24" rim, there should be a relatively easy way to express this. Suggested wording:

"Only standard unicycles may be used, as defined in section 1D.1. The maximum rim size is 24", which can be confirmed by tire labeling that is not greater than 24", and/or A bead seat diameter number not greater than 507mm (often printed on the tire)."  

If we agree to something like that, we should probably also remove the 24+ Class from section 1D.1, if it's not used for anything else.

Scott, you referenced an example from Cyclocross, but I'm not sure what the example was. My suggestion above uses easily available numbers; one or both should appear on any tire in question. I added "and/or" up there to make sure both must be satisfied for the wheel to be allowed. I think the end result of that will do what we need; glance at the tire, and if it looks a little big, check what the tire says on it.

I was going to raise an objection on the "Definitely no helmets" thing, as it could be potentially costly for IUF Board members. But then I consulted the FIBA rules (thanks for that link!), and it's right in there. Good. There's also quite a bit of detail on what can/can't be worn, which gives a better explanation of the hows and whys, so I withdraw my question about kneepads. It looks like volleyball kneepads would be permitted, but probably not KH leg armor, for instance.

I also noticed there is an anti-Jim Sowers rule in there: "4.4.3 During the game a player may wear shoes of any colour combination, but the left and right shoe must match." Sorry Jimbo!  :-)

I'm going to take a stab at breaking down the Unmounted Rider section This interface doesn't seem to allow bullets, so I'm using hyphens which doesn't allow pretty indents:

15B.5.3 Unmounted Player

If contact is made between the ball and an unmounted player or unicycle, this is a violation and the ball shall be awarded to the other team. Referees may allow incidental contact between the ball and an unmounted player or unicycle if such contact does not disrupt the flow of the game.
- An unmounted player must move himself and their unicycle out of the way as soon as possible without disrupting the flow of play.
- If not possible, the player must leave the unicycle where it lands until it can be retrieved without being disruptive.
- An unmounted player’s unicycle is considered part of the player. For the purposes of fouls, a riderless unicycle that is moving is considered to be out of control. Thus, if another player is hit by a moving abandoned unicycle, a foul shall be called.
- If an unmounted player intentionally attempts to play the ball or impede another player, a technical foul shall be called.
- If a stationary riderless unicycle is disruptive for the opposite team or if it creates a danger for the safety of any player, an "obstructing unicycle" violation shall be called.

The text was only changed slightly, I think just on that last bullet. How does that look?

 

Comment

We have some kids in our club who ALWAYS wear a helmet. I would hate to require them not to. Perhaps minors or riders under 16 should be allowed to wear helmets if they or their parents choose. I think we need to be careful about disallowing protection in general. If someone usually wears those things, but then is forced not to, and then gets hurt that could be both bad and a potential lawsuit. I think hard plastic exterior, rollerblade-style pads should not be allowed, but I think KH armor is okay. It's certainly not harder than someone's knee ramming into you.

The 24+ Class is also used for hockey. I like that the standards in basketball and hockey are the same. Certainly the idea is to allow all 24 inch wheels but no others. What if the 24+ Class is redefined to be: "The diameter of the wheel in inches as printed on the tire cannot exceed 24 inches. If no inch dimensions are printed, the maximum outer diameter of the wheel is 640mm." That way we have the "simple way" 99% of the time, but have also covered additional cases.

I think hockey would be okay with this change too, but we should check with that committee. Steven, since you're a member of the hockey committee, what are your thoughts?

Comment

The helmet thing. In the USA, helmets have become a lot more popular/socially acceptable for cycling. As an IUF Board member, I would be very uncomfortable telling a rider (or the parent of a rider) that they were not allowed to wear a helmet for this particular form of near-contact sport on unicycles. But I also don't want to go against the FIBA rules, as they are also about safety. For tournaments, at least for large/adult players, I think we should stick with the no helmet rule unless there is pressure to do something else.

For younger riders we should be more flexible, but within a game it should probably be "everybody wears" or "nobody wears" to keep things consistent. I believe one of the reasons why FIBA is so minimalist on what you're allowed to wear is that you don't want some players being more aggressive because they are protected. Also, a non-helmeted rider bumping against a helmeted rider will almost always take the worse hit, creating a non-level playing field, at least in terms of safety. Should we address this now, or wait until somebody complains in the future?

For the 24+ Class, yes we should work together with the Hockey group, who I hope are also not interested in finicky measuring of tires or rims. Then Scott's suggestion on how to rule that is fine with me. Organizers will have the choice of making a measuring box or jig, or getting out the tape measure for the rare instances when this may come up.


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