One of the trends that we have begun to see in sports is the “Flop” and the use of acting in order to get attention or persuade the officials to make a call for their team. “In basketball, a flop is an intentional fall by a player after little or no physical contact by an opposing player in order to draw a personal foul call by an official against the opponent” (Wikipedia). This is causing many issues and for officials and the leagues. In the NBA is where we see this being one of the biggest issues and one of the most talked about controversies.
Flopping has been around for as long as basketball has been. The earliest was when the charging foul was added with the other fouls in 1891 (Read here). This is a way where defensive players are able to be knocked over and the foul is allotted to the offensive player. This is when flopping really came to life. Defensive players would pretend to get hit by the offensive player really hard to draw a foul and receive possession of the ball. Many of the trend setters in the NBA for flopping are: Anderson Verajao, Manu Ginobili, Chris Paul, and Blake Griffin. All of these players used acting as a way to get foul calls.
Flopping has become such an issue because when it is truly looked at for what it is, cheating. The players are pretending as if they got hit really hard or caught a foul when really it only looked like one and there was very little or no contact from the other player. This is a big issue in the basketball because during the game each team is allotted six team fouls before the other team gets to be in what is called, “the bonus” this is where every foul seven and after the player is awarded one free throw and then if they make the first they get a “bonus shot” which is one more free throw. This is the reason that flopping is such an issue because teams can rack up un-earned points by “cheating” the rules and faking as if something happened when it really did not.
During the 2012-2013 season the NBA adopted a new rule to stop all of the flopping in the league. Basically this rule gives the NBA league committee the ability to fine players for fake reactions to physical contact. This is the main factor that determines if the player will receive a fine. If their physical reaction is not subject to, or is over-dramatic as compared to the physical contact or lack thereof. There are four levels of fines, for the first four offences. The first fine is, 5,000 the next is, 10,000, the third is 15,000, and lastly the fourth is 30,000. Anything after the fourth offence can result in suspension or increased fine. (Read more here)
In a survey done to ask if people knew about this new rule many people responded with shocking comments. When the participants of the survey where asked, “Are you aware of the new flopping rules in the NBA this year?” About 13 percent (232) said yes, and 86 percent (1,531) said no. When asked “If so, do you think the new flopping rules were effective?” This is where we see the most shocking responses. About five percent said yes, 12 percent said no, 15 percent said undecided, and 66 percent said not applicable (Statistics found here).
A Facebook survey was conducted asking people if they agreed or disagreed with the “new flopping rules” and people commented saying agree and disagree and why they thought the way they did. One person said, “I agree. I think flopping is ridiculous and takes away from the game. That and when most players do “flop” they look completely ridiculous. It slows down the game and is a cheap way to get an illegitimate call to benefit you or your team.” Another person said, “I disagree with the rule. Officials should call a foul based on whether or not they see a foul and not on whether a guy falls to the ground or not. Basically if you flop then you run the risk of being out of position to make a play if the official sees no foul.” This survey can be found on Facebook here.
Back in the olden days of basketball there was no such thing as flopping. If one player got pushed one time, the next time that player wouldn’t fake falling over to get a foul but he would push back harder. It wasn’t till recently when this trend of flopping became more evident during the game. This is the reason why the NBA decided to start fining players for flopping during games. After the 2012-2013 season, when the flopping fine was introduced in the NBA, a reporter asked NBA star David West if he thought that the rule had been effective that year his response was,
“”I know fining a guy doesn’t really take away a foul at a crucial moment of a game. It’s so hard. It’s a judgment call by the refs, and sometimes guys get rewarded for it.” (Read)
Even with the new rule in the NBA and the fines associated with it the players are still going to flop. In evidence seen by the continuation of flopping even after the fines. In one season alone, post-rule, 1,200 games were played where a player was fined for flopping. What more needs to be done to stop this growing trend? Well here is an idea, how about the “NBA Flopping Wall of Shame”. Every players who exceeds a specific number of violations to the NBA rule of flopping will be inducted to the Hall of Shame as a way to motivate players to keep from flopping while playing.