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Michael Bar-Eli and Gershon Tenenbaum

Twenty-two basketball experts observed 53 male basketball players (ages 15–16) during a tournament. They observed behaviors that violated the rules and classified them as minor or major violations as well as called or uncalled by the officials. In addition, they coded the exact time of each of the four categorized violations and assigned it to one of six time phases defined by Bar-Eli (1984) with respect to psychological crisis vulnerability. Non-parametric statistical analysis indicated that more frequent violations were observed in the end phase of the second half than in the other five phases. Overall, minor violations were more frequent than major ones, although major violations were more likely to occur in the second half than in the first half, particularly in the end phase. Uncalled violations were more frequent than called ones. The called violations in the main phases were relatively less frequent than in the beginning and ending phases, whereas the reverse was true for uncalled violations. The results are discussed in relation to the concept of the psychological performance crisis.

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Miguel-Ángel Gómez, Enrique Ortega Toro and Philip Furley

The aim of the current study was to analyze the temporal effects that unsportsmanlike fouls may have on basketball teams’ scoring performance under consideration of context-related variables. The authors analyzed 130 unsportsmanlike fouls from 362 elite basketball games (men’s and women’s Olympic Games, European and World Championships). The context-related variables studied were score-line, quality of opposition, timeout situation, minutes remaining, and player status. The data were analyzed with linear-regression models. The results showed that both teams (the team that made the foul and the opponent) had similar positive scoring performances during 1 and 3 ball possessions after the unsportsmanlike foul (short-term effect). However, 5 ball possessions after the foul (midterm effect), the team that made the foul had a scoring disadvantage (−0.96) and the opponent team an advantage (0.78). The context-related variable quality of opposition was significant only during 1 ball possession, with negative effects for the team that made the foul and positive effects for the opponent. The final outcome showed a positive effect for score-line when the unsportsmanlike foul was made (0.96) and for quality of opposition (0.64).