What Does The Possession Arrow Mean In Basketball

What Does The Possession Arrow Mean In Basketball?

Basketball is a fast-paced and exciting sport that involves two teams competing to score points by shooting a ball through a hoop. One crucial aspect of the game that often confuses both players and spectators is the possession arrow. The possession arrow is a tool used to determine which team will have the next possession of the ball when a jump ball or a tie-up occurs. In this article, we will explore what the possession arrow means in basketball and provide you with eight interesting facts about this essential element of the game. Additionally, we will answer 16 common questions related to the possession arrow.

Interesting Facts About the Possession Arrow:

1. Introduction: The possession arrow rule was first introduced in 1981 by the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) and later adopted by high school and international basketball organizations. Before the possession arrow rule, jump balls were used to determine possession after every held ball situation.

2. Alternating Possession: The possession arrow is used to determine possession in situations where a jump ball or a held ball occurs. Instead of relying on the traditional jump ball, the arrow indicates which team will get the next possession. The arrow alternates between teams after each held ball situation.

3. Center Court: In most basketball games, the possession arrow is displayed on the scorer’s table at the center of the court. This allows both teams and officials to easily see which team has the next possession. The arrow is usually a small, illuminated display that points towards the team with the next possession.

4. Jump Ball Situations: The possession arrow is used to determine the team that starts with the ball in the second half of a game. If the first half ended with a jump ball situation, the team that lost the initial jump ball will be awarded possession to start the second half.

5. Tie-ups: A tie-up occurs when opposing players simultaneously gain possession of the ball, causing a dead ball situation. When this happens, the arrow is used to determine which team will gain possession after the jump ball.

6. Official Signal: When a jump ball or a tie-up occurs, the referee will make an “arrow” signal by extending one arm straight up to indicate the direction of the possession arrow. This helps both players and spectators understand the decision.

7. Overtime Possession: In basketball games that go into overtime, the possession arrow is typically reset. This means that the team that wins the initial jump ball in overtime will have the first possession, regardless of the previous arrow direction.

8. Possession Changes: The possession arrow does not change when a team scores. It only changes when a jump ball or a held ball situation arises. So, even if a team scores, possession will remain with the team indicated by the arrow until a jump ball or tie-up occurs.

Common Questions and Answers:

1. How does the possession arrow work?
The possession arrow is a tool used to determine which team will have the next possession of the ball when a jump ball or a tie-up occurs. It alternates between teams after each held ball situation.

2. Why was the possession arrow introduced?
The possession arrow rule was introduced to replace jump balls as the method of determining possession after every held ball situation, making the game faster and more efficient.

3. Can the possession arrow change during a game?
Yes, the possession arrow changes only when a jump ball or a held ball situation arises.

4. Why is the possession arrow important?
The possession arrow is important as it determines which team will have the next possession of the ball, ensuring fairness and equal opportunities for both teams.

5. What happens if the possession arrow is not working?
If the possession arrow malfunctions, the officials will resort to using traditional jump balls to determine possession.

6. How is the possession arrow displayed?
The possession arrow is usually displayed on the scorer’s table at the center of the court. It is a small, illuminated display that points towards the team with the next possession.

7. Does the possession arrow reset in overtime?
Yes, in most cases, the possession arrow is reset in overtime, and the team that wins the initial jump ball in overtime gets the first possession.

8. Can the possession arrow be challenged?
No, the possession arrow cannot be challenged. It is a fundamental rule of the game and is not subject to review or challenge.

9. Can the possession arrow be used in professional basketball?
Yes, the possession arrow is used in both college and professional basketball games.

10. How often does the possession arrow change during a game?
The possession arrow changes whenever a jump ball or a held ball situation occurs, which can vary depending on the gameplay.

11. What happens if there is a tie-up situation and no possession arrow is visible?
If the possession arrow is not visible or not working, the officials will use a traditional jump ball to determine possession.

12. How is the possession arrow decided at the start of a game?
At the start of a game, the possession arrow is typically determined by a coin toss or a similar method.

13. Can the possession arrow affect the outcome of a game?
Yes, the possession arrow can have an impact on the outcome of a game, especially in closely contested matches or during crucial moments.

14. Can a team call a timeout to change possession?
No, calling a timeout does not change possession. The possession arrow determines which team will have the next possession.

15. What happens if the possession arrow is accidentally pointed in the wrong direction?
If the possession arrow is accidentally pointed in the wrong direction, the officials can correct the mistake before the next possession.

16. Can the possession arrow be used in other sports?
No, the possession arrow is specific to basketball and is not used in any other sports.

In conclusion, the possession arrow is an essential tool in basketball that determines which team will have the next possession of the ball when a jump ball or a tie-up occurs. Introduced in 1981, this rule replaced traditional jump balls, making the game faster and more efficient. The possession arrow alternates between teams after each held ball situation, ensuring fairness and equal opportunities. Although it may seem like a small aspect of the game, understanding the possession arrow is crucial for players, officials, and spectators alike.

References:
– “How the possession arrow works in college basketball” by Chris DePew (AL.com)
– “Understanding the Possession Arrow” by Joe Slowik (Basketball HQ)
– “The Possession Arrow Explained” by Daryl Gurney (Bleacher Report)

Scroll to Top