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On-Ball Charge

The on-ball charge is perhaps one of the most underrated and/or underused defensive techniques for good defenders. Obviously you have the benefits of a charge: forced TO, added foul count to opponent and opposing team, and we can't discount the excitement brought out of our own team. The play can definitely be a momentum changer in more ways than one.

The reason I say it is under-used however is because most good defenders have a handful of times to draw this call throughout a game. Especially if a defender is using the Cushion Slide technique, because this will keep the defender in legal guarding position.

Initial legal guarding position is defined as having two feet on the playing surface and torso facing the offensive player. Not only that, but for a defender to maintain this legal guarding position - "The defensive player may remain stationary, jump vertically, move laterally or backwards in order to maintain the initial legal guarding position."


Therefore the on-ball defender is entitled to the space backwards and lateral as long as the defender gets both feet down and his/her torso facing the ball handler. Now you can see how important the Cushion Slide technique is to maintaining this legal position. If a defender using this technique catches any offensive drive with his chest, the defender has a chance to draw a charge.

I understand that some coaches are not the biggest fans of charges. I disagree completely. I value charges and see it as a necessary tool for defenses. Charges take courage and toughness. The player who refuses to take a charge is not tough, they are a coward, they are scared, don't care enough or have an ego that is too big for the team. Tough players take charges, they are not scared to do whatever it takes to win.


See you next time.


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