Flopping in College Basketball
By Alexandra Wade - April 6, 2023

If you watch any NCAA basketball game, you will observe a defender flop whenever an opponent drives to the basket in preparation for a shot within a few minutes. After blowing his whistle, the official will declare a blocking penalty on the defense or a charging foul on the attack. The offensive players typically lose the call. Since the defender always goes down whenever a contact is made, be it only slight, many of these calls are made. This action alters the game’s rules.

To intentionally flop is to commit an offense-motivated foul. A defender will frequently try to go in front of a player advancing to the basket to elicit a charge after the guard makes the penetration. Keeping their hands down and then reversing their position as the player makes contact rather than raising them to prevent the shot. Late in games, there is a lot of flopping to draw fouls from players, so they won’t play as aggressively out of concern for fouling out in the closing minutes.

Getty images/Denver Post/ AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images / Contributor

The term “flopping” should be removed entirely from the game. Fouls for blocking and charging are determined at the moment and occasionally called improperly. When a player drives to the basket too forcefully, the defender should be in the lane and retain his position. However, when the defender runs underneath a player who is already in the air, it should be considered an intentional foul because the defender did not attempt to block the shot. This might discourage some players from exaggerating the impact of their flopping when the opposition team receives the ball back and two free throws.

The issue isn’t that these rising stars must flop to be successful; instead, flopping has no downside. The advantages of flopping to change the course of a game outweigh any meager consequence under the league’s present rules. The league is unable to put in place a reliable deterrent. In my opinion, the NCAA’s greatest weapon against players stumbling is the players’ desire to uphold their good names.