Coach Doaty on the Tipped Ball


Coach Randal S. Doaty

   It isn’t one of those statistics that many teams keep – the tipped ball. It seems so insignificant to the outcome of a basketball game. It’s not insignificant! As a Focus and Attitude Coach, I watch momentum generating events that fall under the radar of many coaches and their statistical staff. I must admit that even I was amazed at what we have learned from following tipped ball statistics in recent years. A tipped basketball has incredible momentum altering power.

   First, let me explain my definition of a “tipped ball” event. A tipped ball occurs when a player is able to simply touch a basketball that is being passed between two players on the opposing team, being dribbled by the opponent or shot by the opponent. A tipped ball does not necessarily need to alter the course of the ball completely. Even a lightly tipped ball is effective. It requires cat-like speed and anticipation by the defender.

   Now I’ll explain what is not a tipped ball. When a rebounding frenzy is occurring beneath the basket and players are wildly reach for the basketball and someone happens to touch or tip the ball, I do not consider it a recordable tipped ball. If, on the other hand, the ball is intentionally tipped to a fellow player while rebounding, I consider it a tipped ball. If the ball, while out of control, happened to slam into a player – it is not a tipped ball. Was it intentional? If the answer is yes , then it is a tip.

   So what do my statistics show? When a defense is able to tip the ball during an opponent’s possession, the likelihood of them scoring is reduced by 15% during that possession. If the ball is tipped twice during the same possession, the likelihood of the opponent scoring drops by as much as 25%. Let me assure you that every tipped ball in a basketball game has latent value far beyond the understanding of most basketball experts. Tipped balls are one of the unsung heroes of the sport of basketball.


About Coach Doaty

Coach Doaty is a sports performance quantification system pioneer and a mental coaching innovator. He has been researching, developing and implementing new tools and training programs for the sport of basketball for nearly two decades. He has spent the past 18 years studying data he has collected with his trademark intensity measurement point system called BIMPS. The term BIMPS is an acronym for Basketball Intensity Measurement Point System.
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