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Flopping: The Art of Cheating

Whether we like it or not, flopping has become part of the game. It has spread itself like a cancer all over the league.  But, when did it start? Where does it come from? Should we do something about it? Do we love it or hate it? Stop_sign_medium


Help me out answering these questions.

The purpose:


Because it is inherently designed to deceive the official, flopping is generally considered to be less than sportsman-like. There a plenty of reasons why players flop on a regular basis:

·          To cause turnovers and get possession of the ball on critical or non-critical situations

·          To try to foul out or decrease the amount playing time of an opposing player

·          To get a basket and the foul (3 point play)

·          (insert reason here)


The origins:


Flopping is not something new, this has been going on for decades in the NBA and other sports. As a matter of fact, the “flop” is used on a regular basis in Soccer. It is part of the game; referees, players, coaches and fans are used to it. Soccer is where flopping comes from but they handle it a little bit different. I’ll get to that in a sec.


How to flop:


Flopping effectively is not easy to do, primarily because drawing contact can sometimes result in the opposite effect, which would be a fouled called on the defensive player. This could happen if the player has not positioned himself perfectly. Besides that, if there are no fouls called on either player, by falling to the floor, the flopping defensive player will have taken himself out of position to provide any further defensive opposition, therefore, potentially allowing the offense to score easily.

As you can see, it takes great body control, intelligence and positioning to draw a charge and that’s why some people consider flopping an actual skill. There are certain techniques to enhance the flop such as:


1.       The head snap: Kind of a whiplash motion, moving your head awkwardly from side to side. Works better if you have long hair.

2.       The scream: Consists of screaming like you have just been shot in the kneecap, if the referee was in doubt of the foul, he will call it after he hears this.

3.       The “playing dead” dog syndrome: Once you are laying on the floor, stay there for a while, don’t get up fast. Once you do, limp around, remember... you have just been shot.


Soccer Flopping vs. Basketball Flopping


Defensive Flopping


Although flopping is acquired from Soccer, there are a few differences that have to do with how both games are played. In Soccer, you will seldom see a defensive flop; the defensive soccer player will be focused on taking the ball away from you, if he dares to flop and the referee does not buy it, there’s a risk that the other team might score a goal, which is way more important that just allowing someone to score a basket. On the other hand, in basketball, you will see this on a constant basis because if you think about it, if they don’t call it…at least you tried.


Offensive flopping


It is used regularly in both sports. Even more in Soccer. They will take advantage of the physical play to put themselves in a position to score a goal. You will see them flying in the air, faking injuries and screaming in pain just to get that free kick or penalty or even just to manage the game clock. The difference is that in soccer, the referee can penalize the offensive flopper with a yellow card or even a red card and take him out of the game for trying to deceive him. They even receive training on how to tell if someone is acting or not.

Famous floppers


Some of the old school floppers were Bill Laimbeer, Reggie Miller, Dennis Rodman, Valde Divac and the new school is represented by Manu Ginobili, Fabricio Oberto, Raja Bell, Bruce Bowen, Chris Paul.


Final Thoughts:


Flopping is more than just deceiving the refs, it’s a mind game, you get under the player’s skin, It's demoralizing. Distracting. On offense, it makes power players less aggressive; on defense, it makes shot blockers think twice. We can ask the league to assess technical’s on the floppers, but that will involve having to make a subjective call (yet another one) and maybe the use of replays on critical situations, perhaps the league is not willing to go thru all this trouble. So help me out to come up with ideas on how to put an end to this nonsense.   

There is one thing I know for sure, we love Raja Bell for the same reasons that we hate Manu Gonibili, so I guess it’s always good to have a good flopper on your team.


There is a thin line between love and hate....when we are talking about floppers…it just depends on which jersey they are wearing….

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