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The CBA Rules Test… in English

Before the season, the Chinese Basketball Aassociation talked big about improving the consistency and quality of its officiating, but like most things related to hoops and China, failed to actually address the main problems (corruption and under-qualified referees among others) and instead chose to focus on player/coach behavior.

The “Iron Rules,” which were released to public on November 10th, were enacted to“cut down on exaggerated gestures, going up to the referee and pretending to count money and the other little tricks players and coaches use when they are dissatisfied with a referee.” Of course, none of them actually mentioned anything about the referees themselves, because that would be admitting there’s a problem. And in the harmonious CBA, there are no problems. At least as far as league officials are concerned.

Beyond sending international level referees to each team’s city before the season to introduce the new rules and answer questions, the CBA took another step to ensure that everyone was on the same page by handing out a CBA Rules Test to each player and coach a few days before each team’s opening game. All participants were required to take and pass the test in order to officially register for the new season. Luckily for Stephon Marbury and every other foreign player, there was an English version in addition to the standard Chinese one.

Veteran laowai should know though, that (for the most part) there’s no such thing as an “English version” in China. Especially in the CBA, where Robert Downey Jr. occasionally acts as the head coach of the Chinese National Team.

Behold, via NiuBBall sources, selected questions from the English version of the CBA Rules Test. In case you’re wondering, yes this 100% real.

  • When players vituperate each other, push each other or any action may lead to fight occurs, can referee charge disqualifying foul directly? YES/NO

Vituper-what? Unbelievably, it’s actually a word. For all of you who have forgotten your SAT vocabulary, the definition of “vituperate” is: to blame or insult (someone) in strong or violent language. You’ll need to know that for the follow-up question.

  • A coach crosses the team bench area or goes to the scorer’s table, pointing at a referee or commissioner and even vituperates them. Should the coach be called a technical foul? YES/NO

Whoa, whoa, whoa. And even vituperates them? Yes, the coach should definitely be called a technical foul. Merely calling him a “meanie” would not go far enough in punishing vituperation.

Then there’s this beauty:
  • Substitutes and team followers speak insulting words, such as ‘fuck’ loudly, in the team bench area to complain to the referee. Technical foul should be called at once. YES/NO
OK, substitutes maybe can get away with lobbing eff bombs. But, team followers? That just won’t fly.
Anyone who’s watched the league this year can confirm what was always pretty obvious — that all of this was for show, and none of it has made a real difference in the quality of officiating, which is still abysmal. On the bright side though, it does make for good blogging.
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