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athletic support by eli cranor

Athletic Support: Fouls in girls basketball
February 14, 2021

Eli Cranor is a former professional quarterback and coach turned award-winning author. Please use the “Contact” page at to send in questions for “Athletic Support.”

Dear Athletic Support: I have noticed that the amount of jump ball calls in girls basketball is quite a bit more than boys basketball. Several girls can be fighting for the ball and a foul is almost never called. Is there a reason for this?

— Jump Ball

Dear Sports Mom: You didn’t mention what age girls we’re talking about here. My guess is that if the girls are younger, the refs are simply trying to move the game along.

Think about it.

A middle-school game would have to be officiated differently than a high school game. Same goes for high school versus college. Nobody wants to watch a game — regardless of the level — dominated by a referee’s whistle.

I’ve never been a referee, but I’d have to imagine that there’s some sort of conversation that goes on prior to a contest where they decide how stringently they’re going to officiate a game. My guess is that this decision is based upon the level of play.

I’m not saying girls games should be officiated differently than boys games. I’d be willing to bet there are some girls teams out there who could beat the boys any day. But if the girls you’re watching are younger or not as skilled, then that would be my guess as to why you’re not hearing more whistles. And thank goodness for that!

Call for questions: It’s that time of year again, the time where I have to reach out and beg for more questions.

My absolute favorite aspect of writing this column is hearing from you, the reader. I’ve had questions sent in from as far away as Colorado and as close as my hometown of Russellville, Arkansas. Some of these correspondences have led to friendships.

Recently, one of my most devoted readers wrote in after his son signed a National Letter of Intent, thanking me for helping (in a very small way) his son earn that college scholarship.

Sending in questions is a great way to connect, but they’re also necessary for this column to survive.

They’re the lifeblood of “Athletic Support.” And, listen, I realize writing to a guy you don’t know and asking his advice about some pretty personal stuff isn’t really everybody’s bag, but let me tell you a secret.

It’s totally confidential.

Nobody will ever know who’s behind the pen name “Jump Ball” or “All-Star Dad.” Some people even choose to remain anonymous when they send their initial email to me, and that’s totally cool too!

In the end, I need your questions. Plain and simple. So if you enjoy reading this column each week, please take the time to write me a question. Even if you don’t have kids involved in youth sports, you might have grandkids, nieces, nephews, or even friends’ children who are involved in athletics. I’ll take anything.

You can find my email address below. I look forward to hearing from you

Previous 2021 Columns:
Red Shirting
Coach makes political post
7th grade girls basketball woes
Multi-million-dollar buyouts don’t make sense
Private schools have the upper hand
Best of 2020

Athletic Support Columns 2020

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books make brainz taste badOkay, you caught me… I’m the author of this book. It was published last week and awarded a #1 New Release ranking on Amazon. BMBTB deals directly with the same topic covered in this column, except in a much more lighthearted, kid-friendly way (zombie teachers and brain-munching screens!)

If you end up purchasing this book for your children or grandchildren, I only have one final suggestion — ask them to read it while standing up!

Eli Cranor's new book Books Make Brainz Taste Bad has just been released. ZOMBIES HATE BOOKS! Especially the zombie teachers at Haven Middle School. That's why they're using VR headsets to fry kids' brainz. Luckily, Dash Storey knows how to save his classmates from the zombie teachers—BOOKS! They make brainz taste bad!

"Eli Cranor has an almost unbeatable advantage. He can remember how it felt to think like a twelve-year-old and he can see the very same events like the adult he is. Don't try to resist this book!"
- Jack Butler, Pulitzer-Prize nominated author

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