basketball, "flop" is a derogatory term that refers to a defensive player intentionally falling backward to the floor upon physical contact with an offensive player. The hope is that it will appear to the official that the defensive player was knocked off of his feet by the offensive player's contact, thus prompting the official to call a charging foul against the offensive player.
The move is also sometimes called "acting", as in "acting like he was fouled". Because it is inherently designed to deceive the official, flopping is generally considered to be less than sportsman-like. Nonetheless, it is widely practiced and even perfected by many great professional players.
Flopping effectively is not easy to do, primarily because drawing contact can sometimes result in the opposite effect—a foul called on the defensive player—when too much contact is drawn or if the player has not positioned himself perfectly. Additionally, even if no foul is 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 on the play, thus potentially allowing the offense to score easily. To consistently draw offensive fouls on opponents takes good body control and a great deal of practice. Players generally become better at flopping as their careers progress.
National Basketball Association(NBA) added a rule in 1997 to cut down on flopping near the basket, adding a 4-foot (1.22 meter) "dotted line area" around the center of the basket to help prevent flops. Such flops are charged as blocking fouls or no-calls.
Unlike the NBA, the penalty for "flopping" under FIBA rules is a
technical foul. (FIBA rules state that would count as one of a player's five fouls (6 in a 48-minute game in some countries) towards being taken out of the game. In the NBA technical fouls for unsportsmanlike conduct count as one towards the two to ejection or seven to suspension.)
On May 28, 2008, the NBA announced that it would impose fines on players who show a clear case of flopping and suspensions for repeat offenders. [ cite news
last = Stein
first = Marc
title = Fines will be imposed for clear cases of flopping
date = May 29, 2008
url = http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=3416579
accessdate = 2008-05-30]
Vlade Divacearned a reputation as a premier flopper [Citation | last = Beck | first = Howard | title = Cut Out the Theatrics: N.B.A. Devises Penalties for ‘Floppers’ | newspaper = The New York Times| year = 2008 | date = 2008-05-30| url = http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/30/sports/basketball/30nba.html | accessdate = 2008-06-01"Vlade Divac was regarded as one of the premier floppers when he played for the Sacramento Kings."] and is often found at or near the top of lists ranking the greatest floppers in NBA history. Even one of Divac's own former teammates, Peja Stojakovic, referred to him as "the father of flopping." [Citation | last = C. Arnold | first = Geoffrey | title = In NBA, flop has become last refuge of defenders | newspaper = San Francisco Chronicle| year = 2008 | date = 2008-05-25| url = http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/05/24/SP3U10RU5Q.DTL&feed=rss.sports | accessdate = 2008-06-01" "He was the father of flopping," said New Orleans forward Peja Stojakovic, a teammate of Divac's in Sacramento."]
* [http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=hruby/060303 ESPN's Page 2 on "The Art of Flopping"] The article includes the columnist's opinions about who are the best (i.e. most egregious) floppers.
* [http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=neumann/070607 ESPN's Page 2 on "The greatest floppers in NBA history"]
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