Knowing when the try has ended is important in administering fouls on an airborne shooter.
Rule 4-1 – Article 1 states, “An airborne shooter is a player who has released the ball on a try for a goal or has tapped the ball and has not returned to the floor.” Article 2 states, “The airborne shooter is considered to be in the act of shooting.”
Take this information along with Rule 4-41, article 1, “The act of shooting begins simultaneously with the start of the try or tap and ends when the ball is clearly in flight, AND includes the airborne shooter.”
The word AND is emphasized here intentionally because it is one of those words that means something else has to be true for this rule to apply. The try does not end when the ball is clearly in flight, but ends when the airborne shooter has returned to the floor. In the following play, a judgement has to be made if the shooter has returned to the floor or not before there is contact.
It appears that the shooter has returned to the floor before contact was made by the defensive player. How does this get administered? Team A will receive the ball out of bounds for a throw-in, unless they are in the bonus. However, if the contact had happened prior to the player returning to the floor, she would still be considered an airborne shooter and would be awarded 2 free throws.
Let’s also consider if the airborne shooter returned to the floor, contact is made, and the try is successful. This is not an “And 1” scenario. The try has ended. Team A receives two points for the successful try, and the ball out of bounds, unless team A is in the bonus.