The first of two free throws is sometimes welcome break in the action, however, it’s important to remain engaged for the possible free throw violation.
The common free throw violation is typically caused by a player in a marked lane space. It’s not too often that the shooter is the player who will violate, especially on the first of two free throws. Rule 9-3e states, “The free thrower shall not have either foot beyond the vertical plane of the edge of the free-throw line which is farther from the basket… until the ball touches the rim or backboard, or until the free throw ends.”
In the following video, the center official misses the free throw violation on the first free throw, but then correctly rules on the violation in the second throw.
In any game, that one point can make a big difference. This first throw should have been cancelled. And, as we all know, she could very well miss the second because now she is thinking about that violation as well. These little variations caused by officials mistakes play a role in how the game is played and the outcomes of each play. This mistake is easily fixed just by putting a little more focus on those ‘down times’ in a game.