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.” “The airborne shooter is considered to be in the act of shooting” (NFHS Rules 4.1.1)
When officiating the shooter up and down, your check-down list is; feet, hand, elbow, feet. The shooter must be allowed the opportunity to come down without contact. This video is a great example of an airborne shooter that was not allowed the opportunity to come back down before the contact occurs. If your looking for the shooter’s feet to come back to the floor, it is an easy call to determine if the contact occurred before or after he came back down.
One point of clarification: An airborne shooter is no longer an airborne shooter as long as one foot has returned to the floor.
4.1.1 – Airborne Shooter