Why hoops refs should "let 'em play" as clock winds down
The Washington Post has a sports column today by Sally Jenkins that might be of interest to folks here. The column summarizes a Georgetown Law Journal article that provides support for the widespread preference for referees to go easy on technically correct but minor calls (e.g., lane violations) near the end of a basketball game. The basic logic is simple: the reason for fouls and other penalties is to prevent the perpetrating team from gaining an unfair advantage; but penalties at the end of the game matter more, because there's less opportunity to overcome them, so a penalty that provides the appropriate degree of compensation to the other team early in the game can be excessive by the end.
IIRC, the same logic shows up in baseball statistics in calculations of Win Probability Added: a hit or an out affects WP more in the 9th inning than in the 2nd.
If you're interested, the column is here: