Game events:

Last 3 seconds:

Courtesy of The Olympic Museum, Lausanne, Switzerland

IOC Historical Archives / International Federations - Basketball - Correspondence - 1961-1975

Scans: page 1, page 2

FIBA Version of events




19 Rugendas Strasse

8 Munchen 71


Munich, Aug./Sept. 1972

Chronological order of events during the last 3" of the game (final) played between the United States and the Soviet Union, at 23:30 of September 9th, 1972.

  1. When the clock indicated 3" to the end of playing time and the Soviet Union team was leading 49 to 48, number 6 of the Soviet team fouled number 5 of the USA team. The foul was called and charged, and two free throws were granted. Number 5 scored them both.

  2. During the execution of the second free throw, while the ball was in the air, the Scorer's signal was sounded to indicate that a charged time-out had been requested (by the coach of the Soviet team). This was a mistake. Either the coach of the Soviet team had reguested a charged time-out on time, and the Scorer had been slow in sounding his signal, or the Soviet coach had asked for a charged time-out too late and the Scorer should not have sounded his signal at all. The charged time-out was of course not granted.

  3. Immediately following the second free throw, the Umpire caused the ball to be put in play from behind the end line by the Soviet team. However, at about the same time, the Referee gave the signal of "no play", thus stopping the game. At this time, the Referee was in front of the Scorer's table and very near to it. Upon interrogation, the Referee stated that he had stopped the game because of a signal from the Scorer's table. After consultation with the personnel of the Scorer's table, the Referee indicated that the 3" remained to be played, and accordingly this information was made public through the public address system (the speaker was sitting next to the Timekeeper) and to the two coaches.

  4. The Officials then caused the ball to be put in play again from behind the end line by the Soviet team, thus clearly indicating that this was a repetition of the first play. The ball was passed to a player on the court and immediately after (one second) the automatic signal for the end of the game was sounded. Quite rightly, the American players thought they had won the game. However, the Officials came to the Scorer's table to find out why the signal had sounded after one second of play, and also the Chairman of the Technical Committee went to the table to inquire why it had been announced in three languages (French, English and German) that 3" seconds remaided to be played, and only one second had actually been played. They were informed that the Timekeeper had neglected to reset the game clock at 3" before play had been resumed for the second tine.

  5. The Chairman of the Technical Committee then instructed the Longines operators to set the clock right, and this was done under his supervision while the Officials informed the two coaches that the 3" still remained to be played.

  6. With the clock indicating 3" to go, the two teams took again their positions on the court, the ball being again (for the third time) put into play from behind the end line by the Soviet team. The fact of putting the ball in play from the end line again clearly indicated that it was a repetition of the original play.

  7. Player number 10 of the Soviet team made a long high pass to number 14 who was in their front court, in the area of the free throw line. This pass was duly received by number 14 while two American players came up to try preventing him from scoring. What happened at that moment is a matter that must be left to the judgement of the Referee who was in a position to see, as the three players were quite alone on the court. Although some contact must have occurred, no foul was called, and number 14 scored the basket. Soon afterwards, no more than one second, the automatic signal for the termination of the game sounded, on the score of 51 to 50 for the Soviet Union.

  8. The official Score Sheet was duly signed by the Scorer, Timekeeper, 30"-Operator, Captain of the Soviet team, Umpire and Referee. The Captain of the American team refused to sign.

This chronological order of events has been established after a scrupulous interrogation of the two Officials, of members of the Scorer's table (Scorer, Timekeeper, 30"-Operator and Co-ordinator), of the Technical Delegate, of members of the Technical Committee, and after a careful examination of the television recordings, by ABC (American) and DOZ (German). These television recordings were viewed several times by all members of the Jury of Appeal and of the Technical Committee, and by officials of the Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXth Olympiad.

R. William Jones

Secretary General of F.I.B.A.

Chairman of the Technical Committee

for tne Ulympic Basketball Tournament

Miinchen/Solln, September 15th, 1972

My comment: As expected, a bunch of lies can be found in this document:

  1. Bullet "c": It says that referee stopped the game "at about the same time", meaning the moment the Soviet team started their attack. But it's clear that the referee stopped the game two seconds later. Obviously, FIBA could not find any justification for giving these 2 seconds back to the Soviet team, so they came up with this ridiculous "about the same time".
  2. Bullet "c": "Referee indicated that the 3" remained to be played". Another lie. Mr. William Jones ordered to reset the game clock to 3 seconds, not a referee.
  3. Bullet "d": It says that Mr. Jones intervened after the the Soviets' second attempt, while in fact he did that after the first one.

Also you can read a review made by Herbert Mols, the assistant administrator of American team.