Posted July 18, 2013

NBA announces rules changes, instant replay tweaks; flopping policy unchanged

Ben Golliver, David Stern, NBA, Rod Thorn, Stu Jackson
David Stern of the NBA

David Stern said the NBA’s flopping policy will remain unchanged in 2013-14. (Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

The NBA’s Board of Governors announced Thursday five minor rule changes, including a number of tweaks to the league’s instant replay and video review system.

Additionally, commissioner David Stern told reporters that the Competition Committee did not adopt any updates or changes to the league’s anti-flopping policy. Stern previously stated that the current flopping policy “isn’t enough” to affect player behavior; Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle, a Competition Committee member, told reporters last month that no changes to the flopping policy were recommended by the committee for adoption by the Board of Governors.

The updated rule changes cover reviews of block/charge calls, timing of off-ball fouls and unsportsmanlike conduct. The league also adjusted its clear path foul rule and decided to assess a turnover if an offensive player lingers out of bounds during live ball situations.

The full changes are as follows.

Instant replay may now be used:

  • When reviewing a block/charge play to determine whether the defender was inside or outside the restricted area, officials will now be permitted to reverse a charge call, or uphold a blocking call, when the defender was outside the restricted area but was not set when the offensive player began his upward shooting motion.
  • To determine whether an off-ball foul occurred before or after a player has started his shooting motion on a successful shot attempt, or before or after the ball was released on a throw-in.
  • During the review of any instant replay situation to permit the officials to assess the appropriate penalties of any unsportsmanlike and unnecessary acts (e.g. flagrant fouls) that are observed during the instant replay reviews.

Additional rules modifications:

  • On clear path to the basket fouls, it will no longer be considered a clear path foul if at any point before the foul is committed, the defender who commits the foul is positioned ahead of the offensive player in the frontcourt.
  • A team on offense will lose possession if its player leaves the floor and does not immediately return to the floor, unless he is injured, attempting to save the ball or in other extenuating circumstances.

There really isn’t a headline-grabbing move among these changes. Beefing up the block/charge calls makes total sense, as does the clear path rule change, which should make life easier for the referees and result in more accurate rulings. The out-of-bounds rule seems to be an attempt to reduce any strategic advantage gained from creating extra space on the court.

The NBA has steadily added in-game video review for various situations over the last decade. Beginning with reviews for buzzer-beating baskets, the system has expanded to include flagrant fouls, altercations, clock malfunctions, whether a three-point shooter’s foot was on the line, clear-path fouls and late-game goaltending calls, among other scenarios. Stern said in June that the NBA would also investigate the addition of an off-site replay official to help make the video review system more efficient.

Earlier this month, the NBA announced that president of basketball operations Stu Jackson will soon resign his position and that Rod Thorn has been selected as his replacement. Jackson oversaw the league’s game rules, conduct and discipline. He was charged with handing out suspensions and fines for fights and incidents with referees while also heading up the league’s new anti-flopping initiative.

Stern announced in October 2012 that that he will step down from his post on Feb. 1, 2014. Deputy commissioner Adam Silver is in line to take over the top job.

9 comments
NeilWeaver
NeilWeaver

This will be the first and last time i suggest that the nba takes a page from tennis.  Doesnt tennis have an official that is watching from a vantage point above the court with all of the technology (replay etc.) available to them.  This person can override obviously blown calls in real time.  That way the game can keep moving instead of stopping while they all huddle around a little screen for half an hour to watch an 11 second replay and discuss how they can make a compromise between the right call and attempting to not make themselves look totally inept.  Just add the extra official who can make these things happen from off the court.  I should be the next commish!


comeflywithme23
comeflywithme23

wow about u look how much Leflop flops all the time and his soon to be bride wade and their pet dinosaur bosh 

ShawnKemp2012
ShawnKemp2012

This is so fcuking stupid.  Wow.  This game keeps getting worse and worse.  

Voiceover310
Voiceover310

Awesome!! Now all the NBA games can be 6 hours long and the last 3 minutes of the fourth quarter will take at least 90 minutes to play. NBA is becoming a circus. Just hire Vince Mcmahon and make it official!!

espnrefugee0218
espnrefugee0218

I still think if a flop is egregious enough it should be reviewed during the next  stoppage of play and could result in a technical foul.  Not all flops would get reviewed just the ones that are terrible...have a ref sitting at the monitor too so the in game officials dont have to make the call right away

mjw149
mjw149

I don't like the out of bounds rule.  First of all, it's a fun bit of strategy.


Most importantly, these players are HUGE and they aren't increasing the size of the court or making big guys less valuable.  They should encourage spacing out of bounds, because the half court game is suffering as it is.

Voiceover310
Voiceover310

@espnrefugee0218 Your screen name is hilarious!! I miss the espn boards but not the trolls who ruined them. I'm starting to like the SI comment boards

joshua33nelson
joshua33nelson

@mjw149 Nah it's lame to hide in the crowd and get up very slowly until your team has the ball and then try to get a cherry pick slam dunk or layup.

jamsub
jamsub

@joshua33nelson @mjw149 That does not happen too often. This is meant to limit the back screens that often occur out of bounds. Ray Allen and Reggie Miller made a living off those double screens.