The NBA Board of Governors has unanimously passed two rule changes regarding video review. Both have been on a trial run in recent Summer League and G-League seasons, and now the NBA is ready to give them a go in the big league on a trial run next season.
The first is one many have clamored for (and surely Spurs coach Gregg Popovich will love): a coach’s challenge in which the coach can challenge a call in certain situations. Here are some key features listed out by the NBA:
- Each team is entitled to one challenge in the game (regardless of whether the challenge is successful).
- A team can use its challenge in the following instances: a called personal foul charged to its own team; a called out-of-bounds violation; or a called goaltending or basket interference violation.
- To initiate a challenge, a team must immediately call a legal timeout and the head coach must immediately signal for a challenge by twirling his/her finger toward the referees.
- If a team attempts to challenge an event with no remaining timeouts, the team is charged an excessive timeout, for which the penalty is a technical foul, and no challenge will take place.
- If a team calls a timeout to challenge an event that may not be reviewed, the team will be charged a timeout but retain its challenge.
- As with other replay reviews, in order to overturn the event as called on the floor, there must be clear and conclusive visual evidence that the call was incorrect.
Of note, while a team can challenge for a personal foul any time, they cannot challenge a called out-of-bounds violation or goaltending/basket interference violation in the last two minutes of the fourth quarter or OT, likely because the Replay Center and officials already can trigger reviews in those situations.
The main thing that could make this rule interesting is the ability to challenge for a personal foul at any time, including the last two minutes of the game. The refs are often known to let teams play it out and only call the extremely obvious fouls in the waning moments, especially on final possessions. What fouls are and aren’t called in certain situations has always been subjective, so this could be interesting if coaches start using their challenge on final shots, and any amount of illegal contact could trigger a call that would normally go uncalled with little complaint.
The second rule is an expansion of when the NBA Replay Center can trigger replay. Now, they can trigger video replay in the first 46 minutes of the game and first three minutes of OT either to determine whether a made FG was a two or three, or for potential shot clock violations. As has been the case in the past, both the Replay Center and refs can trigger video replay for these situations in the final two minutes of the game and OT.
Also, a new court-side administrator will be stationed at the scorer’s table to help make the process quicker by expediting communication between the Replay Center and officials. The administrator cannot trigger video replay or make any decisions with regards to officiating or determining calls.
What do you think, Pounders? Do you like the new rule changes? Are they good or bad for the league? Feel free to discuss in the comments below.