New Rule Changes for the 2013-14 Season

Referee Crawford calls a technical foul on Oklahoma City Thunder Brooks in the first half during Game 3 of the NBA basketball finals in Miami.

Referee Crawford calls a technical foul on Oklahoma City Thunder Brooks in the first half during Game 3 of the NBA basketball finals in Miami.

With the season just around the corner, the NBA has agreed and applied these new rules to the upcoming NBA season. In summary, there will be a lot more instant replay. Most of it will be for good use, so there’s that. Some of the rules will allow the officials to help speed up the tempo and stop teams from trying to go out of bounds to trick teams. Here’s what Ken Berger of CBS Sports had to say about it:

CBS Sports

Several wrinkles were added to the rulebook for the 2013-14 season, and after attending the media officiating seminar in Newark, N.J., on Thursday, a couple of important changes stand out.

First, when officials review a block-charge call to determine where a defender was positioned with respect to the restricted area, they will now be able to reverse a charge call or uphold a block if the defender was not outside the restricted area when the offensive player started his shooting motion. This does not mean all block-charge plays are reviewable; it remains the case that only calls made based on the defender’s positioning with respect to the restricted area in the last two minutes of regulation or overtime can be reviewed.

Now, I’m all for this. This will help get a lot of missed calls right. I’m all for replay if it means getting the call right.

Another welcome change: Officials will now be able to reverse off-ball fouls if replay shows that the shooter had not yet begun his shooting motion at the time of the contact. Same goes for off-ball fouls on inbounds plays when replay shows the inbounding player had not released the ball at the time of contact. I don’t think it’ll come up much, but officials also will now have the latitude to assess technical or flagrant fouls they see on video replay when reviewing an unrelated play.

I will welcome this one as well. The fact that they can make sure whether or not off-ball fouls. I also enjoy the ability to assess fouls off instant replay. This might put a stop to some of the first person getting away from the cheap shot, and the second player getting caught.

As far as points of emphasis, the one that will come into play the most is delay-of-game violations when offensive players redirect the ball (i.e. toss it to the ref or bounce it out of bounds) after a made basket. League officials say it happened 214 times during the playoffs last season. Blowing the whistle on such shenanigans will speed up the game. Another good one: A team will lose possession if an offensive player goes out of bounds and does not return to the court immediately (with exceptions, of course, for injury and other circumstances that can’t be avoided.) Seems like a small thing, but this is a tactic that the Denver Nuggets started using a couple of years ago to further spread out the floor and confuse the defense. Last season, league officials say 11 teams used the tactic.

I spoke in great length when the Oklahoma City Thunder played the Denver Nuggets about this tactic. At times, Oklahoma City was caught off guard because they assumed a player was no longer in play. I am glad the NBA noticed this trend and trying to put an end to it.

Overall, these new changes and emphasis are really good for the game. We’re not a fan of errors an mess ups. We want the game to be called fairly, despite all the fun conspiracy talk. This will just allow teams to get a fair shake on certain things. It might not make a whole lick of a difference, but it could change a game or two for a few teams.

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