New rules; will they fly or ‘flop’?

The National Basketball League will enforce a new rule and expansion of an existing one in the 2023/24 season.

As of October 24th this year, there will be a new in-game flopping penalty and beefed up version of the Coach’s Challenge, added to the rules.

While both rules have been implemented in the NBA 2K24 Summer League and other events this summer, will they work or will they ‘flop’?

Let’s find out more about these new rules and where they fit.

New Rules you say?

2MH0TX9 Referee Marc Davis is seen during the first half of an NBA basketball game between the Detroit Pistons and the Charlotte Hornets, Monday, Feb. 10, 2020, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

Earlier this week, the NBA’s Board of Governors approved the implementation of rules which will add to and bolster officials’ in-game decisions.

The expansion of the Coach’s Challenge and the new flopping penalty will come into force from next season following their use in the current 2K24 NBA Summer League which is happening right now.

NBA Decision makers responded well to their use in the summer tournament and from that, the new ones will run on a one-year trial basis across the 2023/24 season.

So let’s see what these new rules are then.

In-Game Flopping Penalty

The first of the two rule changes is an ‘In-Game Flopping Penalty’

This rule states that when one of the game officials calls a flop during play or if there’s sufficient  grounds to call a foul on a player, the following will happen:

The player who committed the offence will be given a technical foul of non-sportmanlike behaviour.

The team that were fouled get one free throw which any player on the court at the time of the foul.

Referee call

2J56X6A April 20, 2022, TORONTO, ON, CANADA: Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse has words with referee Marc Davis during second half NBA first round playoff action against the Philadelphia 76ers in Toronto on Wednesday April 20, 2022. (Credit Image: © Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via ZUMA Press)

The referee doesn’t have to stop the game the moment the flopping violation is called. Instead, they can judge when the game hits a lull or when they see the ‘next neutral opportunity to stop live play to administer the flopping penalty.’

That means that if the team that committed the foul was in possession and had the opportunity to score, won’t be stopped from doing so.

Likewise, after the penalty free throw, the team that possession before the throw, will be awarded possession when the game restarts.

Further tweaks

2NF8WEH Referee Eric Lewis, left, explains a call to Toronto Raptors’ Jason Kapono (24) and Joey Graham during an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2009, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)

In addition to the in-game calls, the NBA also states that it’ll retain it’s ability to carry out assessment of flops after games have taken place.

That also means that any flops identified after the gamem will follow the same incremental process that technical fouls have. They’ll start from $2000 and increase with repeat offences.

Flops checked in real-time will not actively result in a team or player being fined. The Free Throw will be the penalty.

Expanded Use of Coach’s Challenge

2J5HJCE Match official Scott Foster gestures to Toronto Raptors Head Coach Nick Nurse after a technical foul called on Philadelphia 76ers’ Joel Embiid during second half NBA first round playoff action in Toronto, Saturday, April 23, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

Under Rule 14 of the NBA rulebook a team coach can challenge one call made by the referee and fellow officials during a game. This CC rule was first introduced in the 2019/20 season.

When the coach from the Denver Nuggets or Toronto Raptors shouts bloody murder at them for a decision they deem unfair, the officials have a requirement per the rules, to examine the video replay.

It’s very like the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) in the likes of soccer.

What’s the expansion?

2MM9JA0 Detroit Pistons head coach Dwane Casey argues a call with referee Eric Lewis during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Thursday, Oct. 25, 2018, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

The improved Coach’s Challenge now gives coaches a second challenge they can use but only if their first one is successful.

As with the original rule, coaches can only trigger them when they use a TimeOut. So that means the teams have to have a timeout available to do so.

The benefit of the first one being successful will be that the team gets its TimeOut back, especially if it was used appropriately as mentioned above.

However, while they’ll get a Second Coach Challenge, if they are successful on this one, they will spend their TimeOut opportunity and they won’t get it back.

Some crossover?

The NBA states that there is a possibility of their being a foul and flopping violation called out by game officials in the same play.

Their response is the following:

‘A flopping violation will not be directly reviewable by a Coach’s Challenge. 

However, the referees could call a flop via replay review of a called foul triggered by a Coach’s Challenge or referee-initiated replay review of certain types of called fouls (such as a potential flagrant foul, block-charge call, end-of-period foul or clear-path foul).’

Posted on: 14 Jul 2023