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NBA Re-Works Definition of Traveling

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The NBA Board of Governors have agreed upon changes to the definition of traveling.

NBA: Houston Rockets at Portland Trail Blazers Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA’s attempt to improve their product reached beyond free agent tampering to include a revision to the language tied to traveling violations. Often a target of scrutiny, the NBA is attempting to clearly define how a player “gathers” before making a move without dribbling.

The rule book update includes the following language:

Definition of the Gather

The following definition of the gather will be added to the definitions section of the playing rules:

A. For a player who receives a pass or gains possession of a loose ball, the gather is defined as the point where the player gains enough control of the ball to hold it, change hands, pass, shoot, or cradle it against his body.

B. For a player who is in control of the ball while dribbling, the gather is defined as the point where a player does any one of the following:

(1) Puts two hands on the ball, or otherwise permits the ball to come to rest, while he is in control of it;

(2) Puts a hand under the ball and brings it to a pause; or

(3) Otherwise gains enough control of the ball to hold it, change hands, pass, shoot, or cradle it against his body.

NBA President, League Operations Bryon Spruell commented on the change in the NBA’s official release.

“One of the most misunderstood rules in our game is how traveling is interpreted and appropriately called,” said Byron Spruell, NBA President, League Operations. “Revising the language of certain areas of the rule is part of our three-pronged approach to address the uncertainty around traveling. This approach also includes an enforcement plan to make traveling a point of emphasis for our officiating staff, along with an aggressive education plan to increase understanding of the rule by players, coaches, media and fans.”

You can read the full press release by clicking here.