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NBA Makes Slight Referee Changes Ahead of Season

The NBA is making some rule changes regarding challenges.

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Portland Trail Blazers v Orlando Magic Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images

Monty McCutchen, senior vice president of referee development and training, reported that the NBA will see a few rule changes for the upcoming season through a small conference call with reporters The Athletic’s Sam Amick reported.

In a small conference call with a few NBA reporters, McCutchen outlined two major rule changes: assessing technicals for egregious flopping and the awarding of a second coach’s challenge. The league also is tightening what can be considered a “rip through” foul against the defense.

The flopping calls will be classified as non-unsportsmanlike technicals, which means they will not count towards the offending player being ejected like a typical technical foul. However, a flopping call will still result in a free throw for the other team.

The other major rule change is the implementation of a second challenge offered to coaches who win their first challenge.

In this scenario, McCutchen said a coach who successfully challenges an official’s call earns another challenge and retains his timeout. If he uses that second challenge, he loses a timeout, regardless of the success of the challenge.

The first challenge a coach uses in a game will still function the same way as last year, the coach will keep the timeout if the challenge is successful, but lose it if the challenge is unsuccessful. However, the second challenged call will always result in the team losing a timeout.

The final rule change is much more minor, but concerns the “rip-through” move that many ball-handlers employ to try and draw fouls.

McCutchen also said offensive players would not be able to draw “rip through” fouls against defenders if they are not attempting to make a play toward the rim.

It remains to be seen exactly how the Portland Trail Blazers and the other 29 teams will be affected by this, but some slight adaptation will have to happen.