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NBA To Implement Rule Change Ahead of New Season

The NBA’s board of governors are expected to pass rule changes ahead of the 2018 – 2019 season, pending approval.

The rule changes involve resetting the shot clock from 24 seconds to 14 seconds after an offensive rebound.

The move would simplify the clear-path foul rule and expand the definition of the “hostile act”. This would make it easier to trigger an instant reply.

The NBA on Thursday outlined the chances in a memo sent to general managers and coaches. The unanimous recommendations will be voted on by the board of governors on September 20.


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Resetting the shot clock will result in move shot attempts, particularly towards the end of close games, say the league.

Per ESPN, here are the rule changes in full:

  • “A personal foul is committed on any offensive player during his team’s transition scoring opportunity.”
  • “When the foul occurs, the ball is ahead of the tip of the circle in the backcourt, no defensive player is ahead of the offensive player with the scoring opportunity and that offensive player is in control of the ball or a pass to him has been released.”
  • “The defensive foul deprives the offensive team of a transition scoring opportunity.”

In the instance of a clear-path foul, the team is given two free throw attempts and possession on the sideline closest to where the foul happened.


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The NBA studied FIBA’s implementation of the rule in 2014, as well as its use in G League, WNBA and NBA summer league games.

The NBA says that rule would eliminate the need that a play start in the backcourt. Referees would no longer “need to make a judgment call on whether a defender was ‘between’ the offensive player and the basket, or, if a defender is ahead of the player being fouled but not ‘between’ the offensive player and the basket, whether such defender had the opportunity to position himself between the ball and the basket.”

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