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#pounditWednesday, November 29, 2023

NBA reportedly considering significant change to challenge rules

Adam Silver speaking

Feb 15, 2020; Chicago, Illinois, USA; NBA commissioner Adam Silver speaks at a press conference during NBA All Star Saturday Night at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA is in its fourth year of allowing coaches to challenge one play per game, and a significant change could be coming to the system this offseason.

According to Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report, the NBA’s Competition Committee has had serious discussions about a rule that would award teams a second challenge if a coach challenges a play and is successful. The change, which could be implemented next season, will likely be tested during the Summer League.

As it currently stands, coaches get just one challenge per game. The new change would be similar to the system the NFL uses. NFL teams get two challenges per game, but they are awarded a third challenge if the first two are successful.

The rule the NBA is considering would give teams one additional challenge if their first challenge was successful. Even if their second challenge was also successful, they would not be awarded a third challenge.

While the coach’s challenge has generally been viewed as a positive for the NBA, having a strict one-challenge rule has created issues. For example, if an official makes a blatantly incorrect call during the first half, coaches typically are hesitant to use their challenge in case they need it at a more important juncture later in the game. Awarding coaches an additional challenge if they win their first would eliminate that dilemma.

We have seen plenty of pivotal games swung on coach’s challenges. An additional challenge would likely bring even more of that next season and beyond.


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