NBA referees will now be able to view replay to make more accurate calls on blocking and charging fouls, as well as goaltending and basket interference violations late in the game.
Although the rules surrounding those calls remain unchanged, officials will now be able to view replay to make the right call with less than two minutes on the clock, reported CBS' Ken Berger from the NBA's annual referee camp.
Officials will now be able to use instant replay to determine whether a defender was inside or outside the restricted area on a block-charge call in the last two minutes of regulation and all of overtime. Similarly, if the crew is uncertain about a goaltending or basket interference call in the last two minutes of the fourth quarter or all of overtime, instant replay can be used. In both instances, there has to have been a call made and the officials have to be uncertain in order for replay to be triggered.
Judgment calls, such as whether a foul actually occurred on a play, remain off limits, but the extra replay opportunities will allow officials to more correctly assess the facts of a situation.
Now they can know for sure whether a ball was blocked on its way up or whether a ball was touched inside the cylinder and should be basket interference, taking the instantaneous guesswork out of calls that are clearly right or wrong. All flagrant fouls will also now be reviewable, whereas in the past only fouls determined to be flagrant-two fouls -- meriting immediate suspension -- were subject to review.
Replay review has allowed referees to correctly determine other non-judgment calls, like whether a shot was released before a clock expired or who touched a ball last going out of bounds, for several years. The typical concern with added replay review is a lag on the pace of play, which is already somewhat stretched out in late-game situations but, after recent concern over referee quality in the NFL, few will complain about added reviews.