NBA announces 5 rule changes

Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE

Three of the changes allow for expanded use of instant replay.

The NBA's Board of Governors approved five rules changes in a Thursday meeting, the league announced. Among these changes are three expansions to the use of instant replay.

When using instant replay to determine whether a defensive player was inside the restricted area, referees can now overturn charge calls or uphold blocking calls in situations "when the defender was outside the restricted area but was not set when the offensive player began his upward shooting motion."

Referees are also now permitted to use instant replay to review off-the-ball fouls, specifically to see whether they occurred before or after an offensive player began his shooting motion, or if an off-the-ball foul occurred before an inbounds pass was released.

A final instant-replay expansion empowers referees "to assess the appropriate penalties of any unsportsmanlike and unnecessary acts" that they notice during any replay situation.

The NBA also tweaked its enforcement guidelines on clear-path fouls. Referees are not to assess a clear-path foul if, at any point before the foul, the defensive player who committed the foul "is positioned ahead of the offensive player in the frontcourt."

The final change that the league announced Thursday: an offensive player leaving the floor and not immediately returning to it will result in a turnover. There are exceptions for injuries, attempting to save a loose ball, or "other extenuating circumstances."

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