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OAKLAND, CA - OCTOBER 17: Eric Gordon #10 of the Houston Rockets reacts against the Golden State Warriors at ORACLE Arena on October 17, 2017 in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Coach’s Challenges Coming To The NBA

Not too long ago, the MLB finally incorporated a replay system alongside the opportunity to for managers to challenge calls from the dugout. Taking a page out of the MLB’s book, and the NFL’s prior to them, the NBA now plans to add a coach’s challenge option for next year’s season.

The proposition passed unopposed, achieving a 30–0 vote at the league’s annual meeting during the NBA Summer League. The coach’s challenge already exists as a feature for G–league teams, already proving successful over the last two years since its implementation. This season serves as a “test year” for the new concept,  with the league planning to eventually vote once more and decide whether or not the game should move forward with the challenge feature.

Officials will award teams with one challenge per game, with no additional opportunities granted even if the challenge proves successful, differing from both MLB and NFL rules. To exercise the this new right, coaches must first call a time out and then signal their intent to challenge by twirling his or her finger toward a ref. On–court calls potentially warranting a challenge include a personal foul call, an out-of-bounds call, goaltending, or basket interference. Coaches lose the ability to challenge once the game reaches the closing two minutes however, as all calls at that point warrant automatic reviews from the booth. The league will require clear and conclusive evidence to overturn any call during a challenge.

All reviews will occur at the replay center located in Secaucus, New Jersey, as everyone awaits  league officials charged with determining the challenged call’s outcome. In accordance with the replay center, the league will add a “courtside administrator” to relay messages between the game’s officials and the replay center efficiently.

After numerous contests this year felt plagued with game–altering bad calls, the need for this new system appeared far greater than ever before. Most notably, the playoff series between the Houston Rockets and Golden State Warriors, which frequently warranted the unfortunately popular “ref you suck” chant from both fanbases, served as perhaps the exact incident which prompted the league’s gears to begin moving towards this new step.

As the NBA continues to grow with popularity, this new rule and its impact appears as a worthy topic to follow closely once next year’s season commences. With this, the NBA continues to prioritize the game itself and its rules ahead the league’s entertainment value.

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Written by Collin Helwig

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