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.
The #NBA just officially confirmed the introduction of coach’s challenge and use of Replay Center to initiate instant replay. “Giving head coaches a voice will enhance the confidence in our replay process among teams and fans” said League Operations President Byron Spruell
— Davide Chinellato (@dchinellato) July 10, 2019
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.
NBA makes it official, announces that the Board of Governors as expected a limited coaches’ challenge of called personal fouls, goaltending and basket inference, and that the replay center may trigger reviews of 2- or 3-point shots and shot clock violations.
— Jonathan Feigen (@Jonathan_Feigen) July 10, 2019
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.
Here’s the game: Harden fouled shooting a 3. No call. Harden mauled shooting a 3. No Call. Harden fouled while making a 3. Ball out of bounds. Bledsoe brutalized going to the basket: No call.
— Cem (@IBreatheWonder) May 29, 2018
The refs didn’t call #Warriors Kevin Durant out of bounds on this save that led to the go-ahead bucket in OT? That’s probably the worst call I’ve seen. Harden not taking an L though. He’s unreal, but that’s just trash officiating. pic.twitter.com/RlK32ee6JZ
— Landry Locker (@LandryLocker) January 4, 2019
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.