The Three NBA Rules Changes You Need To Know

The times are a-changin’ in the NBA, and so are the rules.

The NBA Board of Governors has approved three rule changes for the upcoming season, and we’ve gathered everything you need to know before they take effect on opening night.

Resetting the shot clock to 14 seconds

The shot clock will now reset to 14 seconds — instead of 24 seconds — in these three situations:

  • After an offensive rebound of a missed field goal or free throw that hit the rim
  • After a loose ball foul is called on the defensive team immediately following a missed field goal or free throw that hit the rim
  • After the offensive team gets possession of the ball after it goes out of bounds immediately following a missed field goal or free throw that hit the rim.

This rule is designed to speed up the game, and the NBA is hardly the first to implement it.

FIBA made the change in 2014 and the WNBA followed suit in 2016.

Simplifying clear path fouls

Defining a clear path foul has always been a messy business.

As a result, the NBA has established a fresh list of requirements which must be fulfilled for a clear path foul to be called.

This makes calling such a foul a much more black and white process, rather than that expansive grey area which existed in the past.

Those requirements are:

  • The ball is ahead of the tip of the circle in the backcourt
  • No defender is ahead of the offensive player with the transition scoring opportunity
  • The player with the transition scoring opportunity is in control of the ball
  • The foul deprives his team of an opportunity to score.

This video further breaks down the change.

Expanded definition of the “hostile act” rule

The definition of a “hostile act” has been expanded to provide referees with greater freedom to use instant replay in determining what level of punishment should be handed out.

The NBA didn’t provide any further information in its release, but you can expect the officials to be particularly thorough when it comes to this part of the rulebook.

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