Referee explains new delay of game rule enforcement

13 Comments

If you watched a preseason game, you saw it. If you haven’t been watching the preseason you’re going to see it a lot starting next Tuesday.

This season’s “NBA rule we’re going to enforce like crazy until mid-December then forget about” is delay of game after a made basket. Meaning after a made basket a player on the offensive team (that just scored) cannot catch the ball as it goes through the net and toss the ball to the referee.

Odd, I know, but here’s the thinking: More and more teams want to push the ball up court even after a make to probe the defense before it gets set, and that toss to the official is another step to slow down those running teams.

NBA Director of Officials Don Vaden talked about it in a Q&A on NBA.com.

“This season you will notice a change in how we enforce the delay of game penalty based on conversations with the Competition Committee. It’s not a “no-touch” provision, but players will no longer be permitted to direct the ball after it clears the net. Going forward, an offensive player who catches the ball after a made basket and passes it to a referee will receive a delay of game warning (if team’s first delay) or a delay of game penalty if it’s their second.”

Do it twice, get a technical.

As always, expect teams to fall in line for the most part, referees to forget about the edict starting around Thanksgiving and by Christmas things are back to normal.

That said, I don’t hate this. Anything that speeds up the tempo of the game I’m good with.