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International goaltending among rule changes Stern wants

Apr 27, 2011, 9:13 PM EDT

goaltending Getty Images

We’re optimists. We’re not going to focus today on the lockout and the “if there is basketball next season” questions, because there will be plenty of time for that coming up.

Let’s talk about the game. Because while the league is hammering out financial issues, it will also talk about some rule changes.

And one David Stern says he is going to push for is the international goaltending rule — once the ball hits the rim it is live. If it hits the rim you can dunk it in or just swat it off the rim. It takes the Kendrick Perkins play out of the equation, that would have been legal.

Here is what Stern told 790 The Ticket in Miami (via Sports Radio Interviews).

“Well I’m going to urge the owners — and it’s not very radical but we were talking about it for awhile — to adopt the international rule on basket interference. That is to say, once the ball hits the rim it’s in play. Because I think that it’s too hard to call. I think that we don’t want to stop the game every time to see if it’s the right call, but the camera that looks down on the basket can tell the story if the refs have gotten it right. And it’s just impossible to call to make whether the ball’s touching the rim, on the rim, off the rim or the like. And I think that would make the game faster, better, and less controversial. And I think we’re going to be putting in more — I forget the exact number — just more replay opportunities because we really want to get it right. So those are the biggest things. I also think we’re going to be talking about cutting out a timeout or two to move the game along. The last period, even in a close game, shouldn’t begin to approach an hour.”

When the idea of the international rule first came up, some European players questioned how well it would work with the athletes of the NBA — there are a lot of leapers who are going to alter balls on the rim. More athletes here than in Europe who will do that.

But the D-League had the rule in place and it seemed to get good reviews. So it may be one. Which is going to make next season interesting if the owners vote it in. Well, once we get to next season. But we’re not going there today.

  1. jjared1101 - Apr 27, 2011 at 10:17 PM

    I vote no. You’ll just have guys jumping up to the rim, swatting the ball as it touches the rim. I’d guess you might have the same amount of replays trying to find out whether or not a guy has touched the ball before it hit the rim as you do now. I also fail to see how, if at all, this makes the game significantly “faster”. If anything, i’d be taking more time trying to make sure i get a perfect shot so that no one can knock it away after it touches the rim.

    • aqzi - Apr 28, 2011 at 12:44 AM

      In Europe, international competition, and the D-League the issues you raised aren’t a problem. As for the faster comment, Stern is talking about how sometimes replays can slow down the game, and eliminating the need for replays would make the game faster. Taking out the “cylinder” rule–it’s goaltending if the ball is still in the cylinder–makes for fewer replays.

      By the game being “faster,” people who use that term are referring to less breaks in the game (ie for replays, timeouts, fouls, etc), not to the game pace. The term used to say that D’Antoni’s seven seconds or less offense is “fast” is that it is played at a higher pace.

      That said, I do like the rule. I wonder how it will affect stats like rebounds and blocks? Surely those stats will go up, at least a little bit.

      • jjared1101 - Apr 28, 2011 at 2:40 AM

        Point taken.

        I guess i’d have to see it in game action. I haven’t really watched international or D-League in a long time, so i really haven’t seen it’s affects on the game. It just sounded like an unnecessary rule change at first glance. Understanding now what he meant by speeding up the game, I still don’t feel like it will make the game that much faster. But I see the merit.

        I also wonder about the stats. What do you deem a block and what do you deem a rebound? Or do they create a whole new stat entirely?

  2. celtics9ersangelsnd - Apr 28, 2011 at 12:01 AM

    i say yes to it it will speed the game up by not having to stop and check replay and yes alot more shots will be knocked away from the rim but it goes both ways 1 second left the shot it made its bouncing around the rim if ur the team ahead u wat it knocked away so there is th visa versa tha comes into play

  3. davidly - Apr 28, 2011 at 5:33 AM

    I’d have to see it at the NBA level before I could form a hard opinion about it. The D-league and international game are not the NBA, as noted here. I suspect that there’d be a lot of wresting around the rim, which would not make the game easier to call.

    On the other hand, if they changed the rules to allow unrestrained contact, as well as traveling and double dribbling, not only would it make the game easier to call, but it would remove the referee from the equation altogether.

  4. 00maltliquor - Apr 28, 2011 at 1:02 PM

    David Stern is ruining the league with all his rule changes every year! Cant he just leave the game alone for at least a year or two without changing the damn thing? Players better swish the ball everytime now or your gonna see teams now with 7 foot+ guys just gaurding the rim looking to swipe. I can see guys like Javale McGee have career years and you can expect seeing game scores in the 50’s and 60’s on a regular basis. Boo!

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