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NBA competition committee recommending expansion of instant replay to include block/charge calls

Jun 12, 2013, 10:28 PM EDT

San Antonio Spurs v Miami Heat - Game Two Getty Images

The NBA’s competition committee met Wednesday in San Antonio, and is making recommendations on expanding instant replay to include a few more potentially critical situations, according to a report from the Associated Press.

The bigger news, however, is that this is the first time that the league would allow plays that are judgment calls made by the officials to be potentially overturned following video review. To this point, only plays that have an objectively factual conclusion — such as whether a player’s feet were or were not in the restricted area, or which team touched the ball last before it went out of bounds — have been the subject of replay reviews.

Block/charge calls in late-game situations would be added to instant replay under the committee’s recommendation, as would off-the-ball fouls on inbounds plays and on made free throws.

While review is a good thing generally speaking, it’s tough to see how the block/charge was the one that made the cut. We’re talking about a play which is almost always 50-50 in real time, and it’s usually tough to tell even after multiple viewings which way it should have been whistled. It would be easy to see the referee who originally made the call sticking to it in an extremely high percentage of reviewable instances.

If the league truly wants to give the referees the ability to check their work, they should make all fouls in the last two minutes of the game eligible to be reviewed if two of the three officials on the floor have a question about a potentially game-changing call. Now that the door has been opened for judgment calls to be potentially added to the replay queue, it’s no longer impossible to envision.

  1. tampajoey - Jun 12, 2013 at 11:32 PM

    The NBA should expand reply to include flopping. Let the refs call out the floppers right then during the game which would embarrass and expose them. Imagine watching Lebron James crying after being called for a flop during a game.

    • tampajoey - Jun 13, 2013 at 12:40 AM


  2. sunsation3413 - Jun 12, 2013 at 11:42 PM

    Just make Joey Crawford retire and a lot of nonsense would go away

  3. mazblast - Jun 12, 2013 at 11:42 PM

    Late game block/charge calls almost always go to–the star. That’s why LBJ went so berserk over that call against the Pacers. He knew which way it was “supposed” to go and went nuts when it was called correctly.

  4. logisticalvoices - Jun 12, 2013 at 11:58 PM

    This only makes sense if the NBA institutes the NHL’s off-site replay office. We don’t need the refs huddling over the scorer’s table every 20 seconds at the end of the game.

  5. taintedlombardis - Jun 13, 2013 at 12:37 AM

    This happening is Lebron’s worst nightmare. Watch his PPG drop by a third.

  6. lawson1974 - Jun 13, 2013 at 6:40 AM

    Wow, this is a terrible idea

  7. Anoesis - Jun 13, 2013 at 9:25 AM

    I disagree that a block/charge is merely a judgment call. It is sometimes difficult to get right because of the speed of the play, but either the defender’s feet are set before the driver leaves the floor or they aren’t. Replay would certainly help with that as a majority of refs give the benefit of the doubt to the player with the ball.

  8. gmsingh123 - Jun 13, 2013 at 1:16 PM

    Baseball and basketball need a challenge flag just like in football.

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