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Referee explains new delay of game rule enforcement

Oct 25, 2013, 10:23 AM EDT

San Antonio Spurs v Miami Heat - Game Two Getty Images

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

“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.

  1. sylpkt - Oct 25, 2013 at 10:33 AM

    Joey Effing Crawford…Man I just want to punch that guy back into his turtle shell.

  2. deavn - Oct 25, 2013 at 10:53 AM

    The whole point of tossing the ball to the referee. To stop the team on offense from pushing the ball up the court before the defense gets set up. That’s just something that’s apart of basketball. It’s a competitive league. You do whatever you need to do to 1up your competition. This league is becoming soft man.

    • Anoesis - Oct 25, 2013 at 8:04 PM

      Competitive edge does not equal rules violations. This rule has been around forever, but like traveling, carrying the ball, and moving screens it’s almost never called. I would prefer that any advantage be gained by playing the game by the rules instead of trying to cheat at every opportunity.

    • ProBasketballPundit - Oct 26, 2013 at 4:40 PM

      So tossing the ball to a referee is “hard”? That doesn’t make sense.

  3. kingwithringz - Oct 25, 2013 at 11:08 AM

    This rule messes up guys positioning on rebounds. If a player shoots and misses, he will now be out of position for the rebound because he was afraid to touch it if the shot went in. This rule will also cause some teams close games. I guarantee it.

    • casualcommenter - Oct 25, 2013 at 12:52 PM

      …No it doesn’t. Do you really think the ball lands on the same areas of the court after a make as it does after a miss?

      Hint: After a made shot, the ball will generally land within the restricted area after traveling through the hoop + net.
      After a miss, the ball will generally land outside the restricted area after it hits the rim or backboard.

      That’s why you never see good rebounders standing DIRECTLY under the basket – the only way the ball reaches them in that position is after a make.
      Smart rebounders are always off to the side, trying to box out guys around the restricted-area line.

      • kingwithringz - Oct 25, 2013 at 1:31 PM

        I have been watching preseason. It is affecting guys positioning for rebounds. They are hesitant to jump becuz if the ball goes in and they touch it, it is a delay of game. Thats what my EYES saw sir.

    • jeremyhurst - Oct 26, 2013 at 10:58 AM

      Either you’re an idiot or the players don’t understand the rule, then. Touching the ball after a make is perfectly fine. Tossing it afterwards to a ref or and direction is not.

      Easy. If you touch it, drop it. Done.

      I don’t see it effecting anyone unless they’re morons.

  4. basketballgod87 - Oct 25, 2013 at 12:49 PM

    watch somebody use a game off this

  5. basketballgod87 - Oct 25, 2013 at 12:49 PM

    watch somebody lose a game off this

  6. joeksnuffy - Oct 25, 2013 at 3:55 PM

    It’s about time this rule was implemented. I always thought it was unfair for a team that just scored to grab the ball. It is intended to disrupt the other team from gaining any transition advantage. Good for the NBA.

  7. northstarnic - Oct 25, 2013 at 8:49 PM

    So how are they going to convince the 80% of the league that can’t be bothered to jog, much less run, to do their part to speed up the game?

  8. kansas531 - Oct 26, 2013 at 7:58 AM

    They are supposed to be trained athletes with quick reflexes. If you go for a rebound and it goes in, pull your hands back. Not that tough.

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