Monday, 24 Jun 2024

Which New NBA Rule Change Will Have the Biggest Impact This Season?

NBA basketball is set to make its return on Oct. 24, and fans are eagerly counting down the days like the seconds on a shot clock. As anticipation builds, our writers have compiled a list of 24 storylines to watch heading into the 2023-24 NBA season. Coming in at No. 6 on our countdown is a debate over which rule change will have a more significant impact: the new in-game flopping violation or the addition of a second coach’s challenge.

The Impact of the Second Coach’s Challenge

While the enforcement of stricter rules against flopping will undoubtedly eliminate some of the theatrics seen on the court, it’s the addition of a second coach’s challenge that will truly shape the game this season and in the years to come. Since the initial introduction of the rule in 2019-20, and its official codification a year later, the coaches’ challenge has gradually become a crucial part of the game.

The ability for coaches to challenge a second call provides them with an invaluable tool. It effectively grants them a buy-one, get-one card at Pebble Beach, allowing them to challenge more calls without fear of running out of challenges in critical moments during the fourth quarter. This expanded opportunity for challenges is expected to increase the number of challenges made in most games.

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Historically, NBA games have averaged between 0.5 and 0.6 challenges per game, with a success rate of roughly 50%. With the introduction of the second challenge, coaches will now have the freedom to challenge more frequently. Although a coach must be correct in their first challenge to earn the second, even the chance of a second challenge can influence a coach’s decision-making process.

Granted, utilizing the second challenge will come at a cost. A team will lose a timeout regardless of the outcome of the challenge, although a successful first challenge will result in the restoration of the lost timeout. However, this is a small price to pay for the increased flexibility and strategic advantage that comes with the second challenge.

The impact of successful challenges is already evident in arenas, as the crowd’s reaction can be energized or deflated depending on the outcome. While the referees may face scrutiny with multiple calls being questioned and potentially overturned in a single game, the ultimate goal is to ensure accuracy and fairness in the officiating. Despite the possibility of additional stoppages in play, the overall quality of the game should benefit from more correctly adjudicated calls.


Q: How will the new in-game flopping violation be enforced?
A: The new flopping violation rule aims to crack down on players attempting to deceive referees through exaggerated theatrical acts. Each occurrence of a flop will result in a technical free throw for the opposing team. The stricter enforcement and the consequences associated with it will discourage players from engaging in this behavior.

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Q: Will players adapt to the new flopping violation rule?
A: As with any new rule or interpretation, players will likely adapt to the stricter enforcement of flopping violations. While there may be an initial surge in calls during the early part of the season, it is anticipated that players will adjust their behavior to avoid unnecessary penalties.


With the NBA season fast approaching, two rule changes are poised to have a significant impact on the game: the new in-game flopping violation and the addition of a second coach’s challenge. While the enforcement of the flopping rule will eliminate some of the theatrics on the court, it’s the second challenge that will shape the game in the long run. Coaches now have the opportunity to challenge a second call, granting them more flexibility and strategic advantage. Despite potential drawbacks such as increased stoppages, the goal of achieving accurate officiating and fair play should ultimately benefit the overall quality of the game. As the season unfolds, it will be fascinating to see how these rule changes influence the game and its outcomes.

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