Delay Of Game Rule Key Point Among Officials’ Points Of Emphasis For 2013-14


HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — The NBA preseason is more than just a time for teams and players to work out the kinks and fine tune their operations in advance of the new season.

It also serves as a real-time laboratory for the league’s officials, giving them an opportunity to execute whatever changes have been implemented, zero in on the modifications being made to existing rules and to get in the habit of showcasing the new rules for that season.

That’s right, it’s point-of-emphasis time for the 2013-14 season, and everyone — from the rules and competition committee, to the teams, to the players and officials — have all been schooled on the dos and don’ts, courtesy of a step-by-step explanation from members of the NBA’s referee operations staff (as seen here).

There are five major points of emphasis this season:

  • Illegal screens
  • Contact on jump shots
  • Traveling
  • Discontinued dribble
  • Delay of game after a made basket

All will require serious attention from both the players and game officials, who will need to adjust to the new interpretations.

The rule book is clear on what is and is not allowed in each of these instances. That makes it all about the interpretation on the part of the players and officials, per Joe Borgia, the NBA’s Vice President of Referee Operations.

“We’ve made it clear to the players and the officials that this is for both of you,” Borgia said, “We need you to get better at (knowing the rules) and the officials to get better at making the right call when they see you are doing something and doing it wrong. The players will change. They have proven it over and over, a great example is the respect for the game rule that went in place a few years back. We had the NBA Finals last year and didn’t have a technical foul. I don’t know when that’s happened before, or if it has.”

That doesn’t mean it won’t take some getting used to, specifically for players used to setting screens a certain way and not being called for the violation of the new interpretation of the rule. The same is true for players who have made a habit of messing with the ball after a made basket. That said, the referee operations staff is implementing changes based largely on the feedback they received from the teams, which is part of a “smorgasbord” of information Borgia said is used to refine the game on a continual basis.

Illegal screens and traveling garnered the largest volume of mentions from teams, Borgia said.

But the delay of game rule could be the most noticeable change of all, particularly for fans. Messing with the ball in any way after a made basket is supposed to result in a whistle being blown. And despite some chatter that the new interpretation has something to do with some calculated desire to speed up the games, Borgia insisted that is not the case.

“I’ve heard some of the announcers during the preseason saying we’re doing this to speed the game up and that’s just not true,” Borgia said. “We’re doing it because the new offensive team is being deprived of the opportunity to inbound the ball. [The new interpretation] might pick up the pace a little bit, but it has nothing to with making games go faster. It’s simple, don’t mess with the ball after a successful basket.

“And it’s like I said, our players are very smart. They will adjust to these new interpretations. And they will adjust quickly. Officials have to adjust as well. And they will.”


  1. Hahaha says:

    ”Our players are very smart.”
    Most of them are americans, how can those be smart? L0L.
    Why don’t they change nonsense that should be changed? 50 times outs per game… One game last for 2x longer than an average Euroleague game. I will never watch a single NBA game in LIVE. No defense allowed in NBA, how about change that? 82 games per season.. Why? 58 games would be more than enough. Way too long playoff serious. Most of the steroids are still allowed in the league. I hope one day NBA will turn back into basketball, right now it is just a stupid show for the americans.

  2. sanjay says:

    the rules are mostly clear but this screening business is highly subjective. The law is quite hazy! The referees are human and they are gonna miss one or two travel calls and you cant do anything about it! The obsession of these commentators has to stop( steve kerr is the worst culprit here!).

    I do not understand why it was even bought up. These writers need work, I understand!

  3. celentano says:

    yep he did break the record from his first season, long time ago!lol!

  4. KingJamesLoves2Travel says:

    Sooooo Lebron James will break the NBA record for traveling violations in a season then right?

  5. darko says:

    Should absolutely allow a lift of pivot at the start of dribble, unless coming from a true dead stop. Often the definition of whether a player is catching the ball on the move, where a step is allowed, is way too subjectively applied. Players very often catch as they are cornering, changing directions. If it’s at all questionable, then starting to put the foot down again should be the marker for start of dribble travelling calls; a half step limit similar to the old step and a half rule.
    Those lame travel calls really break the rhythm of the game.

  6. Ace83 says:

    The delay of game interpretation during the pre season was a joke. Not hanging it on the refs as they are just calling it as they are instructed to do. While players will certainly adjust to the rule, calling a delay of game warning when then ball comes down through the ring practically on a players face and he instinctively puts up his hands to protect himself is ridiculous. The refs must be given some discretion when calling this. Was the player able to avoid contact with the ball? If so, did the contact delay the opposing team from inbounding the ball? If not, play on. Get some common sense! So many pre season games had no flow and seemed to drag along because of this stupid new rule. Either modify it so the official has discretion or get rid of it completely.

  7. Simba says:

    The new delay-of-game rule is actually BS. It delays the game more by having players go shoot a FT and those unearned FTs can become the difference between a W and a L. Do they understand that most players battling for rebounds end up under the rim? So I’m supposed to just let the ball drop and hit me in the face or something? I can understand blowing it if a player catches it rolls toward either corners of the baseline because that’s blatantly trying to give your team an unfair advantage. However just catching it or touching it when it comes through the net shouldn’t be an automatic technical. I don’t see this rule being blown often by refs. It will be used a lot in the opening months but by January you’ll only see this rule change on blatant examples.

  8. xman1970 says:

    With this stricter calling on the “moving screen” rule is it possible Kevin Garrent will foul out each game ?

    Oh wait sorry, he’s a “superstar” he will be fine……

  9. renzky says:

    flopping should have been the emphasis here.specially chalmers and bosh.chalmers got a most of his free throws through flopping,and bosh is a big man who even a point guard knocks him down,and that’s very doubtful. .and traveling,there’s a lot players in the league who still get away with so many traveling so as to get points.

  10. Unkle Daddy says:

    I know we like fast break dunks, but guys have gotten away with traveling for too long. An extra step I get it, but come one guys are taken like maybe three or four dribbles the whole length of the floor and yes I know some of them can almost fly, but let’s get real here. We need to start at the top with LBJ. I know he’s the most talented player on the planet, but five steps is a bit much.

  11. JM says:

    They should have shown refs calling Ts at players for making a face or showing any kind of emotions. I guess the league is just trying to make the game so nice so clean that forgets that emotions need to be shown. I mean they are man playing not machines.

  12. mz13 says:

    That delay of game rule is a joke, simple as that.
    Most of the changes will help stars – and other players – to improve their scoring avg, but will be a pain for the defenders, especially the perimeter ones…

    Let the players be the stars of the game, not the officials… plz? -.-

  13. goldinboye says:

    ho, and the flops, no ?

  14. CornHole says:

    Ironically the delay of game emphases is actually creating more of a delay in the game.

    Can we use some discretion in calling a T when the ball gets touched after a basket? Lot of pointless delays calls in the preseason :\

  15. Joey25 says:

    Well I guess LeBron will average 15ppg because even though I do like LeBron.. every fastbreak he travels before he dribbles and also takes 3 steps on almost every penetration.

    • LBJthaking says:

      People get off Lebron. He’s the best player In the world. Do you watch bbal??? Thers many players tht do things wrong. Also everyone needs to stop hating on the heat…. It’s ok for the spurs to get away with many calls but noooooo noone cared bout tht only the heat. Maybe the refs should do ther job

      • jay says:

        The heat aint the problem.ur so called best player in da world is the problem.hes got game dont get me wrong,but he travels everytime he goes to da hoop
        And lets not talk bout floping king flop should b on his jersey if they want nicknames

      • Alan says:

        you can take 3 steps but you have to be takeing the ball up on the 3rd

      • LBJthaking says:

        HAHAHAHAHAHAH JAY ur funny. U obviously don’t kno bbal and dunt watch it either lebron had mad game. He’s a beast He’s too quick for u all to see so stop complaining bout him. And another thing thts funny is MANU GINOBLI IS THE BIGGEST FLOPPER IN THE WORLD…. Of course its ok tho i watch evry single Lebron James game and he does not always travel. Ther are plenty of players who travel and i was commenting on the whole Bosh Danny green situation…. Get over it green didnt make the 3

      • LBJthaking says:

        And lebron is the best in the world. Thts y he’s all that is talked about. He’s all over sports illustrated hes all over sports center. They even talk bout him in football he’s got 4 mvps…. Should b 5 but ppl didnt vote cuz of poor cleveland he left haha goes by skills not leaving a city tht can win nothing

  16. PC3 @swhtown20 says:

    SO THESE RULES SHOULD APPLY IN THE PLAYOFFS RT? Because every year officals forget they have whistle’s in the playoffs & if so where s consistecy & how can players adjust if goes back to it always been come playoffs..A JOKE

    • M says:

      If you want to see a joke about reffing being different in the playoffs as to the regular season you should watch Hockey. The whistle disappears, the disparity is a joke. The better team is the team that performs and plays by the rules. But when the whistle disappears. It starts to become about the team that gets away with more.

  17. JMaine says:

    they took away the hop step because of James. what else do ya’ll haters want. Go fishing early cuz thats all yall do is fish.

    • Nick says:

      Haters? Really? The “hop step” is traveling, pure and simple. Spinning with both feet is traveling, pure and simple. Taking three steps (or more) after picking up your dribble is traveling. Forgive me for wanting the rules to be followed and for the ref’s to make the calls – even if it is the “King”!

  18. no says:

    will this mean no more travelling for “king” james?

    • LBJthaking says:

      He’s so quick its hard to pick up on that and alot of players travel with no call. These refs def need to watch more carefully

  19. K says:

    bosh’s contact with danny green at the end of game six in the finals should be the exemplar video clip here.

    • M says:

      Bosh’s contact cannot be called when you won’t call it the other way. It’s called being consistent. Spurs were fouling the hell out of Miami that game and Miami couldn’t buy a call. If that is how it’s going to go you have to let it slide.

  20. goldinboye says:

    the travelling rule is fine, they just have to call it normally, especially with the superstars. less whistle at the start of a dribble, more whistle when they change the pivot foot.

  21. wooderson says:

    king wade will win the MVP