The NBA’s Summer League is just days away from tipping off in Salt Lake City on July 1, the first chance for freshly drafted rookies and undrafted free agents to make an instant impression. And, new this summer, coaches will now be able to challenge a select number of plays.
Per ESPN’s Zach Lowe, the NBA reportedly sent out a memo to all 30 NBA teams on Friday announcing that coach’s will get one challenge per game during Summer League, a change that the league says it will carry into the regular season as part of a one-year pilot program. The challenge can only be used on called fouls, goaltending, basket interference and “plays when the ball is knocked out of bounds,” per Lowe.
Unlike the NFL, NBA coaches will only receive the one challenge regardless of it is successful or not. In the NFL, a coach gets two challenges and is rewarded with a third if they get both challenges correct.
More from the memo:
Coaches must have a timeout remaining to use a challenge. The team must call a timeout immediately after the event they would like to challenge, and the coach must “twirl his/her index finger toward the referees” to signal for the challenge, the memo states. If the challenge is successful, the team retains the timeout it used to stop play. If the challenge is unsuccessful, they lose that timeout.
The Board of Governors will still need to be two-thirds in favor of the challenge rule being implemented during the 2019-2020 regular season, a vote that will happen on July 9. If it passes as expected, get ready for twirling fingers and another game flow obstacle.