NBA to Allow Challenges Starting in 2019-’20 Season

The NBA replay center will be able to go to the tape on close calls, too

NBA challenges
Head coach Nick Nurse will be able to challenge calls he doesn't agree with next season. (Gregory Shamus/ Getty)
By Ariel Scotti / July 10, 2019 9:55 am

Challenges are coming.

The NBA’s Board of Governors voted to allow coaches to challenge calls during games on Tuesday, Yahoo Sports reported. The Board also approved a measure that seems to borrow a bit from Major League Baseball. The NBA replay center will be able to turn to instant replay on its own accord to decide if a basket is worth two or three points and on see if a player gets a shot off before time elapsed.

“These initiatives further strengthen our officiating program and help referees make the right call,” league operations president Byron Spruell said in a release. “Giving head coaches a voice will enhance the confidence in our replay process among teams and fans and add a new, exciting strategic element to our game. Enabling the NBA Replay Center to trigger instant replay will improve game flow and provide real-time awareness of any adjustments to the score.”

Each game, head coaches will start with one challenge and need to have a time out left in order to use it. Most importantly, however, is the precise movement coaches must use in order to signal that they’re calling for a challenge. Officially, they’ll have to demonstrate a “twirling” of his finger towards a referee after calling for a time out, according to Yahoo, which might be ridiculous enough to make up for how much time this whole thing will waste.

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