NBA Approves Coaches Challenge Flags for 2019-20 Season

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistJuly 10, 2019

Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr reacts to a call during the second half of the team's NBA basketball game against the Minnesota Timberwolves, Friday March 29, 2019, in Minneapolis. Minnesota won 131-130 in overtime. (AP Photo/Stacy Bengs)
Stacy Bengs/Associated Press

The NBA announced, per Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press, that it's officially taking a page out of the NFL rulebook by allowing coaches to use challenge flags during games.

Shams Charania of Stadium and The Athletic first reported the league's board of governors approved the measure Tuesday and will implement "in-game challenge flags for head coaches" in the 2019-20 season.

Per Reynolds (via NBA.com), each coach will get one challenge per game and can contest "a personal foul charged to their team, a called out-of-bounds violation, a goaltending violation or a basket-interference violation."

"As with other replay reviews, in order to overturn the event as called on the floor, there must be clear and conclusive visual evidence that the call was incorrect," NBA Basketball Operations President Byron Spruell told teams in a memo, per Reynolds.

While one challenge per game might not seem like a lot, this past postseason demonstrated how incorrect calls could change the outcome of a game. The Last Two Minute Report was a big story in the series between the Houston Rockets and Golden State Warriors, with the Rockets benefiting from a missed charge in Game 3 after the Warriors won Game 1 thanks in part to some missed foul calls.

Coaches will now be able to call timeout and signal a review to the officials.

Additionally, the replay center in Secaucus, New Jersey, will now be allowed to trigger a review of a possible shot-clock violation or whether a shot was a two- or three-point basket, per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

This might slow down games, but it will help to get things right and keep the focus on the players.

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