Referees may use replay whenever they are not reasonably certain whether a foul meets the criteria for a flagrant foul. Previously, the foul had to be called flagrant on the floor in order to initiate instant replay.
The definition for a flagrant foul is:
- Flagrant Foul Penalty 1: Unnecessary contact committed by a player against an opponent
- Flagrant Foul Penalty 2: Unnecessary and excessive contact committed by a player against an opponent
When a flagrant foul call is made, referees conduct a review and consider the following:
- The severity of the contact,
- Whether or not the player was making a legitimate basketball play,
- Whether, on a foul committed with a player’s arm or hand, the fouling player wound up and/or followed through after making contact,
- The potential for injury resulting from contact (e.g., a blow to the head and a foul committed while a player is in a vulnerable position),
- The severity of any injury suffered by the offended player, and
- The outcome of the contact (e.g., whether it led to an altercation).
The officials can also review whether any other players committed unsportsmanlike acts or unnecessary contact immediately prior to and/or immediately following the calling of the Flagrant Foul.
Based on their review and the criteria, they will assess the appropriate penalty:
- Flagrant Foul 1 or 2
- Foul, but not flagrant, or
- Technical Foul
Both flagrant fouls carry a penalty of two free throws and the team that was fouled retains possession. An FF2 also results in the ejection of the player committing the foul (a player who commits two FF1’s in the same game is also ejected).