In an effort to curb the unsportsmanlike practice known as “flopping,” the NBA implemented an anti-flopping rule starting in the 2012-13 season.
A “flop” is an attempt to either fool referees into calling undeserved fouls or fool fans into thinking the referees missed a foul call by exaggerating the effect of contact with an opposing player.
The main factor in determining whether a player committed a flop is whether his physical reaction to contact with another player is inconsistent with what would have been expected given the force or direction of the contact. For example, a player will be considered to have committed a “flop” if he falls to the floor following minimal contact or lunges in a direction different from the direction of the contact.
The determination of whether a player has violated the flopping rule will be made by the League following video review of the play. (Game officials will not make determinations about flopping during games.)
The first time a player is determined to have committed a flop, he will be warned by the NBA. Thereafter, the following automatic penalties will apply:
Violation 2: $5,000 fine
Violation 3: $10,000 fine
Violation 4: $15,000 fine
Violation 5: $30,000 fine
For a sixth (or any subsequent) violation of the rule, the player will be subject to such discipline as the League determines is reasonable under the circumstances, including an increased fine and/or suspension.
Click the here to view several plays that illustrate how the rule will be administered during the season (i.e., what conduct will be considered a “flop” and what conduct will not).