RULE NO. 14 – Coaches Challenge

Section I—Overview

 

  1. On a one-year trial basis for the 2019-20 season, a head coach may trigger instant replay review of certain events subject to the terms and conditions set forth in this rule. Instant replay review triggered pursuant to this rule shall be referred to as a “Coach’s Challenge” (or “Challenge” for short).
  2. Each team is entitled to one Challenge throughout the entire game (regardless of whether the Challenge is successful).
  3. A team may utilize a Challenge to trigger instant replay review of only the following three events: (1) a called personal foul charged to its own team, (2) a called out-of-bounds violation, or (3) a called goaltending or basket interference violation; provided that, in the last two minutes of the fourth period and last two minutes of any overtime, a team is no longer able to utilize a Challenge to trigger instant replay review of a called out-of-bounds violation, or called goaltending or basket interference violation, as review of these events during these periods will be exclusively triggered by the on-court game officials.
  4. Any called foul, violation, or other decision by the game officials not listed in Section I—c above, or any non-call, is not a challengeable event. For clarity, instant replay review of the following events, among others, may not be triggered by a Challenge: (1) a called personal foul charged to the opposing team, (2) continuation—e.g., whether a defensive foul occurred prior to the offensive player beginning his shooting motion, (3) a Technical Foul or Flagrant Foul, and (4) violations such as traveling, carrying, double dribble, or an offensive or defensive three-seconds.  As set forth in Section II—b—3 below, any aspect related to continuation constitutes a reviewable matter when a called foul is properly challenged, but continuation is not by itself an independent challengeable event.

 

Section II—Procedure to Initiate the Challenge

 

  1. To initiate a Challenge, the challenging team must take the following steps in sequence:

(1) The challenging team must call a legal timeout immediately after the call in question (unless a mandatory timeout or timeout called by the opposing team is already underway);

 

(2) The challenging team’s head coach must simultaneously signal for a Challenge by utilizing the instant replay signal (i.e., twirling an index finger) toward the game official(s) during the same interaction with the game official(s) in which the timeout was called or, if the timeout was called by a player on the challenging team, the challenging team’s head coach must simultaneously signal for the Challenge by utilizing the instant replay signal toward the game officials as the game official is notifying the scorekeeper of the timeout; and

 

(3) During the same interaction with the game official(s) in which the challenging team’s head coach signaled for the Challenge, the challenging team’s head coach must notify the game official(s) of the specific event that the team is challenging.

For purposes of this rule only, “immediately” shall mean that a timeout is called prior to the ball being given to the thrower-in, the ball being given to the free throw shooter, or the ball being tossed on a jump ball, whichever is applicable (unless a mandatory timeout or timeout called by the opposing team is already underway).

 

  1.       To initiate a Challenge of an event that immediately preceded a mandatory timeout or timeout called by the opposing team, no later than 30 seconds from the start of the timeout (as measured by the timeout clock), the challenging team’s head coach must take the following steps in sequence:

(1) Signal for a Challenge by utilizing the instant replay signal toward the game officials; and

 

(2) During the same interaction with the game official(s) in which the challenging team’s head coach signaled for the Challenge, the challenging team’s head coach must notify the game official(s) of the specific event that the team is challenging.

  1. Once instant replay review is triggered by a valid Challenge, the official will notify the official scorer of the Challenge. The official scorer shall immediately record the Challenge and, once the instant replay review process is complete, the outcome of the Challenge (including whether the Challenge resulted in a loss of one timeout for the challenging team).

 

Section III—Reviewable Matters

 

  1. If an instant replay review of a called foul is triggered by a Challenge, the on-court crew chief will review the video to evaluate whether the foul being challenged was correctly called.

 

The on-court crew chief may also review the video to determine only the following other matters:

  1. Whether the correct player (including a player on the opposing team) was called for the foul;
  2. Whether a different foul proximate to the called foul should have been called;
  3. Any aspect related to continuation, including, but not limited to:
    1. Whether the foul occurred prior to the offensive player beginning his shooting motion if the foul is committed by a defensive player;
    2. Whether a made basket that the on-court game officials counted shall not count because an offensive player committed a violation after the foul was committed; and
    3. Whether a made basket disallowed by the on-court game officials shall count because the shot constituted legal continuation.
  4. Whether a goaltending or basket interference violation occurred on the play;
  5. Whether the game clock expired prior to the foul;
  6. Whether the shot clock expired prior to the foul;
  7. If an offensive player was fouled while in possession of the ball, whether the player who was fouled committed a boundary line violation either just prior to or after the foul;
  8. Whether an 8-second backcourt violation occurred before the player was fouled; and
  9. Whether any unsportsmanlike acts or unnecessary contact occurred.

 

NOTE:  For purposes of Section III—a—3 above, the factors that will be considered in determining whether a prior uncalled foul is proximate to the called foul include (1) whether the players involved in the uncalled foul are the same or different players than the ones involved in the called foul under review, (2) the distance between the uncalled foul and the called foul under review, and (3) the time elapsed between the uncalled foul and the called foul under review.

 

  1. If an instant replay review of an out-of-bounds violation is triggered by a Challenge, the Replay Center Official will review the video to evaluate whether the out-of-bounds violation was correctly called.

 

The Replay Center Official may also review the video to determine only the following other matters:

  1. Whether the game clock expired prior to the ball being out-of-bounds;
  2. Whether the shot clock expired prior to the ball being out-of-bounds;
  3. Whether an 8-second backcourt violation occurred prior to the ball being out-of-bounds;
  4. How much time remains in the period and/or on the shot clock;
  5. Whether any unsportsmanlike acts or unnecessary contact occurred; and
  6. If the out-of-bounds violation called on the floor is overturned and that call occurred simultaneous to a successful shot attempt by the offensive player, whether the whistle sounded before or after the player started his shooting motion (see Rule No. 14—Section VI).

 

  1. If an instant replay review of a goaltending or basket interference violation is triggered by a Challenge, the Replay Center Official will review the video to evaluate whether the call on the floor was correct.

 

The Replay Center Official may also review the video to determine only the following other matters:

  1. If goaltending or basket interference was ruled prior to the ball touching the rim, whether the shooter committed a boundary line violation; provided that, for purposes of this review, the Replay Center Official will look only at the position of the shooter’s feet at the moment they last touched the floor immediately prior to (or, if applicable, during) the release of the shot and the flight of the ball;
  2. If goaltending or basket interference was ruled prior to the ball touching the rim, whether an 8-second backcourt violation occurred before the ball left the shooter’s hand; and
  3. Whether any unsportsmanlike acts or unnecessary contact occurred.

 

Section IV—Replay Review Process

  1. The on-court crew chief will determine the final outcome when instant replay review of a called foul is triggered by a Challenge, with personnel in the Replay Center playing a supporting role.
  2. The Replay Center Official will determine the final outcome when instant replay review of a called out-of-bounds violation or called goaltending or basket interference violation is triggered by a Challenge.

 

EXCEPTION:  For pre-season or regular season games conducted outside an NBA arena, the on-court crew chief will determine the final outcome of any replay review triggered by a Challenge.

  1. To overturn a challenged event or to change the outcome of a reviewable matter via a Challenge, there must be clear and conclusive visual evidence that the initial adjudication of that aspect of the play was incorrect.
  2. Once the instant replay review process is triggered by a Challenge, the on-court crew chief or Replay Center Official (as appropriate) shall arrive at one of two determinations with respect to the call that was challenged:
  1. The call stands (i.e., there is not clear and conclusive visual evidence that the call was incorrect); or
  2. The call is overturned (i.e., there is clear and conclusive visual evidence that the call was incorrect).

 

Section V—Impact on Timeouts

 

  1. If the call subject to review pursuant to a Challenge is not overturned, the Challenge is deemed unsuccessful and the challenging team loses its timeout.
  2. If the call subject to review pursuant to a Challenge is overturned, the Challenge is deemed successful and the challenging team retains its timeout unless the timeout taken in conjunction with the Challenge initiated a mandatory timeout.

If a Challenge is utilized to trigger instant replay review of a called foul, that challenge shall only be deemed successful if the called foul is overturned (i.e., not assigned to the player who was originally called for the foul) because the review results in either:

  1. No foul assigned to any player (including if the foul was overturned because a reviewable violation occurred prior to the foul); or
  2. A foul assigned to a different player (including a different player on the challenging team).

 

If a Challenge is utilized to trigger instant replay review of a called foul, that challenge shall be deemed unsuccessful if the foul remains assigned to the player originally called for the foul regardless of whether any other reviewable matters are changed to the challenging team’s benefit.  For the sake of clarity, it shall be deemed an unsuccessful Challenge if a called foul is not overturned but changed from a shooting foul (that would have resulted in free throws for the opposing team) to a non-shooting foul (that does not result in free throws for the opposing team).

 

  1. If a team utilizes a Challenge to trigger instant replay review of an event that immediately preceded the challenging team’s mandatory timeout, the challenging team will lose its mandatory timeout (even if the Challenge is successful). If the Challenge is unsuccessful, the challenging team will only be charged one timeout (i.e., it will not be charged a timeout for both the mandatory timeout and the Challenge).
  2. If a team utilizes a Challenge to trigger instant replay review of an event that preceded the opposing team’s mandatory timeout, the team that is ultimately charged with the timeout depends on whether the Challenge is successful:

(1)  If the Challenge is unsuccessful, the challenging team will be assigned the timeout and, notwithstanding that the Challenge coincided with the opposing team’s mandatory timeout, the opposing team will not be charged for the timeout (and, if another mandatory timeout is remaining in the period, the next mandatory timeout will be assigned to the opposing team); and

(2)  If the Challenge is successful, the challenging team will not be assigned a timeout and the opposing team will be charged with the timeout.

  1. If a team utilizes a Challenge to trigger instant replay review of an event that preceded a timeout called by the opposing team, the team that is ultimately charged with the timeout depends on whether the Challenge is successful:

(1)  If the Challenge is unsuccessful, the challenging team will be assigned the timeout and, notwithstanding that the opposing team initially called the timeout, the opposing team will not be charged for the timeout; and

(2)  If the Challenge is successful, the challenging team will not be assigned a timeout and the opposing team will be charged with the timeout.

  1. If a team attempts to utilize a Challenge to trigger instant replay review of an event when that team has no remaining timeouts, no Challenge will take place, and that team shall be charged with an excessive timeout, for which the penalty is a Technical Foul.
  2. If a team attempts to utilize a Challenge to trigger instant replay of an event that may not be reviewed, the team will be charged a timeout but retain its Challenge.

 

Section VI—Resumption of Play

If a Challenge results in the call on the floor being overturned following instant replay review, play is resumed at the point of interruption.

For purposes of this rule only, the point of interruption is where the ball is located when the whistle sounds; provided that:

  1. If the defensive team utilizes a Challenge to trigger instant replay review of a defensive foul that occurred after an offensive player started his shooting motion on a successful shot attempt, and the defensive foul itself is overturned after the replay review, the basket shall count (regardless of when the whistle sounded) and the defensive team is awarded the ball to start the next possession; and
  2. If the offensive team utilizes a Challenge to trigger instant replay review of an out-of-bounds violation that occurred simultaneous to a successful shot attempt by the offensive player and the whistle sounded after the offensive player started his shooting motion, and the out-of-bounds violation is overturned after replay review, the basket shall count and the defensive team is awarded the ball to start the next possession.