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Rules and regulations: Flagrant Fouls

By Official NBA Rules
Posted Apr 18 2010 7:54PM

The following is a summary of rules and regulations regarding flagrant fouls, technical fouls, elbow fouls and other player conduct issues.

A. Flagrant Foul Rules

There are two types of Flagrant Fouls, as follows:

Flagrant "1" (FFP1) - unnecessary contact committed by a player against an opponent. The opposing team is awarded two (2) free throws and possession.

Flagrant "2" (FFP2) - unnecessary and excessive contact committed by a player against an opponent. The opposing team is awarded two (2) free throws and possession and the player committing the foul is automatically ejected.

Any player who commits two Flagrant "1" Fouls in the same game will be automatically ejected from that game.

In addition, in order to address the problem of repeat offenders, the following three-point system will be in effect during the 2010 Playoffs:

• Flagrant "1" = 1 point

• Flagrant "2" = 2 points

A player will receive the points set forth above for each flagrant foul committed during the Playoffs. If the player's Playoff total exceeds 3 points, he will receive an automatic suspension following the game in which his point total exceeds 3 points and for each additional flagrant foul committed during the Playoffs, as follows:

Player at 2 points commits a FFP2: automatic one-game suspension

Player at 3 or 4 points commits a FFP1: automatic one-game suspension

Player at 3 or 4 points commits a FFP2: automatic two-game suspension

Player at 5 points or more commits a FFP1 or FFP2: automatic two-game suspension

Once a player accumulates two (2) points, the League Office will immediately: (i) notify his team by e-mail; and (ii) send the player a letter by overnight mail (with a copy to his Head Coach and General Manager), in each case advising of the player's current point total and the penalties for any additional flagrant fouls he may commit during the Playoffs.

The League Office will review all flagrant fouls ("1" and "2"), and will have the right, following review, to reclassify a flagrant foul or to classify as flagrant a foul not called flagrant during a game. In addition, the League Office maintains the right to impose a fine and/or suspension upon any player who commits a flagrant foul at any time during the Playoffs (regardless of whether the point levels described above are reached).

The League Office will consider the following factors (as well as any other relevant facts and circumstances) in determining whether to classify a foul as Flagrant "1" or Flagrant "2", to reclassify a flagrant foul, or to impose a fine and/or suspension on the player involved:

1. The severity of the contact;

2. Whether or not the player was making a legitimate basketball play (e.g., whether a player is making a legitimate effort to block a shot; note, however, that a foul committed during a block attempt can still be considered flagrant if other criteria are present such as recklessness and hard contact to the head);

3. Whether, on a foul committed with a player's arm or hand, the fouling player wound up and/or followed through after making contact;

4. 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);

5. The severity of any injury suffered by the offended player; and

6. The outcome of the contact (e.g., whether it led to an altercation).

NOTE: Each team will continue to be held responsible for the actions of its players on the court. Accordingly, if any individual player or team (collectively) commits, in the judgment of the League Office, an excessive number of flagrant fouls during the Playoffs, the player and/or that team's Head Coach will be subject to appropriate fines and/or suspensions.

B. Technical Fouls

During the Playoffs, the following progressive technical foul and ejection schedule will apply. (The same schedule will apply to coaches.)

Technical Fouls 1-2: $1,000 fine each

Technical Fouls 3-4: $1,500 fine each

Technical Fouls 5-6: $2,000 fine each (with a warning letter sent

when the violator reaches his 5th technical foul)

Technical Foul 7: $2,500 fine plus one-game suspension

Each Additional Technical Foul: $2,500 fine

Each two Additional Technical

Fouls (9, 11, 13, etc.): $2,500 fine plus one-game suspension

C. Ejections

First Ejection: $1,000

Each Subsequent Ejection: Player's last ejection fine plus $1,000

D. Suspensions

If a player is suspended during the Playoffs, such a suspension will be served commencing with the next scheduled game. In the event that a player's team is eliminated from the Playoffs, the suspension (or the remaining games in the suspension) will be served commencing with the first game of the 2010-11 NBA regular season in which the player is eligible and physically able to play.

E. Elbow Fouls

Below is the criteria used by the officials and league office for reviewing elbow specific contact and actions. These criteria are utilized to evaluate the severity of contact or attempted contact during a live or dead ball.

Whether on the floor or during post-game reviews, the officials and the league office consider the following criteria when evaluating these types of fouls:

• Severity of Contact

• Legitimate Basketball Play

• Legal Positioning

• Intent or Reckless Swing

• Thrown Elbow

• Result of Contact

None of these criteria necessarily carries more weight than another; they are considered in varying degrees as part of overall context of the particular play.

Attached is a list of Elbow Contact Penalties with a description of when these penalties may occur. Also attached is a chart that provides a snapshot of the circumstances under which the various penalties are appropriate.

Elbow Contact Descriptions and Penalties

This is a general summary of elbow contact penalties assessed on the floor, which may vary based on circumstances.

Personal Foul

When a player attempts to execute a legitimate offensive or defensive move and an extended elbow makes more than marginal contact with a legally established opponent, a personal foul will be assessed.

Flagrant Foul Penalty 1

When a player attempts a move where there is not ample room but despite the obvious risk continues, and makes significant but not excessive contact with an extended elbow, a Flagrant Foul 1 will be assessed. This is also the case if the elbow is swung, apart from a basketball move, and makes significant but not excessive contact.

Flagrant Foul Penalty 2

When a player makes excessive contact with an extended elbow, that is deemed reckless or intentional, a Flagrant Foul 2 will be assessed.

When a player seeks out an opponent and throws an elbow which makes significant contact on any part of the body, regardless of where it lands, a Flagrant Foul Penalty 2 will be assessed.

When a player seeks out an opponent and throws an elbow which makes any contact above the shoulders, a Flagrant Foul Penalty 2 will be assessed.

Technical Foul

When a player sticks out, swings or throws and elbow towards an opponent to send a message, taunt or threaten to hit him, and no contact is made, a Technical Foul will be assessed.

When the swing or throw is severe and deemed intentional or reckless, and there is no contact, regardless of body location, a Technical Foul with ejection will be assessed.

When a player throws any elbow at an opponent above the shoulders with no contact, a Technical Foul with ejection will be assessed.

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