Sept. 29, 2010 - New York – The NBA Development League today announced two rules changes for the upcoming 2010-11 season: incorporating the goaltending rule used in international competition and shortening overtime periods. As the NBA’s official minor league, one of the NBA D-League’s primary functions is to serve as its research and development arm.
“In addition to developing 20 percent of current NBA players and numerous coaches and referees who are enjoying NBA success, we also function as the NBA’s 'Research and Development' department and, therefore, are continuously looking for ways to improve the sport of basketball,” said NBA D-League President Dan Reed. “We believe implementing these new rules will make our games even more exciting for both players and fans alike, while providing a valuable service for the NBA.”
The new goaltending rule follows the standard used in the international game that allows a player to knock the ball away when it is on the rim. Prior to this season, the NBA D-League used NBA goaltending rules, which prohibit players from touching the ball when it is on the cylinder.
Overtime periods in the NBA D-League this year will be three minutes in duration, down from the five minutes of previous seasons.
“There are myriad benefits to having the NBA D-League serve as the NBA’s farm system,” said NBA Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations, Stu Jackson. “One of the advantages is that it allows us to look at the rules of play and experiment with ways we can make the game more competitive.”
Among some of the NBA D-League’s past innovations are the following: becoming the first league under the NBA umbrella to show all of its games live online free of charge; instituting a playoff format that allows each of the three division winners to select its first-round opponent from among the remaining postseason teams; and testing the adidas-developed NBA Revolution 30 uniforms, which will be worn by NBA teams this season, as well as various versions of the official Spalding basketball.
The NBA Development League, founded in 2001, is the NBA’s official minor league whose teams have direct affiliations to NBA franchises. For the 2010-11 season, the league will feature 16 teams – including the debut of the Texas Legends. A proven developer of talent, 20 percent of players in the NBA at the conclusion of the 2009-10 season boasted NBA D-League experience, while the league continues to develop coaches, referees, and front-office staff for the NBA and its teams. In fostering the league’s connection to the community, its teams, players and staff promote health and wellness, support local needs and interests, and assist in educational development through NBA D-League Cares programs. The NBA D-League also advances the game of basketball as the research and development arm of the NBA. Throughout the league’s 10th season, which tips off Friday, Nov. 19, fans can watch all NBA D-League games via NBA Futurecast, the free live Web-streaming initiative found at nba.com/dleague.