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NBA adopts coach’s challenge on full-time basis

Trial program introduced new, exciting strategic element to NBA games.

Official release

Lakers coach Frank Vogel of the Los Angeles Lakers looks on during the NBA Playoffs.

NEW YORK – The National Basketball Association today announced the League’s Board of Governors has approved the Coach’s Challenge on a full-time basis starting with the 2020-21 season. The Coach’s Challenge was introduced this past season on a one-year trial. The NBA’s Competition Committee recommended the move to a full-time basis before the Board of Governors’ vote.

The Coach’s Challenge affords head coaches the ability to trigger instant replay review on a limited set of matters, giving them a voice and furthering engagement while optimizing the overall replay process.

“Our coaches were receptive to the pilot version of the Coach’s Challenge, increasing usage and becoming more comfortable with the concept and strategic aspects as the season progressed,” said Byron Spruell, NBA President, League Operations. “We are excited to adopt the Coach’s Challenge as part of our NBA rules and will continue dialogue with the coaches, the Competition Committee and the NBA’s Board of Governors as we move forward.”

The Board also approved language to clarify two specific situations:

  1. A team loses its right to challenge the preceding call if it incurs a delay of game violation prior to initiating the challenge.
  2. When officials confer to determine the appropriate call, the window of time within which a team must “immediately” challenge the call starts after the officials provide the negatively affected team notice of the final ruling on the play.

During the 2019-20 season, NBA head coaches challenged 633 calls in the regular season and 67 in the playoffs. The original call on the floor was overturned 281 times in the regular season for an overturn rate of 44 percent. The overturn rate in the postseason was 40 percent with 27 calls reversed.

For a list of individual challenges from the 2019-20 regular season and playoffs, as well as cumulative data on regular season and playoff challenges from last season please click this link: https://official.nba.com/2019-20-nba-coachs-challenge-results/

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