NBA approves flopping, coach’s challenge rule changes for 2023-24 season

New year, new rules.

The NBA’s Board of Governors came to a unanimous decision to instate two rule changes that will be in place effective this upcoming season — a second coach’s challenge if the first one is successful, and an in-game penalty for flopping — during its annual meeting during summer league.

The Board of Governors is a group that is made up of current players, union representatives, coaches, governors, executives and referees — and these rules changes have been a long time coming.

The flopping rule — which is on a one-year trial period — was put in place to dissuade players from falling from minimal contact in order to draw a foul — something that has become a point of contention in the league

Marcus Smart #36 of the Boston Celtics reacts on the court during the second quarter against the Miami Heat in game seven of the Eastern Conference Finals at TD Garden on May 29, 2023 in Boston, Massachusetts.
Marcus Smart may not be a fan of the new flopping rule.
Getty Images

If caught in the act, the offending player’s team will receive a non-unsportsmanlike technical foul and the opposition will shoot a free throw. 

Possession will not change, however, but it can definitely put pressure on the offensive team in late-game situations to not overexaggerate in an attempt to draw a foul.

The new flopping technical foul will not be reviewable via a coach’s challenge.

It can be tacked on to a play if the evidence in a review shows a flop.

Head Coach Steve Kerr of the Golden State Warriors looks on during the game against the Los Angeles Lakers during round two game four on May 8, 2023 at Arena in Los Angeles, California.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr will get rewarded for correct challenges this season.

Referee’s also will not need to stop the play to call a flop, and instead can wait until the next dead ball situation to make the call.

Fines for flopping will also stay in place, costing the offending player $2,000 to start and increasing for each offense.

While players have less of a chance to be rewarded for a flop, their coaches will be rewarded for a correct challenge call by being able to keep both their challenge as well as the timeout associated with it.

Referee Julio Anaya #250 officiates during the 2023 NBA Las Vegas Summer League on July 9, 2023 at the Cox Pavilion in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Referees will have some new rules to learn for the upcoming NBA season.

The second challenge now adds a new element to the game and will give teams more flexibility to use a challenge on a crucial point early in the game rather than saving it for the fourth quarter.

Nevertheless, unlike the first challenge, even if the second challenge is successful, there will not be an additional challenge awarded to the team and that timeout used will not be restored either.