NBA Rules You Didn’t Know Existed
NBA Rules You Didn’t Know Existed
Everyone knows there are a lot of rules in professional basketball. As a matter of fact, in the official rule book there are 14 categories with several subcategories listing all the different regulations. There is also the “Comments on Rules” section which is essentially more rules. There are common violations that most inexperienced spectators know are rule-breakers, such as double dribbling and traveling. However, there are regulations buried within the official rules that are extraordinary and somewhat cumbersome, yet, for whatever reason, they became part of the rulebook. If you thought you knew all of the quirks of the NBA check out these unique rules below and see if there are any NBA rules you didn’t know existed.
First, we can find the current official rule book here:
• No Shatter Rule
If a player dunks the ball so hard that they shatter the backboard, not only is the basket not counted, but it is also deemed a technical foul.
• No Dunks in Pregame
Dunks are free game during game play, but they are prohibited in the pregame warmups.
• No Punches
This is pretty self-explanatory, but the reasoning behind the rule is to protect those on the sidelines from receiving injuries due to the impact and force of a punched ball.
• Jump Ball Must be on the Correct Side
The players must be lined up facing the basket into which they are shooting. If an incorrect lineup is noticed within the first 24 seconds of play, the official can call a foul and restart the game.
• Out-of-Bounds Screens
A player cannot have a foot off of the court while setting a screen. They also can’t run out of bounds while receiving a screen.
• Road Team Chooses Opening Basket
The visiting team can choose whether to go towards the opposing bench in the first or second half of the game before the game starts. An advantage of this rule is the coach’s determination of when they feel their players need to best hear their instructions. Most teams choose to go towards the opponent so the players can hear their coaches in crunch time
• Length of Free Throws
Coaches often tell their players to take their time and focus before taking a free throw shot. However, the players are only allowed ten seconds to take the shot once they are behind the line.
• Mandatory Timeouts
Each team must use four of six timeouts allotted per game and must save one timeout for the final quarter. If the team does not save a timeout the referee will call one and the team will receive a technical foul.
- Disaster Draft
If a tragedy were to strike any one team and kill five or more of its team members at one time the league would respond by holding an emergency draft for the team to rebuild its team.
Personnel and Conduct Rules
• Mandatory Rest
Again, pretty self-explanatory, but the league mandates players must have at least 18 days of mandatory rest per season. This prevents coaches from overplaying the players and potentially causing injury or harm from fatigue.
• All Players Must Stand for the American or Canadian National Anthems.
The league doesn’t have any room for personal protests on the court and does not allow the players to protest the National Anthem by not standing as it is performed. Commissioner Adam Silver made the league’s stance on this issue perfectly clear when the NFL was facing the controversy from players not standing.
• No Zeros on the Same Team
The league doesn’t have too many rules about players’ jersey number choices as long as the numbers aren’t already in use and haven’t been retired by the team; however, the league does prevent two players on the same team from using the number zero. One player can use the number zero, or double zero, but only one player per team. There can’t be a zero and a double zero on the same team.
• No Logos
The league doesn’t permit any logos except for those on shoes to be present during game time. This is inclusive of visible tattoos and/or etches shaved into a players’ head.
• No Timberlands When in Business Uniform
The league has a strict dress code outlining the expectations of the manner in which players should dress for games and for business environments. It has become less strict over the years, but the league states that Timberland name-brand boots are not acceptable for business dress.
• Banned Shoes
The NBA is pretty lenient when it comes to players’ choice in athletic footwear, but athletic propulsion shoes are prohibited because it causes an unfair advantage.
• The Banning of Anti-Lebron Shirts
During the tension-filled season following Lebron James’ departure from Cleveland to join the Miami Heat there was a fallout which included fans making Anti-Lebron shirts and Signs to display at Miami Heat games. The league, which seemingly tries to avoid controversy, attempted to ban Anti-Lebron materials from being worn at games. However, there were those fans who slipped by security and proudly displayed their Anti-Lebron shirts and signs regardless of the new rule.
The Importance of The Rules and How They Came to be
There is an old adage “rules are made to be broken”, but the NBA definitely doesn’t agree with this stance. The league places great importance on player responsibility and codes of conduct while they are representatives of the NBA. The NBA is constantly growing and adapting with the change of times and hold their staff to the same high expectations.
Most of the quirkier rules that people don’t know exist are a result of unique situations that arise. The league then takes preventative measures to make sure the situations don’t occur again. This approach helps keep the league out of the negative limelight and away from controversial topics. The league feels that the players have a responsibility to conduct themselves in a manner that doesn’t detract from the game, but rather enforces cohesive uniformity. With conitinous updates to the rules, the high standards are seemingly always in place.