NBA D-League to institute in-game technicals for flopping

By Matt Moore | NBA writer

The NBA announced today that the D-League will begin istituting in-game penalties for flopping in the form of technicals upon official review in a further effort to discourage faking contact to draw a foul. From the D-League:

The NBA Development League will begin assessing technical fouls for in-game flopping, league President Dan Reed announced today. The technical foul penalty for flopping will begin to be implemented in games played on Thursday, Feb. 20, and will continue through the completion of the 2013-14 NBA D-League season.

Application of the new experimental flopping rule will involve NBA D-League officials assessing technical fouls to any player who, in their judgment, has flopped. Officials will be required to confirm all flopping calls on instant replay monitors. The instant replay review will be conducted at the first timeout or quarter break following the flop call, and if confirmed, the technical foul will be assessed at that time. Any flopping calls made in the game's last two minutes will be reviewed and assessed immediately.

“There isn't a better place to experiment with NBA rules than in the NBA D-League, and we are pleased to test this experimental rule that, for the first time, creates an in-game penalty for flopping,” said Reed. “The NBA D-League is the research and development laboratory for the NBA and both leagues are always evaluating ways to further the game.”

Flopping is defined as any physical act that appears to have been intended to cause the referee to call a foul on another player. Such determinations are made if a player's physical reaction to contact with another player is inconsistent with what would reasonably be expected given the force or direction of the contact.

The flopping penalty joins a number of basketball rules being tested in the NBA D-League this season, including the use of the international goaltending rule and shortened timeouts.

The move follows the league's decision to institute fine policies last season which have curbed but not eliminated flopping. Adam Silver has made it clear it's a concern for him, and the D-League is often used as a testing ground for ideas the league wants to implement at the NBA level. It's good that they're giving officials the power to go back and check on things, because that's the common issue with in-game penalties. You can't tell in real-time if it was a flop or not. Adding a replay official who can get feedback from things like social media to determine if a flop took place (at the NBA level) would add another layer to discourage it.

Players aren't going to like it, as the line between flop and legitimate reaction to contact is so thin that it become a judgment call, but it's clear with how many flops are still occurring at the league level that further disincentives are needed. It's another sign of the more progressive approach we can expect under new commissioner Adam Silver as well.

Is it enough? Let us know in the comments.

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