NBA coaches could have a replay challenge option at their disposal next season.
According to a memo sent to teams Friday that was obtained by ESPN, the league will implement a challenge system for its summer leagues and “We anticipate this rule will be in effect in in the NBA next season as part of a one-year pilot program.”
The system will be similar to those in place in other sports, like the NFL, with the caveat that coaches will get only one challenge per game, even if they are successful in getting the challenged call overturned. Teams must have at least one time out remaining to use a challenge.
The memo said challenges will only be allowed on plays involving “called fouls; goaltending; basket interference; and plays when the ball is knocked out of bounds.” The on-site referee crew chief will make the replay determination on fouls, while the rest of the calls will be determined by the NBA’s central replay center in New Jersey.
Coaches cannot challenge because they believe a player was fouled and it wasn’t called.
Two-thirds of the teams will have to approve adding the challenge system for it to go into effect for the 2019-20 regular season, with the Board of Governors expected to vote on the measure at a July 9 meeting.
The league has moved steadily toward more transparency in the officiating process, from adding the centralized replay center to making public the “last two minute” reports on officials.
There already are 15 different “triggers” referees can use to check replay and ensure calls are correct, from potential clock malfunctions to determining whether a shooter’s foot was on the line on a 3-pointer.