NBA Makes Changes to Timeout Rules Trying to Improve Flow

At one time many NBA observers used to say you only needed to watch the final minutes of any game to know the whole thing, but those two minutes of late have become a half hour.

Therefore, the front office of the league is changing some of the rules for timeouts to address the problem.

The board of governors of the league approved by a unanimous vote recommendations from the competition committee in the league to reduce the number of overall timeouts, to standardize the halftime intermission length and to limit how free-throw shooters wander around.

The goal, especially late in games, is that the flow of the game continues on a quick pace.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said the league is quite happy with the length of its games, as the duration on average for the regular season has dropped to 2:15 from 2:23 minutes.

Silver added that the league is focused more on the game’s pace and flow as fans have said that the last few minutes of each game loses its flow with the frequency of time outs called.

Effective with the upcoming 2017-18 season, timeouts for one game will drop to 14 from 18. The other big change will be that instead of each team being allowed to call three timeouts during the last two minutes of play, the new limit is two over the final three minutes of play.

Fans watching the game live should sense more action with less sitting around. Fans watching on the television may experience the same though the NBA has accommodated advertisers.

Now the full timeouts are all 75 seconds long, instead of them being 100 second and the so-called 20-second timeouts that ran as much as 60 seconds.

With this new format, each quarter will have a pair of mandatory timeouts, while the old rule called for one more timeout for the second and the fourth quarters. During overtime, each team will have a limit of two timeouts while the previous rule was three.

Halftime will start immediately upon the second quarter ending and will be 15 minutes in length. A delay of game will be levied against teams that do not comply.

Free throw shooters wandering beyond the 3-point arc between attempts will be charged a delay of game penalty.

The biggest news not related to rule changes during the Board of Governors meeting was it approved moving the trade deadline in February from the Thursday that follows the All-Star Game to the Thursday that is 10 days prior to the All Star Game.