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NBA cracks down on ‘flopping’ in new rules

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nba new rules player flopping
An NBA player flopping during a match. Photo/San Francisco Chronicle
  • The NBA has unveiled a set of rule modifications in the upcoming season
  • These adjustments have been introduced with the aim of curbing instances of player flopping
  • Flopping in basketball is the act of intentionally falling or exaggerating contact

The NBA has unveiled a set of rule modifications slated for implementation in the upcoming 2023/24 season.

These adjustments have been introduced with the aim of curbing instances of players flopping in the face of opponents.

The NBA saw several instances during the previous season where a player would stage a fall to the ground in an effort to draw a foul.

Flopping in basketball is the act of intentionally falling or exaggerating contact with an opposing player in order to draw a personal foul call by an official.

The move is sometimes called acting, as in “acting as if he was fouled.” And since it is inherently designed to deceive the official, flopping is generally considered to be unsportsmanlike.

NBA players flopping

NBA players flopping. The league has issued new rules for the 2023/24 season seeking to penalize heavily any player who foes flopping. Photo/Sky SPorts

Nonetheless, it is widely practised and even perfected by many professional players. For players starting this season, engaging in what is more generally referred to as flopping will result in a penalty.

Monty McCutchen, senior vice president of referee training and development for the NBA, presented new rules last week taking effect for the 2023–24 season.

Players who are deemed to have “flopped” will henceforth receive a non-unsportsmanlike technical foul.

Some of the modifications that will be made for this season were described in a piece in The Athletic. According to reports, McCutchen has instructed referees to apply S.T.E.M. when penalizing players who make use of “Secondary, Theatrical, and Exaggerated Movements.”

Another alleged change is that players will now get fined if they fail to make a flopping call during play.

The player will be subjected to a $2,000 (£1,634) for a stumbling infraction, but it would not count toward the limit of two infractions of unsportsmanlike behaviour that are permitted prior to an ejection during a game.

McCutchen said “The only thing that’s changed is that there’s a very small percentage of these – that we’re now going to penalize.”

flopping in the NBA

NBA flopping. Photo/Bleacher Report

“We’re doing a good job of non-calling these now. All we’re adding is a layer at the top (where) we really want to get rid of these overt actions.”

The report went on to outline three activities that an NBA player would consider flopping as of the start of the upcoming season.

These include “potential to injure another player,” “excessive flailing of limbs,” and “considerable distance covered by ‘flopping’ player.”

Within the next few weeks, preseason training camps for the NBA’s 32 teams will get underway. After that, the 2023–24 season will start at the end of October, with opening night including several noteworthy matches.

On October 24, the Los Angeles Lakers take on the Denver Nuggets, the defending NBA champions. On the same night after that, the Golden State Warriors will play the Phoenix Suns.

Teresa is a journalist with years of experience in creating web content. She is a wanderlust at heart, but an outgoing sports writer with focus on tennis, athletics, football, motorsports and NBA.

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