NBA approves three rules changes for the 2018-19 season

Yahoo Sports
Resetting the shot clock is among the NBA’s new rule changes. (Getty Images)
Resetting the shot clock is among the NBA’s new rule changes. (Getty Images)

The NBA’s Board of Governors unanimously approved all three rules changes proposed by the competition committee for the 2018-19 season, according to a press release from the league.

Beginning this season, the shot clock will reset to 14 seconds in instances when the offensive team earns a second possession, the clear-path foul rule has been streamlined, and the definition of a “hostile act” has been expanded to allow officials broader discretion for instant replay review.

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The shot-clock reset

In an effort to speed up the pace of play, the shot clock will reset to 14 seconds rather than 24 under three sets of circumstances: following an offensive rebound, after a loose-ball foul by the defense on a rebounding opportunity, and if the defense knocks the ball out of bounds on a rebound attempt.

The clear-path foul rule

In an attempt to eliminate judgment calls by officials on clear-path fouls, the NBA established “bright line” standards on such scenarios. Clear-path fouls should now only be called when “the ball is ahead of the tip of the circle in the backcourt; no defender is ahead of the offensive player with the transition scoring opportunity; the player with the transition scoring opportunity is in control of the ball (or a pass has been thrown to him); and if the foul deprives his team of an opportunity to score.”

While these guidelines expand the rule to include plays above the 3-point line in the backcourt, they also remove the need for officials to determine whether a defender was or could get ahead the player with the transition scoring opportunity. The NBA released a video more clearly depicting the new rule:

The expanded “hostile act” definition

Officials can now review a wider range of plays to determine whether a “hostile act” was committed by a player or coach against each other, referees or fans. Under the old definition, officials reviewed any fight or physical altercation two players, including all punches, elbows, kicks and blows to the head. The press release did not include guidelines for the league’s expanded definition of such acts.

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Ben Rohrbach is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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