Challenges officially coming to NBA after Board of Governors vote

Jack BaerYahoo Sports Contributor
NBA coaches will have a brand new way to disagree with referees next season. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
NBA coaches will have a brand new way to disagree with referees next season. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)

If you’ve ever found yourself watching NFL games for the thrill of seeing coaches challenging calls, then the NBA has some good news for you.

The NBA Board of Governors has passed the implementation of an in-game challenge system for head coaches next season, the league announced on Tuesday.

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In addition to coaches being able to challenge calls, the Board of Governors also approved giving the NBA replay center the ability to trigger instant replays to determine whether a field goal was worth two or three points and if a a player got a shot off before the shot clock expires.

“These initiatives further strengthen our officiating program and help referees make the right call,” league operations president Byron Spruell said in the release. “Giving head coaches a voice will enhance the confidence in our replay process among teams and fans and add a new, exciting strategic element to our game. Enabling the NBA Replay Center to trigger instant replay will improve game flow and provide real-time awareness of any adjustments to the score.”

The NBA has flirted with the idea of adding a challenge system for a while, experimenting with one such system in the G League back in 2014. Challenges also popped up last year in the Summer League.

How will the NBA’s challenge system work?

The exact rules of the challenge system seem pretty simple. One challenge per game on certain calls, you need a timeout to challenge and, most notable, challenges are initiated by coaches by “twirling” a finger toward a referee after calling timeout.

The visual of San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich having to twirl his finger to challenge a call might just make this whole system worth it.

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