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Volume 22 No. 11
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Rule changes expected to favor fast-paced game

Expect rules in 2028 that will benefit an up-tempo game, similar to the change the NBA made starting with this season to shorten the shot clock to 14 seconds after an offensive rebound.

A precursor to future rules changes can be seen in the G League, the testing ground for the NBA.

One rule that has been tested since the 2016-17 season in the G League that could make its way into the NBA would give each team a reset timeout in the final two minutes of the fourth quarter and final two minutes of any overtime period. The reset timeouts do not allow teams to huddle, but otherwise mirror standard timeouts. If either team huddles or prevents the ball from immediately being put back into play, it will result in a delay-of-game being issued to the offending team.

Moving the three-point line back and changing the size of the lane are among changes to rules that the NBA could consider.
Photo: getty images

While there isn’t current talk about other specific future rules changes, ideas from some insiders range from moving back the current three-point line more toward the half-court line and following another FIBA rule by adopting the same size lane.

“I don’t think we would have imagined that the big men would be shooting with the accuracy from the distance they do today,” Orlando Magic CEO Alex Martins said. “The game is played away from the basket.”

Other possible rules changes: Adding a coach’s challenge to officiating and cutting down the number of timeouts at the end of the game to speed up play and hold fan interest.

“It will continue to be a faster-paced game,” said Scott O’Neil, CEO of Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment. “The game will get quicker.”