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NBA Changes Some Timeout Rules

August 15, 2000

NEW YORK (AP) _ The NBA, concerned with quickening the pace of play late in games, announced a series of changes to timeout rules on Tuesday.

The league also adopted a change giving a player fouled when he has a clear path to the basket one free throw and his team possession at midcourt. The old rule gave the player two free throws.

The modifications, recommended by the league’s competition committee and approved by the Board of Governors, take effect next season.

Instead of seven timeouts per game, teams will be limited to six with a maximum of three in the fourth quarter instead of the previous limit of four. During the last two minutes of the fourth period or an overtime period, teams will be allowed two timeouts, down from three.

Full timeouts will be reduced from 100 seconds to 60 seconds, except for the first two timeouts in each period and the mandatory timeouts in the second and fourth quarters. Those will continue to be 100 seconds.

Teams will be allowed unlimited substitutions during 20-second timeouts, a change from the old rule that permitted teams calling the timeout one sub with the other team allowed to substitute only if their opponents did so.

A new rule allows an offensive team to call a regular or 20-second timeout in the final two minutes for the purpose of advancing the ball to midcourt. The team has the option of inbounding the ball in the frontcourt or backcourt. If it passes into the backcourt, the 10-second rule applies. Previously, teams could advance the ball only by calling a regular timeout and had to inbound the ball in the frontcourt.

If neither team has taken a timeout in the second or fourth quarter when there is 8:59 remaining, there will be a mandatory timeout after the first dead ball. If neither team has taken a timeout in all four periods when there is 5:59 remaining, there will be a mandatory timeout after the first dead ball. The old rule provided for timeouts after dead balls after 9:59 in the second and fourth periods and after 6:59 in every period.

After jump balls, if the offense retains possession, the clock is reset to 14 seconds or remains the same if there are more than 14 seconds on the clock. If the defense gains possession, the clock is reset to 24 seconds. Previously, if the offense retained possession, the clock was reset to 24 seconds.

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