NBA Board of Governors approves clarification of rule governing traveling violations

NEW YORK – The NBA Board of Governors today approved new language in the NBA rule book that governs traveling violations.  The revision will not change the substance of the rule but will help eliminate the gap between the rule as written and how it has been applied in NBA games.

“One of the most misunderstood rules in our game is how traveling is interpreted and appropriately called,” said Byron Spruell, NBA President, League Operations.  “Revising the language of certain areas of the rule is part of our three-pronged approach to address the uncertainty around traveling.  This approach also includes an enforcement plan to make traveling a point of emphasis for our officiating staff, along with an aggressive education plan to increase understanding of the rule by players, coaches, media and fans.”

The official NBA rule book will now have a section that formally defines the “gather,” which is a concept that has been used by the officiating staff for many years to apply the rule but was never defined in the rule book.  The text of the rule will also be revised to provide additional clarity regarding how many steps a player may take after the gather occurs.

Click here or see attached for the new language in the rule book regarding traveling that is consistent with how the play has been called.  A training video that further explains the traveling rule will be issued next week.

Also today, the NBA Board of Governors approved a change to the rule related to the submission of starting lineups.  To increase transparency for teams, media and fans, the league will now require teams to submit their starting lineups 30 minutes prior to the game’s scheduled start time instead of the previous rule of 10 minutes.  Teams will retain the ability to amend their starting lineups prior to the beginning of the game if circumstances change.  This type of change is most likely to occur if a player sustains or reaggravates an injury during pregame warm-ups.

The NBA’s Competition Committee unanimously recommended the clarification of the rule governing traveling violations and the new deadline for the submission of starting lineups.