NEW YORK– The NBA today announced new elements and enhancements to existing policies and procedures in Basketball Operations, Referee Operations and other areas for the resumption of the 2019-20 season, including a wider border around the sidelines, a revised setup for team benches and a new covering on officials’ whistles.
“New elements implemented for the season restart reflect a collaboration among the league, players, coaches, referees and team staff, underscore a willingness by all parties to adapt to a challenging environment, and reinforce our commitment to the health and safety of everyone involved,” said NBA President, League Operations Byron Spruell.
The new elements and enhancements include:
• Sideline Border: To assist with perception and visibility on the court and adjust for not having courtside fans to help define the boundaries, the border around the court has been widened to 8 inches from 2 inches. During a throw-in from out of bounds, the thrower-in may continue to step on the line but may not touch the floor over the line until the ball is released.
• Team Benches: Team benches consist of multiple rows of seats (with appropriate distance between each seat) and are divided into three sections: players; coaches and team staff; and unassigned seats. The 17-seat players section is divided into three rows, with each player assigned a seat by his team. The 12-seat coaches and team staff section, slightly separated from the players section, is divided into three rows of four seats, with each person assigned a seat by his or her team. The unassigned seats section is located near the baseline and reserved only for temporary use to enable player-to-player, coach-to-player or trainer/physician-to-player communication during the game. The unassigned seats are promptly cleaned and disinfected after each use.
• Timeouts: During any timeout or period break, players and coaches can huddle like normal except they must sit in or congregate around movable chairs separate and apart from the team benches. The movable chairs used during timeouts or period breaks are cleaned and disinfected after each use.
• Officials’ Whistles: A cloth covering has been added to the referees’ whistles to prevent the spread of spittle.
• Replay Officials: Replay officials, who make decisions on certain replay situations and facilitate the on-the-court review of others, are working on site at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida rather than at the NBA Replay Center in Secaucus, N.J. The NBA Replay Center will continue to conduct reviews in conjunction with the on-court officials.
• Injury Reporting Procedures: Five hours (local time) prior to the start time of the second game of a back-to-back (instead of 1 p.m. local time) is when teams must designate a participation status (Out, Doubtful, Questionable, Probable or Available) for each player on their roster and identify a specific injury, illness or potential instance of a healthy player resting that may affect any player’s participation in the game.
• Baseline Positioning: Broadcast camera operators, photographers or videographers may not be positioned on the hardwood and instead must shoot away from the floor.
• Scorer’s Table: The scorer’s table is surrounded by plexiglass.
• Coach’s Attire: Head coaches and assistant coaches are permitted to wear polo shirts instead of business attire.