NBA Updates Take Foul Rules for 2022-23 Season


Wizards v/s Heat 03/30/11 (Photo by Keith Allison | CC BY-SA 2.0)

By Ethan Pearce, Sports Editor


Every offseason, the NBA Competition Committee considers changes and updates to the league’s rule book. The game has changed a lot over the years and may require tweaks and adjustments to the rulebook in order to adapt to the modern game. There have been pretty significant changes in recent years, including putting the hammer down on excessive exaggeration to draw fouls, the addition of the coaches’ challenge and the play-in tournament.

This summer was no exception, as the league introduced a few new rules to the book for the 2022-23 season.

The NBA has long had a problem with “take fouls,” where a defender intentionally fouls an offensive player on a fast break to stop the easy points. The offensive team clearly has an advantage in this scenario, and it’s usually smart for a defender to take the foul and force the other team to inbound the ball. It resets the possession rather than allowing a 2, 3, 4 or even 5-on-1 for an easy bucket.

The NBA, following suit with other leagues around the world who have already implemented this change, now added increased penalties for a take foul. The offensive team will get one free throw, which can be taken by any player who was on the court at the time, as well as retaining possession of the ball. The addition of the free throw is a much steeper penalty for this type of foul, and the opportunity for any player to take it will allow those to be converted at a much higher rate than a normal free throw. The fouled team will always send their best shooter to the line.

This change is a no-brainer. Part of the excitement of basketball is fast break opportunities, and they often result in highlight-worthy plays. This allows for teams to have more chances to score in exciting ways, and lessens unnecessary stoppages in play. 

The other change this offseason was the permanent adoption of the play-in tournament. The play-in started in the NBA Bubble in Orlando during the pandemic, and has continued ever since. Until now, it has been renewed each offseason on a one-year basis, but it will now remain a permanent fixture of the league’s playoff structure.

This was one everyone saw coming; the play-in was immediately popular among fans and created even more excitement heading into the postseason. Allowing for more teams to have a shot at making the playoffs, discourages tanking and lets more teams remain competitive late into the season.

These changes are among the most positive the league has done in recent years, and are things fans have been asking for for a while. The NBA has done a good job of adjusting to keep up with the changing game, and we will likely see even more tweaks in the years to come.


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