Coaching challenges are back in the NBA and are here to stay.
Following the recommendation of the circuit’s competition committee, the NBA board of governors voted on Thursday to keep the coaching challenges. This option was implemented last season as part of a one-year trial.
The coaches made 700 challenges last season, including the playoffs. Decisions were overturned 308 times, for a success rate of 44%.
The board of governors also approved a plan on Thursday to allow teams to have 15 active players in their roster on game night, compared to 13 in the past. This decision is linked to risks regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and the fact that some players may need to be placed in isolation.
The league has adjusted two elements of the challenge rules compared to last season. Teams will no longer be able to challenge a decision if they have been penalized for delaying the match before requesting video verification and the window to decide whether or not the coach wants to challenge a decision will start only when the referees have made a final decision on the game.
The rules about disputes can continue to be adjusted as needed.
The option to challenge a decision wasn’t a particularly popular addition last season. Teams must still have time available to challenge a decision, they are limited to one challenge per game, regardless of the outcome of the review, and they retain their time out only if they win the challenge.
“I’m not a big fan of covers,” said New Orleans Pelicans head coach Stan Van Gundy, who was a television analyst last season. We have a strategy. My assistants have done some research and I think we have a good idea of when to use a challenge or not. “