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NBA Testing Anti-Flopping Rule

NBA Chris Paul Flopping

Starting in this year’s upcoming Summer League games, the NBA will be testing a new anti-flopping rule in provisional status. 

The previous anti-flopping rule, first instituted in 2012, is about to see a new amendment that will be in place during this year’s Summer League games in Sacramento, Salt Lake City, and Las Vegas.

This new addition will be taken to a vote by the NBA board of governors on Tuesday, July 11. In a press release put out by the NBA, the new addition is an in-game penalty.

To detail further, the penalty will result in a “non-unsportsmanlike technical foul, which does not count as a personal foul or lead to an ejection.” The opposing team will also receive possession of the ball and one free throw. But what will the value of this be to the NBA? Here’s a little bit of a deeper look at the old rule and what this new addition will bring.

NBA Promoting Anti-Flopping

As BSP’s Tracy Graven once noted, flopping is like acting. The NBA’s definition is “an attempt to either fool referees into calling undeserved fouls”. Likewise, it can also be “fooling fans into thinking the referees missed a foul call by exaggerating the effect of contact with an opposing player.”

When first put in place in 2012, a warning would be given out to a player for a first offense. Further offenses would result in fines that will increase with every extra flop.

New Update For Summer League and Potential Later On

When the vote comes to the board, the new amendment will be under provisional status. As Bleacher Report notes, “The base penalty for a called flop is a free throw for the opposing team and possession. The infraction is looked at as a non-unsportsmanlike technical foul and does not count towards a player’s personal foul total or potentially lead to an ejection. It also does not have to signal an end to a live play and can be assessed when the ball is dead.”

The Summer League Games in Vegas, Sacramento, and Salt Lake City will see this change in effect. There is a concern, however, that the rule will still be open to interpretation. Fans know that flopping is a rampant problem in today’s NBA.

Recently, flopping is notable through video review. Replay is in the same boat as flopping. But what the ref sees and what a fan sees are two completely different animals.

Arguing For NBA Anti-Flopping Addendum

This update may provide a little more clarity to flopping. On one side, offense players who try to draw free throws may receive less calls. It may also give some clarity to players on defense. Especially regarding whether someone is potentially sliding under driving offenders to draw a charge. There is more to that rule that SB Nation wants to see get an update.

Argument Against New Addition

Like the current rule, the new anti-flopping addendum will be open to different interpretations. NBA Anti-Flopping and flopping is too cloudy to clearly understand. This will be only provisional status in the summer. But the interpretation can take the rule in so many possible ways.

Final Thoughts on NBA Anti-Flopping Rule Addition

As of now, whether the NBA will add on to it’s anti-flopping rule remains to a vote. What the governors decide will play a major role in determining the next steps for the league. The NBA is trying to crack down, but at what cost? The interpretation of flopping will more than likely remain a mystery for years to come. Perhaps this will be a step in a positive direction.


Nate Powalie is a contributor for Back Sports Page. A 2022 graduate of Ashland University (Ashland, Ohio), Nate has five years of sports writing experience, and has gotten the chance to call sporting events for radio and live stream. Nate can be found on Twitter (@PNate22) and Facebook (Nate Powalie).

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