Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

D-League ditches international goaltending rule

Jermaine O'Neal,Patrick Beverley

Jermaine O’Neal,Patrick Beverley


David Stern wanted the NBA to adopt international goaltending rules, where the ball is live once it hits the rim – even if it’s over the cylinder. The offense could tip it in, or the defense could knock it away.

In the NBA, it’s a violation to touch the ball while it’s over the cylinder.

The D-League switched to the international rule in 2010, but that experiment is over.

D-League release:

The NBA Development League today announced rules changes for the 2015-16 season, including the limitation of the coach’s challenge to the end of the game and adjustments to the timeout format. Additionally, the “international goaltending” rule will no longer be utilized and the NBA’s goaltending rule will be in effect.

Entering its 15th season, the NBA D-League serves as a research and development lab for the NBA, testing rules, equipment and technological advancements. Prior to last season, the league implemented a number of experimental rules, including the innovative coach’s challenge and “advance” rules, both of which will be continued for this season.

The coach’s challenge rule allows coaches to challenge either called personal fouls charged to their own team or any play that is currently an NBA D-League replay trigger, other than flopping, and has been amended to permit only one challenge per team in the fourth quarter and each overtime period.

To initiate a challenge, a coach must call a legal timeout and immediately indicate to the officials that an event is being challenged. If the challenge is successful and the event is changed, the team will retain its timeout. The challenging team will be charged with the timeout if the challenge is unsuccessful and the call is unchanged.

Additional rules changes allow for teams to be allotted four full (two-minute) timeouts and three 30-second timeouts during regulation game play. A maximum of two 30-second timeouts, in addition to an “advance,” will be permitted during the final two minutes of regulation. Only the offensive team can call the second of consecutive timeouts, except in instances of injury, infection control and following an “advance.”

I don’t like the aesthetics of players just standing around as the ball bounces on the rim. It’s boring.

But NBA players might just be too athletic to allow the international rule. They can get up to the rim so quickly and so easily.

I’m not sure whether that’s why the D-League is changing the rule. Perhaps, the minor league just wants to be more consistent with NBA rules.

But the D-League is a test lab for the NBA. If the D-League is dumping this experiment, that probably means the NBA won’t change its goaltending rule anytime soon.