New traveling rule highlights changes this season

Oct 05, 2017 by Euroleague.net Print

Fans of all Euroleague Basketball competitions will have some interesting new rule changes and interpretations to track this season that are expected to make the game more to their liking.

First and foremost, both the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague and the 7DAYS EuroCup have adopted the new worldwide rule on traveling that was made effective by FIBA World on October 1.

The new rule will give players who are dribbling or in motion when receiving the ball more freedom to maneuver, depending on their footwork.

Most notably, a player in motion who receives the ball while in contact with the floor will be allowed a further step when starting his dribble.

At the same time, any player who receives the ball in the same way or is already dribbling and looks to shoot or pass will be allowed a so-called "gather step" to pick up the ball before his two steps without dribbling are counted. This will make many more spin moves legal than before and offer advantages to players on the move with the ball going to the basket.

What will not change, however, are the rules as applied to a static player. His obligation to release the ball before lifting his pivot foot when making a move from a standing start is unchanged.

Other lines of emphasis for game officials this season focus on non-basketball fouls and making them clearly unsportsmanlike by definition. Making no legitimate attempt to play the ball; excessive contact on the player or the ball; unnecessary contact in transition; and contact laterally or from behind on a breakaway dribbler are examples of fouls that will be considered unsportsmanlike.

What's more, starting this season any combination of two unsportsmanlike or technical fouls, including one of each, results in a player's disqualification from the game.

"The combination of more liberal rules on traveling and stricter definitions of unsportsmanlike conduct on the court should result in less restricted and more fluid play again this season," Richard Stokes, Euroleague Basketball's Director of Officiating, said. "Last season, when the rule on unsportsmanlike fouls was applied more consistently, we saw an uptick in transition points and fewer stoppages in play. This season's changes should also result in more free-flowing basketball and clarity in the travelling rule which now better reflects how the modern game is played."

Last season's changes coincided with an explosion of offense, with the most points scored per game in 15 seasons, plus the highest-ever averages in three-pointers made and assists.