The Euroleague Basketball Institute's groundbreaking Basketball Rules Summit concluded in Barcelona on Tuesday with an expert panel of professionals in the sport making a series of recommendations to change and interpret rules in ways that make the game more exciting for fans of the Turkish Airlines Euroleague and the Eurocup.
The spirited two-day debate among 13 of the top coaches, players, referees, team and league executives, media, television and marketing experts reached a consensus on proposals to improve a range of game situations that respected the summit's goal in making the competitions cleaner, fairer and more exciting.
Among the proposals were several intended to give players more freedom of movement, such as widening the court itself and relaxing the interpretation of travelling rules, as well as more consistent application by the referees of the existing rules.
Other recommendations aim to speed up the game by shortening the time spent on existing procedures such as free throws, substitutions and timeouts.
Still other proposals are designed to enhance fairness through an increased use of instant replay in limited situations and using jump balls instead of the alternate possession arrow to resolve in-game instances of a held ball.
Finally, the group of experts urged generally a policy of interpreting certain rules, without changing them, in a way that offensive players have more freedom to move unimpeded, thereby promoting a more free-flowing and rhythmic game.
The summit proposals that involve interpretations of existing rules will be discussed further with Turkish Airlines Euroleague Head Coaches in their annual meeting with Euroleague Basketball this week with an eye toward implementing them for the 2012-13 season. The proposals that involve rule changes will be consulted with the clubs in the Euroleague Commercial Assets GeneralAssembly later this week, and, if approved, will subsequently be discussed with FIBA and ULEB.
The Basketball Rules Summit panel consisted of former Euroleague-winning coaches Zeljko Obradovic and Ettore Messina; coaching legend Aito Garcia Reneses; former Euroleague MVP Theo Papaloukas; Adriatic League president Rado Lorbek; Saski Baskonia club president Josean Querejeta; KK Cibona Zagreb adviser for sports and communication director Mihovil Nakic; Euroleague Basketball’s Director of Referees, Costas Rigas; veteran referee Luigi Lamonica; marketing executive Glenn Chin of Most Prolific; television producer and analyst Flavio Tranquillo; and Euroleague.net/Euroleague.TV editorial director Frank Lawlor.
"The summit panel has produced many strong ideas to make our game more spectacular, clean and fair," said Euroleague Basketball President and CEO Jordi Bertomeu. "We had a variety of truly devoted basketball professionals who see the game from different viewpoints, and their debate enlightened everyone in the room. What was paramount in this process was always keeping uppermost in our minds the fans and their need to enjoy our competitions even more. Now we have a roadmap to help that happen in the near future, and now it's time to share it with FIBA World and other governing bodies."