The NBA will use its Secaucus, N.J.-stationed replay center for a third season and will give the referees working out of that hub more responsibilities than they had last season.
With the exception of player altercations and flagrant-foul issues, which will still be handled by the on-court officiating crew, replay reviews will come down to what is determined by the personnel in the replay center.
This marks a change from last season, with clear-path infractions, end-of-quarter fouls and calls coinciding with shot-clock violations now set to be determined by the Seacaucus staff. So, this will lessen the burden on the sites’ officiating groups. However, the on-court referees will continue to initiate the calls for replay reviews, and determinations by the replay center-housed refs will continue to be relayed by the on-site officials.
“Clear and convincing evidence” will continue to remain the standard for overturning calls, the league announced. The 2016-17 season will be the second for additional referees operating out of the replay center. Last season, the replay center ruled on 72 percent of all replays, and although this should shock many NBA viewers who have seen lengthy delays extend the final minutes of games considerably, the average time for replay reviews was just 31.9 seconds. That marks a near-25 percent reduction from the 2014-15 replay-review time of 42 seconds.
The NBA Board of Governors unanimously approved this move; the governing body also approved expansions of the coaches’ box and player substitution box.
The first implementation of these new policies will come when the league opens its season Tuesday night, and it will do so earlier than expected as the Indians’ World Series Game 1 prompted the league to move the Knicks-Cavaliers tilt up a half-hour to 7:30 p.m. ET.