In the newest sign of innovation aimed at making the game as fair as possible for Euroleague Basketball teams and their fans, head coaches in both the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague and the 7DAYS EuroCup will have the opportunity, starting this season, to challenge a referee’s call during the game. Coaches will be limited to one such challenge per game.
There are 16 distinct types of actions that coaches may challenge through the Instant Replay System. A challenge shall be communicated immediately by the head coach by twirling his finger in the direction of the referees. Once the challenge is issued, the scorekeeper will record the challenge in the protocol. After the referees review the challenge, the outcome will be signaled on the court.
Among the actions that may be challenged are basket values (whether a shot is a two-pointer or a three-pointer, or if after a free throw a ball has been tipped and should be awarded as a two-point basket); game and shot clock settings; foul reviews to determine who committed a foul or who should be awarded free throws; physical altercations; and whether off-ball fouls took place before a shot was taken. Rulings on out-of-bounds, goaltending, and defensive semi-circle violations – usually challengeable only in the final 2 minutes of the fourth quarter or in overtime – may now be challenged at any time.
“Getting it right as often as humanly possible is what officiating is all about, and without unduly prolonging games, this new challenge opportunity for coaches will help bring that goal nearer,” Richard Stokes, Euroleague Basketball’s Senior Director of Officiating, said.