NBA rule changes for the 2006-2007 season

The  NBA Board of Govenors met in  New York last April to look for new ways to annoy Tommy Heinsohn--er, that is, approve certain rule changes for the upcoming season.  I've taken these changes verbatim from the NBA's official site, with my comments following: 

Calling Timeouts
2005-06 Rule: The head coach may request a timeout (20-second or full) only if there is a suspension of play due to a player suffering an injury where bleeding occurs.

2006-07 Rule: The head coach may request a timeout (20-second or full) at any time during a game as long as his team has possession of the ball or there is a suspension of play.

The change - This makes the NBA more like FIBA, in giving more authority to the coach in calling a timeout at his (or her, eventually) discretion.


Substitutions

2005-06 Rule:Free substitution is permitted only during 20-second timeouts called in the last two minutes of the fourth quarter and/or overtime period. During all other 20-second timeouts, the team calling the timeout may only substitute for one player, and if that team replaces a player, the opposing team may also replace one player.

2006-07 Rule: Free substitution is permitted during all 20-second timeouts.

The change - This simplifies matters as to when and how you can substitute players.


Clear-Path-To-The-Basket Fouls
A clear-path-to-the-basket foul is called if a personal foul occurs (1) when the ball and an offensive player are positioned between the tip-of-circle extended in the backcourt and the basket in the frontcourt, with no defender between the ball and the basket, (2) the possession originates in the backcourt, including throw-ins, and (3) the foul deprives the offensive team of an opportunity to score.

2005-06 Rule: The team that is fouled is awarded one free throw attempt and the ball on the sideline.

2006-07 Rule: The team that is fouled is awarded two free throw attempt and the ball on the sideline,

The Change - The change from one free throw to two free throws make it more of a real penalty to commit a clear-path foul, and more of a benefit to the team that had possession.


Active List Violations
Prior to the start of the game, a member of the officiating crew checks the Active Lists maintained by the official scorer against the players who are in uniform.

2005-06 Rule:If a player not listed on a team’s Active List participates in game play, the officials, upon noticing or being made aware of the ineligible player, will disqualify the player at the first dead ball.

2006-07 Rule:If a player not listed on a team’s Active List participates in game play, the officials, upon noticing or being made aware of the ineligible player, will disqualify the player at the first dead ball and the player’s team will be assessed a technical foul.

The change - This gives some teeth to the rule, by not only ejecting the player, but adding the technical foul as well.  Not a real biggie, as I can't remember having seen this happen.


Free-Throw Procedures
2005-06 Rule: Players occupying lane spaces during free-throw attempts are permitted to extend their bodies into adjoining lane spaces.

Players not occupying a lane space during a free- attempt must remain behind the three-point line until the ball is released by the free-throw shooter.

2006-07 Rule: Players occupying lane spaces during free-throw attempts are prohibited from extending any part of their bodies into the space in front of an opponent until the ball is released by the free-throw shooter.

Players not occupying a lane space during a free- attempt must remain behind the three-point line and above the free-throw line extended until the ball is released by the free-throw shooter.


The change  - part 1 - This means that if you're on the side of the free throw lane, you can't stuck your arm or upper body (or any other body part) in front of the guy next to you.

The change - part 2 - If you're one of the players waiting outside the three point line, you can't stand any closer to the basket than the free throw line until the ball leaves the shooter's hands.  It used to be you could zip in along the baseline, but not anymore.


Flagrant Fouls – Penalty 1
2005-06 Rule:If a flagrant foul/penalty 1 is called and the fouled player is unable due to injury to shoot his free-throws, the opposing team’s coach selects a replacement free-throw shooter from among the players on the fouled player’s bench, and the injured player is not permitted to return to the game.

2006-07 Rule:If a flagrant foul/penalty 1 is called and the fouled player is unable due to injury to shoot his free-throws, his team’s coach (not the opposing team’s coach) selects a replacement free-throw shooter from among players on the floor (not players on the bench) at the time of the foul, and the injured player is not permitted to return to the game.

Note: The rules for unsportsmanlike acts (elbow and punching fouls) and flagrant fouls/penalty 2 state the fouled player’s coach selects the replacement free-throw shooter from any eligible player on his team (whether on the playing floor or the bench) and the injured player is permitted to re-enter the game following the free-throw attempts. There is no change to this rule.

The change - If someone on the other team commits a flagrant 1 foul, and your guy can't shoot, YOUR coach gets to pick who shoots the free throw, NOT the OPPOSING coach, which was idiotic anyway.