Top 10 Rarest and Most Obscure Rules Ever Brought About in NBA

Tags: #NBA ,   #NBABasketball ,   #Rules

Dan N. Scarborough

Dan N. Scarborough

Last updated:  2023-02-07 18:00:09

Throughout the years NBA has become a highly regulated multi-billion dollar industry. Moreover, it's primarily thanks to the NBA that basketball became recognized worldwide. Naturally, most NBA fans know the majority of rules in a game. This includes personal fouls, double dribble, traveling, and others that are pretty familiar. However, there are some regulations that most fans and even players don't recognize. That's why we'll point out those dumb basketball rules in our top ten list. 

10. Backboard Breaking

Mind the backboard, fellas

There were always people with enough strength and skill to dunk the ball through the hoop throughout NBA history. In fact, some of the greatest NBA highlights consist of monster dunks followed by the backboard shattering and raining glass all over. However, the first NBA player who shattered the board, Chuck Connors, didn't do it with the dunk. 

While playing for the Boston Celtics in November 1946, Connors took a shot during the warm-ups and hit the front of the rim. However, as the worker in the arena didn't install the protective piece, the backboard cracked. Ever since then, multiple players have enjoyed crashing backboards, including Shaq. Therefore, the NBA redesigned it, making it tough to damage. Also, they introduced a new ruleset, penalizing the breakers.

9. Jump Ball Line Up

Watch the lineup when jumping the ball

Jump ball seems like a straightforward part of the game. However, if players don't line up correctly, things could get pretty complicated. Even though the opening jump has no effect on the game's final score, there are deliberate sets of obscure NBA rules about it. If the jumpers at the jump ball are lined incorrectly, and the referee takes notice, there's a penalty. 

According to the rulebook, if more than 24 seconds have elapsed, the players will continue to shoot for that basket. If the error was found in the first half, the teams would shoot at the proper basket as decided by the opening tab for the second half. If less than 24 seconds elapsed, the play will be nullified. If you wonder how NBA players and teams know which way to face during the tip-off, there's a rule for that too. At the beginning of the game, the coach of the rolling team decides the side.

8. Free Throws Timeout

Swing before it ticks ten

When players attempt free throws, the coaches usually tell them to take their time. However, they would be penalized if they got carried away. The player at the free-throw line must begin the shooting motion within ten seconds after receiving the ball.

If he fails to do so, the referee calls the violation of the rules. As a result, the other team would receive the ball out of bounds. Although this rule seems very simple, numerous players frequently break it. The list includes Karl Malone, Dwight Howard, and Giannis Adetokunbo.

7. Six Players in The Field

Six is better than five

Back in the day, there was a regulation allowing NBA teams to have six players on the court at once. The trick is - being sneaky. Therefore, the teams had to be very careful with deploying the sixth player, so the referee didn't notice it. Consequently, the points count if the team scores with the six players on the court and the referee doesn't notice.

There weren't many instances when NBA clubs used this underhanded tactic. Still, there are specific rules about what would happen if the referee catches it. In that case, the team will receive an unsportsmanlike technical foul. Yet, this practice is now among other obscure NBA facts.

6. Staying In-Game Even When Fouled Out 

You can stay in even if you are fouled out

Usually, when the player receives the sixth foul, he has to sit out for the remainder of the game. However, this rule has an exception. It's when an NBA team is reduced to four players due to injuries and fouls. In that case, the last guy who got fouled out stays in the game because the NBA weird rules say there have to be five active players on each team.

But what would happen if the fouled-out player commits another foul? In that case, the team will get charged up with a technical - a team foul and a personal foul. Although foul punishment is more strict, this rule allows players to stay in the game. 

5. Off the Bounce Shot

Beat the buzzer and bounce it off

Sometimes the player shoots the ball, and it enters the hoop after rebounding off the board. Now, what would happen if the player released the ball just right with the buzzer? There are regulations for that situation, too. The validity of the shot depends on the timing.

Namely, if the ball bounced off the board before the buzzer and then entered the hoop, the points will count. However, if the ball bounced after the buzzer, it is considered a dead ball. Although this is a rare occasion, some impressive overturns happened thanks to this rule. 

4. Mandatory Rest

Good for players, bad for public

Over the last years, the NBA has done many things to ensure their players' safety, as some of them died. The NBA recently made the rule allowing players to rest more. Accordingly, this regulation dramatically diminishes the amount of practice a team can run throughout the year. Recently, some TV stations announced that the NBA made it mandatory for players to have at least 18 free days per season. 

This event led to players resting in the middle of the game, which the audience didn't love much. Also, many key players were sitting out early games in the playoffs. Needless to say, people were outraged, and some NBA officials expressed the wish to ease up the mandatory rest rule.

3. Banned Accessories

Fashion yes-yes are sometimes no-nos

The current regulations made the NBA crackdown on dress code inside the court. Among banned things were ninja-style headbands, black masks, supreme sleeves, tinted glasses, durags, etc. Even wearing the team headband upside down was frowned upon. Out-of-court, there is a different story, and we could see NBA players in some quite extravagant fashion choices.

Yet, there's one notable exception. In 2005 the NBA dress code was revised, banning Timberland boots during fan events and press conferences. This move was explained by the saying there's a uniform for every public appearance of NBA players. 

2. No Punches

Can't punch neither the ball nor someone's head

One of the relatively straightforward and not-so-dumb basketball rules is that fights aren't allowed. The punishments for inciting the row are stringent, including immediate ejection, suspension, and fines. But no punching rule goes even further than that. Players are not allowed to punch the basketball either. 

Sometimes players get frustrated and slam the ball downward with their open palms. That is allowed, but hitting the ball with a closed fist is an offense. The main reason for this is the unpredictable trajectory of the basketball, which could hit someone and hurt them. Throwing the ball in the audience isn't allowed either because people aren't prepared to react.

1. Four-Point Line

Four points could evolve the game forever

This last rule has been considered for a while, and it might bring another dimension to the game. Consequently, many NBA teams have already implemented the four-point in their team courts. They probably hope the players will get used to it before the NBA officially allows it.

The main reason behind the four-point line is the growing number of players shooting and scoring deep three-point shots a few feet away from the three-point line. These shots changed the game, and the NBA has been considering adding another layer to the competition for years. This proposition is equally cheered and frowned upon, and we're not sure if and when we'll see the 4-points in the NBA games. Well, it surely wouldn't help Rudy Gobert and others who never scored a single three-pointer.

Regardless of how dedicated a viewer they are, everyone knows the basic basketball rules. Yet, most fans and players aren't aware some of them exist. A few of these top ten rules are more logical than the others, and the common thing for all of them is that sometimes they come from behind. 

What are your favorite obscure NBA rules? Which one would you add to this top ten list?

Photo: YouTube screenshot


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