2017/18 Changes to the Official Rules of Basketball

Each season, FIBA (the Governing Body for the sport globally) send out a list of changes and updates to the Official Rules of Basketball. Some changes are minor, some are a reaction to growing trends within the game, some might be in relation to advances in technology, courts or playing equipment. As a general rule, every competition in this country from the BBL all the way down to local league will follow FIBA’s Official Rules of Basketball and they are used by all referees when officiating a game. Below we've got a quick message on what has changed this season, and a few bits of information on how this information affects you.

So what has changed this year?

We have a created a summary document that covers the most important areas that have been changed and why the change has been made. The list of rules that FIBA look at each season is long, and most will have no impact on the majority of players. This year, there are changes to the travelling rule, more information on unsportsmanlike fouls and disqualifying fouls, an update on the duties of a coach and new guidance on faking a foul. These changes will become valid as of 1st October 2017.

The summary document is available by clicking HERE.

So how does this affect me?

I’m a National League player, BUCS player or I play in a high level competition:

It is a good idea to take a look at the summary document above to see how the rules will change and what referees will now be looking for during your games. We’ll have more information on these new rules soon so that you can see exactly what these changes look like on court, particularly the rules on travelling and unsportsmanlike fouls. You should also know that the ways you can be disqualified from a game have also changed.

Included in the complete list of changes from FIBA are recommendations to playing kit. This includes rules on footwear, socks, compression sleeves, head gear, wristbands, taping, ankle braces and base layers. These rules are often very strict as they must be used at the very highest levels of International competition. We will be issuing more straight forward advice in this area before the season begins. That way you’ll know what you can and can’t wear on a game day.

I’m a local league or rec player:

The rules that have changed will still be important to you as all referees should be officiating your games with these new rules in mind.

As each local competition up and down the country is different, once we have issued our guidance on playing kit it will be a good idea to speak to your local Association or competition organiser to see how they plan to implement these rules. Putting some of these changes into place will be up to your local Association based on how formal or casual your competition is.

I’m a referee:

It is very important that you are fully aware of all the changes that FIBA intend to make on 1st October 2017. We have a complete list of every rule that has received attention at the bottom of this page. These changes will be covered at the National Officiating Conference 2017 in Sheffield and you can still book your place if you wish to attend by clicking HERE. We will aim to get some further guidance out before 1st October 2017 on these changes so you have as much help as possible when applying the new rules during a game.

I’m a coach:

There are some changes this year that do relate to coaches and the role of a coach before and during a game, including protest procedures. We will be in touch with all coaches regarding these specific changes but the complete list of changes is available at the bottom of this page if you want to take a look.

I’m a table official:

In the official rules there are some changes that relate to score sheets and the correct practice for filling these out during a game. These new practices will also be covered at the National Officiating Conference 2017 (book by clicking HERE) and communicated out to all table officials before things come in to effect. If you want to take a look at the changes, the complete list is at the bottom of this page.

I run a local competition or I’m part of an Association:

It is worth remembering that these rules need to be in place to make sure standards are kept in tournaments such as Eurobasket or the Euroleague. It is likely that a lot of the changes in this year’s document aren’t really feasible at the level of your competition. We would recommend that once we have issued further guidance, you take stock of what makes most sense for your league, clubs and players and then act accordingly.

We’ll also have more information on these changes for anyone in attendance at our Senior National League Engagement Day on 2nd September 2017. That event is free and you can book a place by clicking HERE.

The complete list of FIBA rule changes can be seen by clicking HERE.

For reference, the 2017 FIBA Rules of Basketball with these changes from last year highlighted in yellow can be seen by clicking HERE.