NBA's new 'no more foul hunting' rule already showing its effect

NBA made some changes in game rules targeting to eliminate foul-hunting with 'non-basketball moves'

Selcuk Bugra Gokalp  | 04.11.2021 - Update : 05.11.2021
NBA's new 'no more foul hunting' rule already showing its effect


The National Basketball Association (NBA) changed some game rules before the 2021/2022 regular season, eliminating foul hunting with 'non-basketball moves.'

Essentially, the NBA referees no longer reward offensive players who launch themselves into defenders, aiming to draw fouls.

NBA players always search for the most efficient ways to score and naturally seeking contact and trying to get free throws is the first thing that comes to mind.

Now the league referees separate "good play" and "non-basketball moves."

If the player is at a disadvantage through good play, then, therefore, the referee should call an offensively or defensively foul.

But if the player, especially offensive players, makes a "non-basketball move" like launching or leaning into a defender at an abnormal angle, the referee should make no call.

This change mainly hinders offensive players' foul-seeking abilities, especially guards.

Giannis Antetokounmpo, the player with the most free-throw attempts in the previous season, currently has an average of 8,6 free throws per game while he had an average of 9,5 free throws per game in the previous season.

Joel Embiid declined from an average of 10,7 free throws per game in the 2020-2021 season to 8,8 free throws per game this season.

Guards including James Harden and Stephen Curry, both known for their ability to get to the line, are among the players whose games are affected by the new rules.

James Harden had used more than eleven free throws per game and became the player with the most free-throw attempts in the 2019-2020 season. But in the 2020-2021 season, this number has dropped drastically to 4,75.

Harden is not particularly happy about the rule change saying, "I'm not the type to complain about it. I asked every official if they see a foul, just call a foul... A foul is a foul no matter what league it is."

On the other hand, Curry is generally on board with the league despite new rules that will probably hurt his playstyle.

He admired the effort given by the league, saying, "The goal is to put the ball in the basket and not be out there just living and dying by trying to get to the free-throw line any way you can. I love the effort."

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