Friday October 17th, 2014

The NBA approved five modifications to the league's instant replay system and changes to three existing rules, the league announced.

The new rules will take effect starting with Friday’s preseason games.

Officials can only use replay during the last two minutes of an overtime period. Last season, instant replay was available throughout overtime. Officials can now determine with replay if they are not sure if a clear-path foul that was called meets the criteria. Before, clear-path fouls had to be called for the play to be eligible for review. Referees also will be able to use replay to determine if a personal foul merits being upgraded to a flagrant foul. Last season, they could only use replay if a flagrant foul was called on the floor.

• 2014-15 NBA Preview Hub

Among the three new rule changes: teams can now freely substitute players whenever any timeout is called.

If a team has too many players on the court while the ball is in play, the offending team will be assessed a non-unsportsmanlike technical foul. The non-offending team has the option to accepting or denying the game action that took place during the violation. Previously, if the offending team had possession of the ball, it would keep possession despite the violation.

Also. the shot clock will no longer be reset to five seconds when a held ball is caused by the defense with fewer than five seconds remaining on the clock.

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- Scooby Axson

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