The NBA has announced rule changes meant to discourage teams from intentionally fouling poor free throw shooters.
Known as “hack-a” fouls, teams often employ the intentional fouls on struggling free throw shooters by grabbing them away from the ball. Centers DeAndre Jordan and Andre Drummond have been frequent recipients of the fouls, with many complaining the hacks significantly reduce the entertainment value of the game.
The new rules extend the current last-two-minute protocol to all four quarters, so if a player is fouled away from the ball in the last two minutes of any quarter, the team on the receiving end will receive one free throw and possession of the ball. Teams will also receive one free throw and possession if a player is fouled during an inbounds play.
Lastly, players who jump on the back of an opponent—a common way teams fouled in the last two minutes after free throw attempts—will be automatically assessed a flagrant foul.
The rule changes were agreed upon at the NBA’s off-season competition committee meetings.