NBA Rule Changes Over the Years

The NBA as with any professional league goes through changes from one year to another. The reason for most changes is to adapt to how the game is played. The first rule changes didn’t start until 1946-1947 when the NBA decided on eliminating zone defenses. Let’s go down the evaluation of the rest of the NBA’s rules.
In the 1947-48 Campaign players went from 5 fouls to 6 fouls before fouling out and the team size went from 12 to 10.
1951-52
The Lane was changed from six feet to 12 feet wide because of the dominance of the sports first big man George Mikan.
1952-53
Rule changed that if a jump ball is to take place it is between the man who fouled him and the one who is guarding him.
1954-55
24 Second Shot Clock is implemented. Penalty Free Throws added after a sixth foul in the quarter.
1964-65
Wilt Chamberlain the next dominate big man leads to the lane being widened from 12 to 16 feet.
1966-67
Foul limit dropped to five per quarter and only one penalty in the last two minutes. The three second violation in the paint was added.
1972-73
Errors in fourth period or overtime can only be corrected before the period is over. Players no longer are restricted from the lane during free throws. No foul shots except for shooting fouls until the team are in the penalty.
1974-75
Timeouts as time expire will not be granted. Force Out is determined and offensive keeps the ball.
1975-76
Any playing court violation the ball is taken in from the sideline.
1976-77
Any player in a fight is fined $10,000 and is suspended. Force Out rule is eliminated. Possession rules for quarters are made. Loser of tip inbounds from underneath their goal in second and third while winner inbounds in fourth.
1977-78
24 second clock reset after all violations. In last two minutes if team takes a timeout before advancing the ball on a change of possession they can move the ball to midcourt. All protests must be in the commissioner’s office within 48 hours.
1979-80
Technical foul placed on team for illegal defense. Three point feel goal added.
1980-81
Three point field goal becomes permanent. Jewelry outlawed during game.
1981-82
Zone Rules Changed. Players must check in at scores table before entering game.
1983-84
Jump ball locations changed.
1984-85
Clear Path implemented. If player is blocked on a clear bath to score by a foul two free throws and the ball is awarded to his team.
1991-92
If bleeding is spotted the game stops to stop the wound.
1992-93.
24 Second only resets on hitting the rim not the backboard.
1994-95
Shortened the three point line.
1997-98
Three point line moved back to original distance. No Charge Area Added.
2001-02
Illegal Defense removed. Defensive three second rule added. The time to pass midcourt changed from 10 seconds to 8.
2002-03
Instant replay allowed for last second plays.

About Chris Cabrera

Avid lover of Popcorn and on his off time he is the CDO of Barry's Ticket Service. Buddhist by day and Buddhist by night, firm believer that people people suck!

  • Tim

    Hello my friend! I wish to say that this article is awesome, great written and include almost all significant infos. I would like to see more posts like this .