Refereeing decisions are a huge part of every NBA game, but if there has been one criticism in recent years, it is the time it takes for officials to review certain calls within games.
Pausing play so often can be detrimental to the flow and excitement of a game. Of course, getting the correct call is of paramount importance, but the spectacle of an interesting matchup can be severely broken up by extended stoppages for reviews.
The NBA took measure to tackle the issue in recent years and unveiled the state of the art NBA Replay Center last season. This campaign, their efforts have been stepped up even further and figures released by the league show the effect the changes have had on the game.
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As of this season, along with the three on-court officials, current referees were also staffed in the Replay Center for all games to make decisions on certain replay calls and help facilitate the on-the-court review of others.
The Replay Center reviews on more than half of all replays. A review officially starts when the headset is put on by an on-court referee and ends upon removal. It has helped cut the average length of reviewing a call by 25 percent. Throughout this season, the average duration of a decision has been 39.1 seconds, down from 42.1 seconds in 2014-15.
Overall, since the state of the art facility was opened, review times have been trimmed by over a minute. The Replay Center analysed 2,296 decisions during the regular season through 1,228 games, averaging out at 1.87 reviews per game.
The top two triggers were whether a player had his foot behind the three-point line and end of play/quarter made field goals, which required 764 and 527 reviews respectively.
Deciding over two-point or three-point shots took an average of 18.8 seconds while end of play field goals were just 13 seconds.
Flagrant fouls took up 10 percent of the total reviews for the season and usually took 65.2 seconds to come to a decision.
Located in Secaucus, N.J., the NBA Replay Center provides NBA referees with multiple camera angles on one screen at the same time, ensuring they have the best angles to make a ruling when a play is reviewable.
The facility is outfitted with 19 replay stations and more than 100 television monitors and is directly connected to all 29 NBA arenas, streamlining the process of instant replay video review.