NBA defining 'gather' in rulebook to limit 'uncertainty' about traveling violations

By Ameer Tyree 21 September 2019
NBA defining 'gather' in rulebook to limit 'uncertainty' about traveling violations

The NBA is making some changes to its rulebook regarding traveling violations. 

President of league operations Byron Spruell addressed the confusion over the way traveling has been interpreted as of late and said the NBA has adjusted the language to reduce "uncertainty."

“One of the most misunderstood rules in our game is how traveling is interpreted and appropriately called,” Spruell said in a release. “Revising the language of certain areas of the rule is part of our three-pronged approach to address the uncertainty around traveling.  This approach also includes an enforcement plan to make traveling a point of emphasis for our officiating staff, along with an aggressive education plan to increase understanding of the rule by players, coaches, media and fans.”

The league has added a section to the rule book to define the what a gather is.

Some have failed to understand the extra step NBA players appear to get on fast breaks, step backs, euro steps and other moves, and here's how the league broke it down:

For players receiving a pass or gaining possession of a loose ball:

A gather is defined as the moment that player gains enough control to hold the ball, change hands, pass, shoot, or cradle the ball against his body.

For players in control of the ball while dribbling: 

A gather is defined as the moment a player:

  1. Holds the ball with two hands or lets it come to a rest while controlling it.
  2. Puts a hand under the ball and brings it to a pause.
  3.  Gains enough control of the ball to hold it, change hands, pass, shoot.

How the gather fits into the traveling rule:

A player gathering  the ball while progressing may:

  1. Take two steps and come to a stop, followed by a pass or shot.
  2. Dribble one step prior to releasing the ball, if he has not taken a dribble yet.

A player gathering the ball while dribbling may:

  1. Take two steps and come to a stop, followed by a pass or shot.

The first step begins when one or both feet touch the floor following a gather.

These rule changes and more can be found at NBA.com.

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Ameer Tyree

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