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NBA G League to Introduce Single-Shot Free Throw Rule

The amount of points the foul shot is worth will be based on the infraction preceding the free throw.

The NBA G League will introduce a new single-shot free throw line procedure for the upcoming 2019-20 season, according to ESPN’s Zach Lowe.

The amount of points the foul shot is worth will be based on the infraction preceding the free throw. If the shooter was fouled on a two-pointer, then the foul shot will be worth two points. If the shot is a three-pointer, then the free throw is worth three points. Foul shots taken after a made basket will still be worth one point.

The rule change represents an attempt to cut down on game length, according to ESPN. The G League will revert to traditional free throw scoring and rules for the final two minutes and overtimes, but G League head of basketball operations Brad Walker told ESPN he believes the rule will still shave six to eight minutes off the average game.

The new procedure could also change the strategy around late-game fouling, with a single make or miss at the line becoming much more significant in tight contests.

The G League has become an experimental space for potential NBA rule changes, including the coach’s challenge, which will debut this year at the game’s top level. The G League previously attempted to shorten games by reducing timeout length, which knocked four minutes off average game times, according to ESPN. 

In the past, the league also attempted to reduce wrap-up fouls on ballhandlers in the open floor by declaring those plays “transition take fouls” and awarding the affected team with a free throw in addition to possession of the ball. 

The new free-throw rule change is not permanent and will be re-evaluated at the end of the season before a decision is made about whether to move forward.

The G League season begins on Nov. 8 and will feature 21 games across the first weekend. 


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