The FIBA World Cup is now underway, meaning that fans of teams like the Toronto Raptors, Brooklyn Nets, and Dallas Mavericks can watch names like Dennis Schroder, Mikal Bridges, and Luka Doncic fight it out for one of the most prized trophies in all of competitive basketball.
Fans who have only watched the NBA may be a little taken aback by these games, as there are slight rules changes on the global stage. These changes are different enough to make the game unique without completely up.
Still, the international game might seem a bit alien to NBA-exclusive watchers. The changes to the rules may not be obvious at first glance, but they play a big role in shaping how the game flows.
Comparing NBA rules to FIBA World Cup rules.
Timeouts: The NBA grants teams six timeouts that can be either 60 or 100 seconds, with one additional 20-second timeout per half. The short timeouts can be carried to overtime, where teams start with two timeouts. FIBA gives teams two first-half and three second-half timeouts, all of which are 60 seconds. Teams only have two in the last two minutes of the fourth quarter and overtime.
Playing time: International games consist of four 10-minute quarters, while NBA games have four 12-minute quarters.
Shot clock: While the shot clock is 24 seconds long for both FIBA and the NBA, the shot clock resets to 14 seconds after an offensive rebound in FIBA games.
Defensive three seconds: The NBA prevents players from standing in the restricted area without guarding someone for more than three seconds, while the World Cup has no such restriction.
Fouls: NBA players foul out after committing six infractions, while FIBA will eject a player after just five. While the NBA sends a team into the bonus after five non-offensive team fouls, FIBA is once again stricter, sending teams to the bonus after four team fouls.
Technical fouls: Both the NBA and FIBA award one free throw. The NBA resumes play at the point where the foul was committed, while FIBA resumes play at the center.
3-Point Line: The 3-point line is 22.1 feet away from the rim in FIBA competition, while the NBA has the 3-point line set at 23.7 feet.
Jump balls: The World Cup’s rules are not that dissimilar to that of the NCAA. Whomever loses the opening tip will get possession for the next jump ball scenario, after which possession alternates. In the NBA, teams alternate quarters to decide initial jump ball possession, while all subsequent situations are performed as a “real” jump ball.