The NBA is testing four eleven minute quarters in a pre-season game as a means of reducing game length. I agree that games do take too long, but eleven minute quarters aren’t the answer. I have a much better idea. The anti-timeout.
I watch a lot of NBA basketball. I’ve come to the conclusion that 98% of the timeouts called outside of the last two minutes of the game are for one and only one reason – to stop the other team’s momentum. Basketball is a huge momentum game. Teams go on runs back and forth throughout the game. Sometimes the winner is whoever had the last good run.
Coaches regularly call timeout to stop their opponent’s momentum. If your team has been outscored 9-0 over the last 2:30 seconds a common solution is making the T signal with your hands and bringing the action on the floor to a grinding halt. After the commercials, the game resumes, but with the momentum reset. The team that was on the skids now has a chance to turn the tables and put on a run of their own.
So, I propose the anti-timeout as a way to keep the game moving. Each team is alotted one anti-timeout per half. These rules govern the use of the anti-timeout
1 – Anti-timeouts cannot be called in the final two minutes of a half.
2 – Only a coach can call an anti-timeout, not a player. A coach expends his anti-timeout by making the “A” symbol with his hand (touching fingertips with palms out at an angle) and shouting “Anti-Timeout”.
3 – Anti-timeouts can only be called in response to an opposing team’s timeout. They cannot be used to negate an official or TV timeout.
4 – An anti-timeout must be called within 3 seconds of the original timeout being called.
Obviously, two less time outs per half (one for each team) means less commercials (that’s the point after all, to shorten the game) and hence, less revenue. To offset the loss of advertising revenue, the NBA can sell anti-timeouts sponsorships. Imagine, “This anti-timeout is brought to you by Nike. Don’t take a timeout. Just do it. Just play basketball.”
So, what do you think NBA fans? Eleven minute quarters or the anti-timeout. Which do you prefer?
Until the next post,