New York, NY – The WNBA announced three rule changes on Thursday, including adding an anti-flopping rule.
"Flopping" will be defined as any physical act that, upon review, reasonably appears to have been intended to cause the referees to call a foul on another player, according to a release by the league.
"Flops that are intended to mislead referees into calling undeserved fouls or fool fans into believing a foul call was missed are a detriment to the game," WNBA chief of basketball operations and player relations Renee Brown said. "With that, both the board of governors and the competition committee felt strongly that a player who, upon video review by the league, is believed to have committed a flop will, after an initial warning, be given an automatic penalty."
After receiving a warning for a first offense, players found to have flopped in the regular season will then receive fines of increasing amounts. A sixth violation will then be subject to a further increased fine and/or suspension.
In addition to the anti-flopping rule, the WNBA will also add a defensive three-second rule and push back the three-point line to 22 feet, 1 3/4 inches, which is the distance used in all FIBA competitions.
Replay will also be expanded to allow the review of Flagrant Foul 1's and is now allowed to be instituted during the final minute of regulation and overtime to determine whether an offensive player who committed an illegal contact was inside or outside the restricted area.