NEW YORK – The NBA Development League announced on Monday that they will begin to experiment with four and five-person officiating crews for nine games this season.
The trial run will be led by the NBA and NBA D-League Referee Operations, beginning on Dec. 26 with the Westchester Knicks taking on the Long Island Nets at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
From the D-League’s press release:
The four-person experiments will be run in two configurations. The first will feature two officials in the lead position and two split between the slot and the trail. The second is highlighted by two officials in the slot position with the additional two as a trail and a lead, respectively. In the five-person tests, the existing three-person system will rotate typically with the two additional officials taking lead stationary positions on each end of the court.
This regular season trial run comes after a similar experiment occurred during the 2016 Utah Jazz Summer League, with the NBA using four-person crews during those contests.
The nine game experiment will feature the Long Island Nets at home against nine D-League Eastern Conference opponents. The first five games will be officiated by a four-person crew, with the remaining four games featuring a five-person crew.
This initiative is the latest experiment taking place in the Development League for potential future NBA use. Other experimental rules being tested this season are the Coach’s Challenge, the Reset Timeout and the three-minute overtime.