The NBA Board of Governors today approved a new Player Participation Policy, which is intended to promote player participation in the NBA’s regular season. The new policy will take effect with the start of the 2023-24 regular season and enhance and replace the Player Resting Policy, which was implemented prior to the 2017-18 season.
The Player Participation Policy primarily will focus on star players. A star player for purposes of the policy is any player who, in any of the prior three seasons, was selected to an All-NBA Team or an NBA All-Star team. This definition also applies, following a given season’s All-Star Game, to any player who is named an All-Star during that season.
Under the policy, unless a team demonstrates an approved reason for a star player not to participate in a game, then, among other things, the team must:
- Manage its roster to ensure that no more than one star player is unavailable for the same game.
- Ensure that star players are available for all national television and NBA In-Season Tournament games.
- Maintain a balance between the number of one-game absences for a star player in home and road games.
- Refrain from any long-term “shutdowns” in which a star player stops playing games.
- If resting a healthy player, ensure that the player is present at the games and visible to fans.
The policy includes exceptions for injuries, personal reasons and pre-approved back-to-back restrictions based on a player’s age, career workload or serious injury history.