The NBA is looking at introducing fines to try and stamp out players flopping during games.[caption id="attachment_11123" align="aligncenter" width="620"] Photo Credit: AP/Michael Perez[/caption] To flop or not to flop? That is the question. Well, at least it has been up until this point. The NBA has announced recently that they are putting the finishing touches on processes that will try to deter this form of diving from occurring during NBA games. For those unaware, flopping is essentially the act of tricking the official into calling a foul by simply falling over when little or no contact has been made by an opponent. While this art has been perfected over the years primarily in soccer, we now find it creeping into others sports, and unfortunately basketball is no exception. The proposed plan at his stage is for the league office to review the play in question at the end of each game, and if the player is found guilty of flopping, the league will issue the perpetrator with a fine. The issue prior to this season is that there was nothing in place to deter players from taking a dive. In the offending player’s mind, he wants to get the foul call, but if not, so what? Play goes on. This is the issue; players have nothing to lose by flopping, so why would they stop? By bringing in these penalties, players will now be held accountable for their actions. While the finer points of the proposal have not been finalised at this point, the general plan is a great start to try and stamp out flopping. The fine, more symbolic than anything, probably won’t have much of an impact in making a player think twice about taking a dive. However, the public naming and shaming associated with the fine would almost certainly embarrass players into eradicating this acting from their game. The last thing players want is to be labelled as soft. It is the ultimate attack on a player’s character. The other effect publicly naming players would have is that once the umpiring group as a whole becomes aware of the main culprits, the players will find it much harder to get a foul call as the refs know they may be faking more often than not. This is what happened in the AFL when they bought in very similar penalties.Players who play for fouls regularly end up getting a bad reputation with the refs and end up finding it very hard to get a true call go their way. So this new procedure is a start, but I believe the best way to stamp out flopping is to go with a 3-strike policy:. 1) The first time you flop you receive a warning. 2) A public naming and shaming along with a fine for the second offense. 3) A 1-game suspension for the third strike. I would also suggest that if any player loves acting enough to risk a fourth strike, they should suffer a further suspension and be handed a pamphlet from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. The reason for the suspension, while a little harsh, is because it is the best way to get the message through to the players; you take away the thing they love doing most—playing basketball. It would be similar to the technical foul rule, where repeat offenders face a 1-game suspension. Players would not want to risk missing games when the reward for flopping is miniscule in comparison. Regardless of the league’s final decision, I think this is a positive move for the game going forward. There is no doubt flopping is frowned upon by most spectators and certainly goes against the spirit of the game. The last thing we want to see is an important match decided by a player taking a dive. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the issue of flopping. Are you against it or do you think it is an acceptable part of the game? Do you have a different idea on how to deal with the issue of flopping?