NBA G League begins using Professor Ball State’s “Elam Ending” for overtime and winter showcase contests


After adding the “Elam Ending” to its annual All-Star Game, the National Basketball Association continues to expand its testing ground for an alternate scoring system created by and named after the Ball State University professor.
Dr Nick Elam.

The NBA began using the Elam Ending for all overtime contests in its G League, the association’s official minor league basketball organization. The G League will also use the Elam Ending for the fourth quarter of its annual NBA G League Winter Showcase in Las Vegas in December.

“The NBA G League has always had compelling human-interest stories built in – players hoping to prove themselves on the court and move up to the NBA level,” said Dr. Elam, assistant professor of Pedagogical direction at Ball State teachers college. “Now, with the adoption of the Elam Ending, the G League has a unique new human interest story built in –a concept and its creator hoping to prove themselves on the court and make it to the NBA level.

The Elam Ending was designed to eliminate the need for late game fouling and stalling, which can improve the overall quality and competitiveness of late game play. Its use was praised by players, league officials and pundits during its inaugural use during the 2020 NBA All-Star Game at the United Center in Chicago, in which Team LeBron defeated Team Giannis 157-155 thanks to a winning free throw. by Los Angeles Lakers forward/center Anthony Davis.

For use in NBA G League overtime competitions, the game clock will be turned off and teams must achieve a “final target score” to win. This score is established by adding seven points to the score at the end of regulation. At the NBA G League Winter Showcase, meanwhile, 25 points will be added to the leading team’s score at the end of the third quarter for the final target score at the end of regulation.

Dr. Elam began conceptualizing his alternative grading system when he was a student at the University of Dayton. It first gained attention in 2007 when Dr. Elam wrote his book, “Time’s Up For Basketball’s Game Clock”, which detailed various versions of what would eventually be known as the Elam Ending.

Dr. Elam spent the next 10 years pitching his hybrid duration format to various basketball stakeholders before The Basketball Tournament (TBT) management attempted the concept, implementing a version of the system in 2017.

Elam Ending’s success in the TBT led to its implementation in grassroots leagues and events across the United States and abroad, before being adopted by the NBA in 2020 for use. annual in its All-Star Game. It has since been used in the Canadian Elite Basketball League of the International Basketball Federation (FIBA). Since the implementation of the Elam Ending, each league has made the system a permanent feature.

Dr. Elam’s ultimate goal is for the NBA to adopt the Elam Ending in its regular season, in-season tournaments, and post-season contests.

“The NBA used the G League as a testing ground for new rules of the game – rules that positively impact the game were then implemented at the NBA level,” he said. “If the Elam Ending reaches NBA level, it would be considered one of the most groundbreaking rule changes in the history of the sport.”

Since seeing his scoring system adopted by the NBA and TBT, Dr. Elam has taken opportunities to share his research and insights at national and international conferences, including the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference and as a keynote speaker at the Midwest Sports Analytics meeting. . Honored by Centric with the Indiana Innovation Award in 2019, Dr. Elam was featured in Nick Greene’s book, “How To Watch Basketball Like A Genius”.

Dr. Elam also had the opportunity to share the personal side of Elam Ending’s story, delivering talks about his 15-year journey of perseverance, positivity and innovative thinking to audiences at universities, colleges and universities. K-12 schools and businesses.

Dr. Elam served as an administrator and math teacher at two Ohio schools before joining the faculty at Ball State in 2017. His research focuses on teacher evaluation systems and the intersection of athletics and instructional leadership.

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