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League clamps down on "flopping"

MIAMI (Reuters) - The National Basketball Association have introduced a new rule to combat 'flopping' after a perceived rise in the number of players simulating fouls to gain advantage.

The NBA's Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Stu Jackson said the new sanctions were designed to eradicate flopping from the sport.

"Flops have no place in our game - they either fool referees into calling undeserved fouls or fool fans into thinking the referees missed a foul call," Jackson said.

"Accordingly, both the Board of Governors and the competition committee felt strongly that any player who the league determines, following video review, to have committed a flop should - after a warning - be given an automatic penalty," he said in a statement.

According to the league, flopping will be defined as "any physical act that appears to have been intended to cause the referees to call a foul on another player."

"The primary factor in determining whether a player committed a flop is whether his physical reaction to contact with another player is inconsistent with what would reasonably be expected given the force or direction of the contact," said the statement.

However 'drawing' an offensive foul by moving to a given position will not count as flopping.

The league said they would introduce an incremental system Of penalties, starting with a warning for first offenders then a series of fines, beginning at $5,000 and rising to $30,000 for further violations.

(Reporting By Simon Evans; Editing by Julian Linden)

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