The move is also sometimes called acting, as in "acting like he was fouled". Because it is inherently designed to deceive the official, flopping is generally considered to be less than sportsman-like. Nonetheless, it is widely practiced and even perfected by many great professional players.
Flopping effectively is not easy to do, primarily because drawing contact can sometimes result in the opposite effect—a foul called on the defensive player—when too much contact is drawn or if the player has not positioned himself perfectly. Additionally, even if no foul is called on either player, by falling to the floor, the flopping defensive player will have taken himself out of position to provide any further defensive opposition on the play, thus potentially allowing the offense to score easily. To consistently draw offensive fouls on opponents takes good body control and a great deal of practice. Players generally become better at flopping as their careers progress.
The National Basketball Association (NBA) added a rule in 1997 to cut down on flopping near the basket, adding a 4-foot (1.22 meter) "dotted line area" around the center of the basket to help prevent flops. Such flops are charged as blocking fouls or no-calls.
Unlike the NBA, the penalty for "flopping" under FIBA rules is a technical foul. (FIBA rules state that would count as one of a player's five fouls (6 in a 48-minute game in some countries) towards being taken out of the game. In the NBA technical fouls for unsportsmanlike conduct count as one towards the two to ejection or seven to suspension.)
On May 28, 2008, the NBA announced that it would impose fines on players who show a clear case of flopping and suspensions for repeat offenders.