A completed nomination form procured from the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame (hereafter BHOF) shall be submitted to the President and CEO of the BHOF by October 31. All nominees with completed nomination forms are added to the official ballot and presented to the appropriate Committee for review.
Candidates must meet the following requirements in order to be eligible for Enshrinement into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame:
Player: A player must be fully retired for three full seasons before being eligible for Enshrinement. He/she may then be considered for Enshrinement in the fourth year of retirement. Should a player come out of retirement for a short period of time, as defined by the BHOF, his/her case and eligibility for Enshrinement shall be reviewed on an individual basis.
Coach: A coach must be either fully retired for three full seasons or, if still an active coach, have coached as either a full-time assistant or head coach on the high school and/or college and/or professional level for a minimum of 25 years. Coaches are also required to be 60 years old in order to be eligible got the Hall of Fame. That person will then be considered for Enshrinement in the sixth year of retirement or 26th year of active coaching.
Referee: A referee must be fully retired for three full seasons or, if still an active referee, have been an active referee for a minimum of 25 years. That person will then be considered for Enshrinement in the sixth year of retirement or 26th year of refereeing.
Contributor: A person is eligible for Enshrinement as a contributor at any time for significant contributions to the game of basketball. What constitutes a "significant contribution" shall be determined by the BHOF, its Election Process Committee, and the Contributor Direct-Elect Committee.
There are two Screening Committees: North American and Women’s. These Committees review and select individual nominees (“Finalists) to be reviewed and voted upon for Enshrinement by the Honors Committee. The North American Committee consists of nine voting members; the Women’s Committee consists of seven voting members. In order to advance to the Honors Committee, a nominee must receive a minimum number of affirmative votes from the respective Screening Committee (North American: 7 of 9; Women’s: 5 of 7).
If a nominee receives zero affirmative votes for three consecutive years (0-27 or 0-21), that nominee’s candidacy is suspended for five years after which time he/she may again be reviewed by the appropriate Screening Committee. There is no limitation on the number of years a nominee may be considered for Enshrinement by a Screening Committee provided that the nominee receives at least one affirmative vote in any given three-year period.
The Screening Committees may put forth a maximum number of Finalists to the Honors Committee (North American: 10; Women’s: 4).
RESPONSIBILITY OF THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES
After the vote of the Screening Committees, the Finalists will first be reviewed by the BHOF Board of Trustees. At this time, should it be determined by the Board of Trustees that a Finalist has damaged the integrity of the game of basketball, he/she shall be deemed not worthy of Enshrinement and removed from consideration.
The purpose of the Honors Committee is to review carefully the selected Finalist’s basketball record before casting a vote in favor of or against Enshrining the Finalist in the BHOF. There are 24 voting members on each of the two Honors Committees (North American and Women’s). The Honors Committees consist of Hall of Famers, basketball executives and administrators, members of the media, and other experts in the game of basketball. A Finalist must garner a minimum of 18 votes from the respective Honors Committee to be Enshrined in the BHOF.
If the Honors Committee does not elect a Finalist for five consecutive years, the Finalist’s nomination will be suspended for five years.
Established in 2011, there are five distinct Direct-Elect Committees: the Contributors, the Early African-American Pioneers, the International Game, and the Veterans (35+ years since retirement) and the Women's Veterans. The Direct-Elect Committees are charged with carefully reviewing the nomination packet of each candidate and directly electing up to one Enshrinee for the Basketball Hall of Fame annually.