Litany of rule changes in place for upcoming men’s, women’s basketball seasons

By Dan Sostek / Sports Editor

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On Monday, the NCAA announced the implementation of significant rule changes in both men’s and women’s basketball. Highlighted below are some of the key developments, as well as the NCAA’s rationale for doing so.


30-second shot clock

WHAT: In a move that has been in the making for some time — the NCAA experimented with the use of a shorter shot clock in the 2015 National Invitation Tournament — the shot clock will now be reduced from 35 seconds to 30 seconds.

WHY: The NCAA wants to speed up the game, particularly the offensive tempo. While still a longer shot clock than the NBA’s 24 seconds, this change was made in hope of increasing offensive possessions and, in turn, boosting scoring.

Fewer second-half timeouts

WHAT: Teams will have one less timeout to use in the second half of games. Instead of the four timeouts that previously carried over if unused after a half of play, there will only be a maximum of three timeouts that carry over.

WHY: College basketball often faces the criticism that late in games, too many stoppages occur, turning what should be a riveting final minute of basketball into a choppy and commercial-filled block of gameplay. While this won’t completely alleviate that issue, it is a step in the right direction to create more fluid late-game scenarios.

Flopping on flagrant foul calls

WHAT: When referees go to the monitor to review a potential flagrant foul call, the officials now have the ability to penalize a player if they feel he intentionally tried to deceive the official into calling a foul.

WHY: Flopping is becoming an epidemic of sorts in all levels of basketball, and this motion will hopefully discourage players from baiting referees into blowing a whistle because of theatrics.


Four quarters

WHAT: Starting next season, women’s basketball will no longer play two, 20-minute halves, but instead four 10-minute quarters. The one-and-one bonus has been eliminated in favor of a two foul shot bonus, which will be reached on the fifth foul call of each quarter.

WHY: The NCAA believes that this will improve the flow of the game. The game will be more representative of the pro level, which also uses four quarters. The bonus rule change also slightly nullifies the advantage defenses get from fouling when their opponents are in the bonus.

Advancement of the basketball

WHAT: With under one minute left in the fourth quarter or any overtime period, a timeout called will advance the ball to the opposing frontcourt.

WHY: This rule, which professional leagues already use, was implemented to increase the frequency of exciting late-game scenarios. Rather than witnessing final second half-court heaves, this rule is now in place to give teams more chances at fielding competitive plays during crunch time.

More music

WHAT: Pep bands or public address system music will now be permitted to play during any dead-ball period in a game. Previously, music was only allowed during timeouts and intermission.

WHY: These changes were made in order to improve the overall fan experience at games. Schools are always looking for a way to drum up attendance numbers, and this change can only improve the in-game environment.

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