New Rules in Play for Men's, Women's College Hoops
On June 10, the NCAA announced significant rule changes to both games. Going into effect for the 2015-16 season, these new rules, according to the NCAA, are believed will "enhance the flow of the game" and "improve the pace of play" among other things.
WOMEN'S BASKETBALL CHANGES
On the women's side, perhaps the most notable change is that the game will now be played in four 10-minute quarters.
"You go watch high school, and they're playing quarters," explained K-State women's basketball head coach Jeff Mittie. "All these players grow up playing quarters and we're continuing to have discussions on how to improve the game. People think there are too many stoppages, too many timeouts - every four minutes we have to huddle up and talk about stuff. So I think it will be neat to see how this plays out."
Though Mittie likes the switch to playing quarters, the change will take some getting used to.
"It will be a significant flow change. One of our mantras last year was taking the game 4-minutes at a time. Well, we'd be leaving a minute out each quarter if we did that now," he laughed. "So, we have to change our emphasis to five minutes at a time. It will be different."
Along with switching to quarters, the NCAA announced a rule that allows teams to advance the ball to the frontcourt following a timeout immediately after a rebound or made basket in the last 59.9 seconds of the fourth quarter and in any overtime periods. This change is to help add excitement and intensity to what would too often be long, drawn-out endings of collegiate women's basketball games.
Here is a look at a few more rule changes from the NCAA website:
• The 10-second backcourt rule, which was implemented during the 2013-14 season, will see a few changes. A team will not receive a new 10-second backcourt count when a throw-in results from: a ball deflected out of bounds by the defense, a held ball and the possession arrow favors the offensive team, a technical foul is called on the offensive team when the ball is in its backcourt.
• Defenders are now allowed to place a forearm or and open hand with a bend in the elbow on an offensive post player with the ball whose back is to the basket.
• Teams will now reach the bonus and shoot two free throws on the fifth team foul in each quarter. In the four-quarter format, team fouls reset to zero at the start of each quarter. However if a team reaches the bonus in the fourth quarter, that team would remain in the bonus during any additional overtime periods.
"Since I got into coaching, the college game has always been two 20-minute halves," said Mittie. "You never advance the ball and the bonus situation is much different with the five team fouls. These are pretty significant rule changes from a coaching perspective."
Along with the rule changes, there is an environment change to the women's game as well. Bands and amplified music may now be played during any dead-ball situation. Previously, rules allowed music to only be played during timeouts and half times.
"Younger fans want to be entertained constantly, so I think that that's part of that," added Mittie. "In the international game, music is a part of the whole thing - it's going 24/7, so this is somewhere in between. But, we have a great band, and I'm all for our band being able to be involved in the game as much as possible."
MEN'S BASKETBALL CHANGES
On the men's side, the game has seen numerous rule changes as well.
The men will be shifting from a 35-second shot clock to a 30-second shot clock next season. The last time the men's game saw a shot clock reduction was before the 1993-94 season when it went from 45 seconds to 35. Before making the rule change, the NCAA experimented with 30-second shot clocks at this year's National Invitational Tournament (NIT).
"I knew it was all coming, and I have mixed emotions," said K-State men's basketball coach Bruce Weber. "If you look at the NIT last year, they went to the 30-second clock and scoring only increased by one point per game. To me, that's not that much. To me, the big thing is getting kids in the gyms again and shooting... old school stuff. All we can do is control our own guys and worry about that. That will be key this summer.
"With the 30-second clock, obviously you have to push a little quicker, you don't want to have those shot clock plays every time," Weber continued. "You have to be a little more fluid on your offense, that helps and I think we have some pretty good athletes who can get the ball up the court and do some things."
In an effort to "improve the pace of play, better balance offense with defense and reduce the physicality in the sport," here are a few more rule changes from the NCAA:
• Teams will have one fewer team timeout (only three can carry over instead of four) in the second half.
• Coaches can not call a timeout when the ball is live.
• The media timeout procedure has been adjusted to allow a timeout called within 30 seconds of a break (at the 16:30 mark) or any time after the scheduled media timeout to become the media timeout.
• A total of only 10 seconds is allowed to advance the ball to the front court.
• The time allotted to replace a disqualified player has been reduced from 20 to 15 seconds.
• A rule has been put in place for officials to penalize players who fake fouls.
• Officials can now use the monitor to review a potential shot clock violation made on field goals throughout the entire game.
• Class B technical fouls are now one-shot technical fouls.
• The five-second closely guarded rule while dribbling the ball has been eliminated.
• The prohibition of dunking in pregame warmups and at halftime has been removed.
• The restricted-area arc has been expanded from three feet to four feet.
"The arc, hopefully cleans it up a little bit with pushing that arc out if you're worried about the danger of the kids," said Weber, "but at the same time, I think they thought it would open up the lane a little bit. I thought they'd extend the lane like the NBA or international, but they didn't do that yet. I think that will probably be coming around the corner."