FAYETTEVILLE – With each new season, fans are treated to new players, new uniforms and a new intro video for their favorite teams.
This year, they will also be treated to some new rules.
Last week the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel approved adding a visible three-foot restricted arc area below the basket helping officials with charging calls in the lane. This means a defender must establish position outside the arc to draw a charge. This is similar to the rule in the NBA and WNBA.
The arc on the floor was an experimental rule in the men’s game last year and is designed to limit collisions near the basket on charges and block plays for player safety reasons.
After the season-long review of the arc in the men’s game, The Women’s Basketball Rules Committee proposed and passed the change for the 2011-12 season in all three divisions.
The other significant change is that the women’s three-point line moves back to 20 feet, nine inches eliminating the need for two arcs on the court (one for the men and one for the women). The previous line was 19 feet, nine inches.
This change was made after the rules committee looked at data over several seasons including last year when selected institutions were asked to track the number of three-pointers taken and made from beyond the 20 feet, nine inch distance.
The data showed that teams were hitting about 33 percent (1046 of 3203 shots) from behind the new distance and that teams made 30 percent (546 of 1823 shots) in the gap between the previous mark and the proposed arc.
The rules committee also changed the wording on the definition of "flagrant fouls" and will now use "flagrant 1" and "flagrant 2" to define what was previously known as an intentional foul and a flagrant foul.
Additionally, women’s teams in all three divisions will test a 10-second half-court rule in scrimmages and exhibition games in 2011-12. Teams will track the number of turnovers, fouls, points and other data to determine the effect a 10-second rule would have on play. If this rule is past in the future, committee members anticipate a change to the shot clock length as well.
Two rule changes regarding when a coach can request a monitor review of fouls and a rule allowing officials to warn a team of a delay of game after the first horn of a timeout were also passed.