Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Rule Changes

The NCAA approved a myriad of rule changes for the upcoming season.  I can not recall a season with as many significant rule changes.  These are probably the most significant changes to the college game since the 3 point line.  As many of you know I officiate high school basketball, so I keep up with these things fairly closely, as often times rule adjustments and points of emphasis eventually filter down.  Anyway, here's what is new for 2015-2016

-30 Second Shot Clock-  This is long overdue and should improve the pace of the game.  It's my understanding that Coach Johnson intends to practice with a 24 second shot clock anyway, so this should only help us.

-Only 3 timeouts to carry over to second half: I'm not crazy about this one, as I think it will just encourage coaches to needlessly use another timeout in the first half.  You still get 5 per game, so now instead of one "use it or lose it" timeout in the first half, you have two.

-Any timeout within 30 seconds of a scheduled media timeout will be used as that media timeout.  Good.  Nothing worse than the media timeout, 20 seconds of play, then another timeout, etc.

-"No Charge Arc" under basket extended to 4 feet from 3:  I have mixed feelings about this.  I think the arc is a good thing.  Initially, officials were missing some calls because they were focusing too much on it and neglecting to ensure that the defender had established position, but I think that is improving.  They experimented with this in some tournaments last year and found that it decreases collisions, which makes sense.  I just wish the "no charge under the basket" rule would work its way down to the high school level.

-Coaches may not call timeout during live ball situations.  From an officials standpoint, I like this.  It's difficult to watch the players and also listen/watch the coach during a live ball situation late in the game.  I'm pretty sure I called a timeout for Coach Grant from my seat in the second row against Vandy a couple of years ago.  This eliminates the possibility of that happening.  Now, the coach must get the attention of one of his players, who will call the timeout.

-Only 10 seconds total allowed to advance the ball to the front court- This rule isn't getting talked about much, but it is huge.  In the past, the 10 second back court count would reset on every dead ball.  Now, a team can no longer call a timeout to avoid a 10 second violation.  This should really help teams with a good press, but it seems counter-productive to the committees stated goal of increasing scoring.  I will note that this rule was announced with the qualifier of "with a few exceptions."  I've searched all over, and have not been able to find those exceptions.  Generally speaking, I think this will work well at the college level where officials can use the shot clock as the official count rather than having to count manually.

-Reducing amount of time to replace disqualified player from 20 seconds to 15.  I like this.  I've never understood the point of giving a team a free timeout when somebody fouls out.

-"During use of video review to determine if a flagrant foul occurred, officials may penalize a player who fakes a foul."  I'm all for using replay to get things right, and anything to cut down on the flopping is a good thing, but I would like more details on how exactly the player will be penalized?  Will it be a technical, charged with a personal foul?

-Officials may use replay to review possible shot clock violations on made shots throughout entire game.  I like this, but I hope it is administered like the 3 point line reviews, in that they will wait until the next dead ball, rather than disrupting the flow of the game.

-Class B Technical fouls (Hanging on the rim, delay of game, etc) Are now only one shot technical fouls.  It makes things more complicated for the officials, but I don't feel too strongly about this one either way.

-No more 5 second closely guarded rule while dribbling the ball.  This is another significant change that isn't being talked about much, and I hate it.  Sure, you rarely saw it called, but I'm afraid you are going to see a lot more point guards dribbling the ball around the perimeter.  It will also make it easier for teams to run down the clock late in the game.  This rule seems counter-productive to getting good ball movement and improving the pace of play.

-Dunking in pregame warmups and at halftime is now allowed.  I don't mind this at the college level, but I hope it never filters down to high school.

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