Thursday, February 16, 2017

NCAA Rule Experiment, resetting team fouls at the 10 minute mark

Several major rule changes over the past few seasons have started as experiments in the NIT.  The restricted area under the basket, moving the 3 point line back, and the 30 second shot clock are all examples.  It was recently announced that the NCAA will experiment with resetting team fouls at the 10 minute mark of each half.  It will also do away with the one and one bonus; on the 5th foul you start getting 2 shots.

With scoring down and the game becoming more physical, a few years ago the officials were given a mandate to "clean it up" and open up more movement for the offense.  The result has been more fouls called and many games turning into an almost endless parade to the free throw line.  This will theoretically eliminate the problem of teams spending 12 or 13 minutes per half in the bonus.  As Alabama fans, I think we can ALL agree that anything that generally results in fewer free throws is a good thing!

I generally like this, although resetting without a stoppage in play seems a little counter-intuitive to me.  I would like to see the women's rule of playing four 10 minute periods adopted.  The game is played in quarters at every level except college.  The primary obstacle to implementing this, as is the case with most common sense ideas, is money.  It would complicate the media timeout situation.  As it stands now, there are 4 media timeouts per half, at the 16,12,8, and 4 marks.  In an ideal world, there would be media timeouts at the 5 minute marks of each quarter, plus the stoppage between quarters, but that would reduce the total to 3 per half and the networks would never go for that.  More likely would be adding breaks at the 7 and 4 marks of each quarter, but that increases the total stoppages to 5 per half with the break between quarters, and I'm certainly not for adding any more timeouts than we already have, so just resetting at the 10 minute mark may actually be the best solution.  I suspect we are eventually heading to a quarter system with 5 total breaks per half though.

The other experimental rule is resetting the shot clock to 20 seconds or however many remained on a defensive foul when the ball will be in bounded in the front court, as opposed to always resetting it to 30.  It's a way to speed up the game, but I think it will be largely inconsequential.

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