The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

NCAA approves 30-second shot clock for men’s basketball, moves to quarters in women’s basketball

(Associated Press)

College basketball, both men’s and women’s, will look a lot different next season after the NCAA passed a number of rules changes for both sports

In an effort to boost scoring, the NCAA cut the shot clock in the men’s game from 35 seconds to 30, the first time that’s changed since it went from 45 seconds to 35 for the 1993-94 season. The shorter shot clock was used on a trial basis during the postseason NIT, CBI and CIT tournaments last season, and stats analyst Ken Pomeroy found that those teams scored about 5.6 points per game more than their counterparts in the NCAA tournament.

The NCAA will enact a number of other measures to increase scoring and improve the speed of the men’s game next season:

— Teams will get three second-half timeouts instead of four next season, and any timeout called by a team within 30 seconds of a scheduled media timeout (at the 16-, 12-, 8- and 4-minute marks of a half) will be considered the scheduled break. This will eliminate the double play-stoppages that sometimes occur when a team calls timeout close to the scheduled media timeout.

— Coaches will no longer be allowed to call timeout during live-ball situations.

— Under most scenarios, teams will have 10 seconds total to get the ball over half court, even if there is a stoppage in play while a team is trying to work the ball past center court. Previously, the 10-second count would reset with a stoppage in play.

— Coaches will get 15 seconds to replace a fouled-out player instead of 20, with referees allowed to hand out technical fouls to teams that flaunt this rule.

— To reduce the number of collisions in the paint, the arc underneath the basket will be extended from three feet to four feet.

The women’s game will see a significant change, with the two 20-minute halves replaced by four 10-minute quarters.

“The four quarters, I don’t think there’s that big of a difference. From what I’ve looked at, it sort of gives the kids a little extra rest. … If it helps the game, we should do it,” Middle Tennessee Coach Rick Insell told the Tennessean.

This more to quarters is one of a number of other changes:

— Teams will now shoot two foul shots after committing a fifth foul in each quarter; previously, teams shot one-and-one on the seventh foul of a half and two shots on the 10th. If a team reaches the two-shot bonus in the fourth quarter, it will carry over to overtime.

— There will be one media timeout per quarter, at the first dead ball after the five-minute mark. But if a team calls timeout before the five-minute mark, it will count as the media timeout.

— If a team calls a timeout following a basket, a rebound or a change of possession in the final minute of the fourth quarter and all overtime periods, they will inbound the ball from the front court, with the thought it will increase the number of last-second shots.

— Defenders will be allowed to place a forearm or an open hand with a bend in the elbow on an offensive post player with the ball whose back is to the basket.

“I don’t really see that as a change,” Insell said. “That’s the way it’s being done now. I don’t think that move is going to help clean up the post. There’s been a point of emphasis that but I haven’t seen a change on that.

“We don’t teach that anyway. That’s not part of our offensive scheme and philosophy and I don’t think you’ll see that become a part of the game plan of the better programs across the country.”