Basketball Rules Committees Keep Emphasis on Rough Play

May 21, 2001

The NCAA News

Eliminating rough play will continue to be the goal of the NCAA Men's Basketball Rules Committee during the 2001-02 season.

"The emphasis on eliminating rough play was most effective in the early part of last season but that emphasis did not continue throughout the season to the level that we would have liked," said Roy Williams, chair of the men's committee and men's coach at the University of Kansas, at the conclusion of the April 29-May 2 meeting.

But we knew this would be more than a one-year process. This year, we would like to aim for consistency from the beginning of the season to the end, with particular attention to inside play, where we thought last year's emphasis was least effectively called."

The men's committee and the Women's Basketball Rules Committee made changes to simplify technical foul penalties at their recent meetings. All such fouls, both direct and indirect, will be penalized with two free throws awarded to the offended team. The ball then will be returned to play at the point of interruption.

In the women's game only, an indirect technical foul for calling an excessive timeout will result in the additional penalty of loss of possession of the ball by the offending team. Last year, the committees categorized technical fouls as either indirect or direct with a penalty of one or two free throws, respectively.

"Both committees wanted to clean up the technical foul penalties to avoid confusion," said Amy Ruley, chair of the women's committee and women's coach at North Dakota State University. "The women's committee also wanted to eliminate the loophole that allowed for a team to benefit from calling an excessive timeout. I think both these changes will be an improvement for the game."

In another change for the women's game only, an additional player from the non-shooting team will be permitted on the lane during a free throw, giving that team four players on the lane, and the opposing team two players and the shooter. The two players from the non-shooting team who are positioned nearest the basket will line up above the block, thus eliminating the traditional first lane space. The men's rules regarding the free-throw lane remain the same as last season's.

Both committees voted to move the floating electronic-media timeout to the first team-called 30-second timeout in the second half. Last year, the first team-called 30-second timeout in an electronic-media game was extended to a full electronic-media timeout regardless of when it was called. The change will allow the electronic-media timeout to be preserved during televised doubleheaders when coverage of the first game overlaps that of the second. The length of the electronic-media timeout will continue to be determined by the electronic-media agreement.

Game, shot clocks

Last year, the men's and women's committees forwarded a recommendation to the respective division governance structures to require a game clock with a tenth-of-a-second readout, a red indicator light mounted behind the backboard to indicate the expiration of time on the game clock and a shot clock that is recessed and mounted on top of the backboard as described in the rules book. For Division I, the original required date for implementation was 2001-02. For Divisions II and III, the original implementation date was 2003-04.

Divisions I and II recently approved the recommendation, but Division III denied it. NCAA bylaws require that playing rules be common for all divisions, except for those regulations developed to address significant financial impact, as approved by the NCAA Executive Committee, which granted Division III an exception to the rule at its April meeting.

Because of the one-year delay in acquiring approval for the rule and because it will be a budget item for most schools, both the men's and women's committees deferred the Division I implementation date until 2002-03. The Division II implementation date remains as 2003-04. The new equipment is not required in Division III.

Non-compliance in Division I or II in the seasons listed will result in a notice from the appropriate basketball rules committee. Violations in subsequent seasons may include an indirect technical foul on the home team to start the game.

Experimental rules

For the third consecutive year, the women's committee will emphasize hand-checking and post play. The committee has seen improvement in both areas and believes continued emphasis can only continue progress at every level of play. Directives on post play will be expanded this year to include three-second lane violations. The committee believes that more emphasis on keeping players moving in the lane will limit rough play in the post.

A minor change that was made for the women's game addressed only the situations when a player is required by rule to be replaced, such as for disqualification, injury or bleeding, before administering multiple free throws. In those situations, all other substitutes who have legally reported also may enter the game.

The men's committee voted to use the following experimental rules in exempted men's contests that occur before January 1, 2002 (the women's committee did not impose any experimental rules for 2001-02):

  • The free-throw and three-second lane will be widened to match the NBA free-throw and three-second lane. Current NCAA rules regarding number of players permitted on the lane during free throws and positioning on the block shall remain in effect.

  • No free throws shall be awarded to the offended team for a foul committed by a member of a team in control of the ball. Instead, the offended team will be awarded possession of the ball at a designated spot and play shall be resumed. As under the current NCAA rule, the foul will count toward disqualification and team-foul total.

  • Jump balls will be held at the center circle for all situations in which the alternating-possession arrow was used. Any two players may jump, except for a held ball and when the ball is simultaneously caused to go out of bounds. In those cases, the two players ruled to have caused the dead ball shall jump.

    In committee composition matters, the men's committee will recommend to the Executive Committee that Art Hyland, supervisor of men's basketball officials for the Big East Conference, replace Williams, whose term as chair will expire September 1. Ruley's term does not expire until September 1, 2002.

    Other highlights

    Men's and Women's Basketball Rules Committees
    April 29-May 2/Indianapolis

    In addition to the rules changes described in the accompanying article, the NCAA Men's and Women's Basketball Rules Committees approved the following changes for the 2001-02 season:

  • Officials shall be permitted to go to an official court-side monitor to determine if a try for goal is a three- or two-shot attempt, regardless of whether the try is successful. This will enable an official to use the information gathered from viewing a replay, when necessary, to decide whether two or three free throws shall be awarded. Previously, officials could not check the monitor unless the try was successful.

  • Warning horns shall be sounded 15 seconds before the expiration of any timeout and 15 seconds before the expiration of the 30 seconds available to replace a disqualified player. Previously, the warning signal for 30- and 60-second timeouts was sounded 10 seconds before the expiration of the timeout and the 30 seconds available to replace a disqualified player.

  • Recommend that "any overhead backboard support structure that must be forward-braced because of space limitations, architectural or structural restraints" meet the following: A front, diagonal brace system must be located above a line extending upward and into the playing court at a maximum 45-degree angle from a point on a vertical line located a minimum of 6 inches behind the front side of the backboard at a minimum height of 4 feet 6 inches above the basket ring. This clarifies instructions to architects and builders.

  • An "X" or an NCAA logo shall be placed on the floor in front of the official scorer for ease of identification. As was previously recommended, such an X shall be composed of 2-inch wide lines and be 12 inches high.

  • Substitutes are required to report only his or her own team uniform number to the official scorer and not the number of the player whom he or she will replace before being permitted to enter at the next dead ball.

  • A note will be added to the rules book stating that for both the men's and women's Division I regional finals and Final Four, the length of halftime may be extended by five minutes.

  • After a successful goal when an intentional or flagrant personal foul is committed near the end line, the team not credited with the score shall be permitted to make the throw-in from any point outside the end line. Previously, the rule put the ball back in play at a designated spot. The change makes the rule consistent with the procedure used after a common foul that occurs before the bonus is in effect.

  • When players on opposing teams commit lane violations during the same free-throw situation, only the team of the first player who commits a lane violation shall be penalized. Previously, such situations were ruled a double violation and the ball was awarded at a designated spot by use of the alternating-possession arrow. A simultaneous lane violation will continue to be ruled a double violation.
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