NCAA moves to open up college basketball
by Daniel Uthman, USA TODAY Sports
Coming off college basketball’s lowest-scoring season since 1952, the NCAA Men’s Basketball Rules Committee on Thursday made a series of recommendations meant to bring new balance to offense and defense.
After three days of meetings, the rules committee recommended changes to the block/charge call and to the regulation of hand and arm contact intended to allow more offensive freedom and movement. Rules regarding hand and arm contact are in place, but committee members had noticed that their enforcement had become lax in recent years, leading to a spike in physicality and a decline in foul calls and, ultimately, scoring.
“There’s been some growing criticism for the roughness that occurs during our game,” said Art Hyland, the committee’s secretary-rules editor. “I would say the major thing that came out of that meeting where there was agreement was that if we would call our rules as written, we would see immediate improvement in the game.”
The agreement didn’t just come from the rules committee. For the first time, its meetings also included representatives of the National Association of Basketball Coaches and the Division I Men’s Basketball Committee, something rules committee chair and St. Peter’s coach John Dunne called “a great idea.”
After extensive discussions, the rules committee made the following recommendations:
- Alter the block/charge rule so that defenders who move into the path of an offensive player once he has started upward movement to pass or shoot the ball will be called for a blocking foul.
- Strict enforcement of already existing rules on fouls related to: defensive players with a hand or forearm on an opponent; with two hands on an opponent; who continually jab by extending arms; or who uses an arm bar to impede an opponent.
“I think sometimes the rules committee is looking to figure out ways to get more balance between offense and defense,” Dunne said. “That doesn’t mean there needs to be a rules change, but to correctly enforce rules already written.”