Players and others weigh in on college basketball rule changes


AnotherViewsquareThe NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel last week adopted new rule changes in both men’s and women’s basketball. Men’s basketball now will have a 30-second shot clock; a four-foot defensive “restricted arc” in the lane; and the five-second, closely guarded rule is eliminated. Players also now can dunk in pregame and halftime warmups.

However, the women’s college game saw more drastic changes, including changing from 20-minute halves to four, 10-minute quarters, and eliminating the one-and-one bonus. The bonus is now shooting two free throws after the fifth foul in each quarter and the team foul totals reset to zero at the start of each quarter, as is presently the case in the WNBA.

Breana Bacon
Breana Bacon

The 10-second backcourt count is not reset if the ball is deflected out of bounds by the defense, and post defenders can use “a forearm or an open hand with a bend in the elbow” when the offensive post player has the ball with their back to the basket. Teams also will be allowed to advance the ball to the frontcourt after a timeout is called after a made basket or defensive rebound in the final minute of the game and overtime.

Also, those dreaded “media timeouts” now will only occur at the first dead ball of each quarter at or below the five-minute mark of each quarter, and at the end of the first and third quarters. If a team calls a timeout before that time, it will be treated as the media timeout.

The NCAA Women’s Basketball Rules Committee, who recommended these changes, believe it “would add more excitement” to the game, and their recommendations were endorsed by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association Board.

“I like the thought of speeding up the game,” notes Fox Sports North Basketball Analyst Lea B. Olsen. “I think it’s a change in the right direction.”

Minnesota Lynx Assistant Coach Shelley Patterson says it will “make it closer to what these young ladies will see when and if they get out to the next level. I think it will be good for the game.”

Seattle Guard Renee Montgomery told the MSR that eliminating the media timeouts is very good. “It seems like a hundred of them,” she jokingly recalls.

Change is good, adds Lynx Guard Lindsay Whalen. Being now able to advance the ball in the final minute “adds a little more strategy” to the college game, she points out. “I think it will take some time for some people to understand it, [but] I like it.”

But Breana Bacon, an editor for Pulsefeedz, a college entertainment and news site, argues that the changes “reek of sexism” and questions whether they really will add to more excitement in a recent post. You can read her article at

Bacon, a University of Maryland junior broadcast journalism major, said last week in an MSR phone interview that especially the changes in fouls will make the women’s game “less physical.”

“That leaves me under the impression that they shouldn’t be as physical,” she said. “It seems to me that they are trying to feminize basketball… Basketball is not a ladylike sport. It’s not really fair to try and tailor it more feminine.”

Bacon said her position has met with mixed results: “I’ve talked to other people,” including her father, who’s a high school boys’ basketball coach, who don’t see a problem with the changes “but understood my point of view.”

“While I see that women’s basketball is not the most popular sport, and I understand that the NCAA wants to change the rules [to improve its popularity], is it hindering the equality [aspect]?” Bacon asked.


A conversation between the Only One and the individual perhaps influential for the new changes in women’s basketball can be found here: Big East commissioner Val Ackerman talks to the Only One


Charles Hallman welcomes reader responses to