Women's Rules Changes "Significant"

Proposed changes to women’s basketball include quarters instead of halves, bonus free throws determined by quarter, no reset of the backcourt clock, and one less media stop per half.

The NCAA Women’s Basketball Rules Committee has submitted a number of proposals, the most noticeable change would be a switch to four 10 minute quarters. AState’s Brian Boyer discusses the changes.

The Committee’s proposals are not final and still require approval by the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel in early June.

Regarding the switch to four ten minute quarters, Boyer says, “Finishing periods effectively will be a determining factor in the outcome of a lot of games now. Previously you only had to deal with them twice (half and end of game) and now you'll face it four times. Taking the last shot, two for one situations, finishing plays defensively...all will be critical.”

The “bonus” and “double bonus” team foul situations will change. Team fouls will reset to zero at the start of each quarter (but carry over to overtime periods) and teams will receive two free throws on the fifth foul of a quarter, with the single bonus eliminated. Currently the bonus is reached at the seventh foul of the half making all defensive fouls a one-and-one shooting opportunity, and on the 10th foul of a half it is two shots.

In the final minute of a game, fans will notice that following a made basket, or a rebound or change of possession where a team does not try to advance the ball in back court, a timeout will result in the inbounds play being moved to front court.

Having four media timeouts per half will be replaced with one per quarter and the brief intermission between quarters. In games played under electronic media rules teams will have only four timeouts (one 60 seconds, three 30 seconds) and only two will carry to the second half. All remaining timeouts carry to overtime with one 30 second timeout added in each period. The coach determines when the 60 second timeout is used. Under current rules teams receive five timeouts (one 60 second four 30 second) and four can carry over to the second half.

“Late game situations will be even more interesting because of the opportunity to advance the ball to half court after a timeout during the last minute of the game and fewer timeouts late in the game,” Boyer said.

The ten second back court count will no longer reset when:
• The ball is deflected out of bounds by the defense.
• There is a held ball and the possession arrow favors the offensive team.
• A technical foul is called on the offensive team while the ball is in its backcourt.

Boyer expects the backcourt change to add drama. “Handling pressure in the backcourt will be critical. Not resetting the 10 second backcourt count when the ball goes out of bounds will put a lot of pressure on the offense.”

Bands may play or amplified music will be permitted in all dead ball situations instead of only timeouts and intermission.

Boyer is a fan of the change, “From an entertainment standpoint, allowing music during all dead ball situations will really help with the environment surrounding the game...this should make the "event" more exciting for the fans.”