Move the Three-Point Line Back?

Every year rule committees are always trying to find ways to improve the game of basketball. At the high school level there's been talk of moving the three-point line back. Last year the NCAA decided to do this and here's why what was good enough should have been allowed to stay good enough.

The current distance for high school basketball players to shoot a three-pointer is 19.9 feet. Last year the NCAA thought moving it back would add a challenge to the upcoming season. Little did they know that field goal percentages would drop drastically. I'm all for a 45 second shot clock in high school but that's another story.

Let's take a closer look at the numbers given to us by StatSheet.com. Here are the numbers overall in the NCAA from three-point land:

2003-04 (34.49%)

2004-05 (34.61%)

2005-06 (34.81%)

2006-07 (34.81%)

2007-08 (35.02%)

2008-09 (34.18%)* This year it was moved back to 20.9 feet.

Now let's take a closer look at the top five three-point shooters in the country last year and compare their numbers from the 2007-08 season:

Stephen Curry (Davidson) (07-08) 43.9% and (08-09) 38.7%

Robert Vaden (UAB) (07-08) 40.0% and (08-09) 34.6%

Garrison Carr (American) (07-08) 45.2% and (08-09) 38.9%

David Holston (Chicago State) (07-08) 40.4% and (08-09) 37.2%

Lester Hudson (Tennessee-Martin) (07-08) 38.8% and (08-09) 35.5%

Moving the line back obviously hurt the shooting percentages overall, which in return can hurt those who watch it, especially if players can't shoot or struggle to score.

The high school game is pure and should remain that way. Looking at these numbers, and seeing the fall off from some of the best shooters in the game, maybe it's best to leave it the way it is. With some athletes not strong enough as it is to shoot the three with consistency, this could make for an ugly game to watch. Stay tuned as we do more research on the high school game.


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