3-Pointers Could Be From Longer Range In 2003-04

May 13, 2003

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - Existing basketball court markings haven't been moved since "I Like Ike" buttons were worn around the White House. But if recommendations made by the NCAA Men's and Women's Basketball Rules Committees are approved, that will change next season.

The Men's Basketball Rules Committee voted unanimously during an April 29-May 1 meeting in Indianapolis to recommend to the three division governing bodies that the three-point line be moved back to the international distance and that the international trapezoid free-throw/three-second lane be adopted, effective for the 2003-04 season.

The Women's Basketball Rules Committee recommended that the international three-point line be used in the women's game, effective in 2003-04, and that the trapezoid lane be used as an experimental rule in selected games during the season.

If accepted, the recommendations would represent the first major adjustments in existing court markings since the 1956-57 season, when the lane was widened from six feet to 12 feet for the men's game. The men's game added the three-point line in 1986-87; the women's game added the shot in 1987-88.

Art Hyland, chair of the men's committee and men's basketball officiating coordinator for the Big East Conference, said the men's committee felt the recommendations were necessary to keep up with the modern game.

"The present dimensions have not kept pace with the physical size, prowess and skill of the players," said Hyland, who has been men's committee chair for the past two years. "With more space created around the basket by both changes, there should be more opportunity for cutting through the lane and to the basket and more dribble penetration by outside players. This is consistent with our emphasis on cleaning up rough play over the past few years."

Women's committee Chair Lynn Hickey, director of athletics at the University of Texas, San Antonio, expressed the rationale for the women's recommendation.

"Our student-athletes have demonstrated increasingly strong shooting behind the arc," Hickey said. "Moving the line back nine inches will be a small adjustment for today's players.

"We will experiment with the trapezoid next season to determine if it could also have a positive effect on the women's game."

Hyland said that the new dimensions would help to continue the emphasis on reducing physical offensive and defensive play in the post, which began three years ago when then-University of Kansas and current University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, coach Roy Williams was chair of the men's committee.

"Under the present lane configuration, an offensive player who successfully posts up at the block will most likely score or get fouled; therefore, most coaches defend the low post by fronting or three-quartering the offensive player. This has led to rough play by both the offensive and defensive post players," Hyland said. "The committee concluded that under this new configuration, it would not be as important to front the offensive post player since he is farther from the basket. In addition, the offensive low-post player would become a more skillful player rather than relying on brute strength."

Hyland said that in forming the recommendations, committee members considered the experiments with these rules over the last three years and also extensive discussions with people involved with international basketball, such as NCAA Senior Vice-President and USA Basketball President Tom Jernstedt and C.M. Newton, past chair of both the men's rules committee and the Division I Men's Basketball Committee. Newton also served as chief executive officer of the 2002 World Basketball Championship. The committee also reviewed a letter co-written by Newton, former North Carolina coach Dean Smith and former Providence College coach and Big East Commissioner Dave Gavitt asking the committee to adopt the changes, which helped further validate the opinions garnered from the experiments.

Under the recommendations, the three-point line would be moved back about nine inches to a distance of 20 feet, 6 1/4 inches from the center of the basket to the outside edge of the line. The current distance is 19 feet, 9 inches. The exact metric distance for the international three-point line is 6.25 meters. The trapezoid lane widens the current lane at the end line by about 3 feet, 11 inches on either side. The new lane lines would run about from that point on each end line to the intersection of the current free-throw line and lane lines. At its widest point (at the end line) the trapezoid lane's width is 6.0 meters or 19 feet, 8 3/4 inches. The current rectangular lane is 12 feet wide.

The NCAA experimented with the trapezoid in the men's game during the 2000-01 season. A rectangular lane two feet wider on each side than the current lane was experimented with in 2001-02, and then during this past season, the international three-point line was added.

The men's game would continue to allow four opponents of the free-thrower and two teammates of the free-thrower to line up on the lane during free throws as under the current rules. The international block and other lane spaces also would be used. The three-point line and the lane lines would no longer have to be of contrasting colors since they would not intersect.

The recommendations will be considered by the Division I Championships/Competition Cabinet (June 24-26, Bonita Springs, Florida), the Division II Championships Committee (June 24-27, Savannah, Georgia) and the Division III Championships Committee (June 23-25, Indianapolis). Playing-rules changes also are subject to review by the division Management Councils, which will meet in July.

In another action, the committees voted to add the following sporting behavior statement to the rules book: "The primary goal of the rules is to maximize the safety and enjoyment of the student-athlete. Sporting behavior is a key part of that goal. Sporting behavior should be a core value in behavior of players and bench personnel, crowd control by game management and the officials' proper enforcement of the rules governing related actions."

Other highlights Men's and Women's Basketball Rules Committees April 29-May 1/Indianapolis

In addition to the rules changes explained in the accompanying article, the Men's and Women's Basketball Rules Committees made several other rules modifications, including the following. For a complete list of changes in men's and women's basketball for the 2003-04 season, go to NCAA Online (www.ncaa.org).

Rules changes for both men's and women's basketball

Rules 1-17.4, 1-18.3 -- The red light behind the backboard that signifies the end of a period, which is required for Division I schools, must be visible through the marked rectangle on the backboard. However, LED lights around the backboard are permissible to be used in lieu of these red lights. The rationale is that the location of the red light needs to be consistent for the officials' visibility, but the committees recognize that the visibility of the LED lights is superior to that of the red light and therefore may be used instead.

Rule 2-5.1.4 -- When an official timer's mistake occurs, it must be corrected by the official during the first dead ball after the game clock has been properly started or before the second live ball while the game clock is running and the ball is dead. Previously, there was no such limit.

Rule 2-5.1.4 (page 35) -- At or near the end of any period, officials will be permitted to consult a courtside television monitor, when such monitor is available, to assist in determining if the game clock or shot clock expired before the release of a shot. Previously, rules did not permit officials to consult a courtside television monitor under such circumstances at the end of the first period, nor did they permit consulting a monitor at any time to determine if a shot clock violation occurred. The rationale is to give officials more assistance in making the correct call in period-ending situations while continuing to limit the potential for interruption of game action by maintaining firm limits on television monitor consultation.

Rule 4-13.4.b -- There will be team control on a throw-in from out of bounds, but unlike other team-control situations, the throw-in team can cause the ball to go into the back court (that is, no violation) and the three-second lane violation count would not be in effect until the throw-in ended. The rationale is to simplify the rules governing the throw-in and the team-control foul, which was created for the 2002-03 season.

Rule 10-5.6 -- Removed "accepting a foul that should be charged to a teammate" from the list of direct technical fouls for unsporting player conduct because it is left over from the era when players were required to raise their arm to indicate to the scorer who fouled and is no longer pertinent.

Rule 10-17.4 -- Recommended that in the rare instance when a student-athlete with eligibility for the next season gets into a second fight of the season in the last game of that season, that student-athlete shall be suspended from the next three regular-season games of the next season. Rules changes for men's basketball

Rules 1-17, 2-8 -- Recommended that a timing mechanism that enables an official to start and stop the game clock automatically on the official's whistle be available for all Division I arenas.

Men's points of emphasis include (1) reducing rough play, (2) proper calling of the intentional foul, (3) illegal blocks (in block/charge situations) around the basket and (4) decorum of bench personnel. Rules changes for women's basketball

Rule 4-11.2 -- The distance that a player in control of the ball anywhere on the court while holding (not dribbling) the ball is closely guarded will be changed from six feet to three feet. Three feet is defensive pressure that merits a violation.

Rule 4-26.3, 4-26.7 -- The term "intentional technical foul" will be deleted. In a situation where contact is made during a dead ball, a direct technical foul can be called in lieu of the previously used term. Assuming the contact doesn't merit a flagrant foul, which an official could still call, a direct technical foul will result in two free throws and returning the ball to play at the point of interruption, instead of loss of possession.

Rule 4-26.4, 4-26.5 -- There will again be a distinction between a flagrant personal foul and a flagrant technical foul. The committee changed the name to just "flagrant" and left off "technical" and "personal" last year. To eliminate confusion as to which player will shoot the free throws in each situation, the committee will revert to calling them "flagrant technical" and "flagrant personal."

Rule 5-10.1.a -- Assistant coaches no longer will be able to call timeout while the ball is in play. This is the same as the current men's rule.

Women's points of emphasis include displacement, in terms of hand-checking, post play, screens, cutters and rebounding.



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