Not wanting to be left behind by the men, the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel (PROP) for women's basketball announced rule changes for the upcoming season. Principal among them is the anticipated shift to four 10-minute quarters - a move that impacts not merely the general flow of the game but time outs, team fouls, and when teams reach the bonus. Let's take a look.
The 10-minute quarter
So, this is the big one, folks. College basketball was the last holdout but it is no more. Gone will be the 20-minute half. The NCAA game will now look more like the WNBA and FIBA. If those of you reading this can find your way to the Verizon Center sometime this summer to watch a Mystics game, you'll get a sense of what the new structure of the college game will look like.
But what about the fouls?
In the current format, no shot is taken on the first six non-shooting common fouls of a half. For fouls seven through nine, teams shoot a "bonus" commonly called one and one though I always thought of it as: if one, then one. Beginning with the 10th foul in a half, common fouls become two shot fouls or a double bonus. Say goodbye to this old chestnut, too.
The old if one, then one (one and one) is gone. Teams will reach the bonus and shoot two shots on the fifth foul of any quarter. Team fouls reset to zero at the beginning of each period unless the game goes into overtime. The fouls accumulated in the fourth quarter will carry over and, once a team reaches the bonus in either the fourth quarter or the overtime, the bonus will carry over into all extra periods.
Advancing the ball
Being the precise organization it it, the PROP also approved a rule allowing the offensive team to advance the ball to the frontcourt in the last 59.9 seconds of the fourth quarter and in any overtime periods if it calls an immediate timeout after a made basket. Teams also will be allowed to advance the ball to the frontcourt after a timeout when securing the ball from a rebound or a change of possession.
The committee was also quite precise regarding the location of the inbounds play. It will be made at the 28 foot mark on the side of the court where the official scorer's table is located.
The 10-second rule
No, this isn't related to the five second rule when dropping food but rather it applies to the 10 seconds a team has to advance the ball from the backcourt to the frontcourt. This 10 second count made its first appearance in the women's game in the 2013-14 season. The committee is proposing three exceptions when a team will not be subject to the 10 second count. They occur if:
• 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.
Post defense and music
One has no relation to the other but the explanations are so short that neither merits its own header. In post defense, defenders may now "place a forearm or an open hand with a bend in the elbow on an offensive post player with the ball whose back is to the basket."
With regard to music, either the band or amplified music can now play during any dead ball situation. Previously, this was limited to timeouts and halftime. The committee hopes this will "improve the overall fan experience."
I know hearing the pep band play the M-A-R-Y-L-A-N-D segment of the Victory Song during a five second dead ball will certainly enhance my game experience.
The committee has also tweaked its timeout proposals and will hold a discussion with the rules panel on June 24th. Rest assured, Testudo Times is fully aware of the importance of this decision to its readers and will stay on top of this critical element of the fan experience. We will have a full, comprehensive, and exhaustive report once the change is finalized.