Wednesday, May 4, 2011

New rules changes on tap for women's BB

Two good rules changes - in other words, two we agree with - appear on the way as the NCAA Women's Basketball Committee has recommended moving the 3-point line back to the men's distance of 20 feet, 9 inches and adopting a 10-second backcourt rule for exhibitions and closed scrimmages.

The committee also recommended adding a restricted area arc located three feet from the center of the basket in which a secondary defender cannot legally take a charge, something the NBA has had for years. All recommendations must be approved by the Playing Rules Oversight Panel, which is scheduled to meet via conference call June 9. 

The move to a deeper 3-point shot is based on hard data. During exhibitions and scrimmages last season, it was discovered that players actually shot a higher percentage from 20-9 than from the standard 19-9. In other words, the longer the shot, the less likely people with no business shooting from distance will jack one up. At leas that's what we hope it means.

As for the 10-second backcourt rule, we've been begging for that for years. Detractors are concerned that adopting this would lead to more turnovers, and Lord knows women's basketball doesn't need more of those. But we think the ability to extend the defense would speed up play and bring an exciting tactical element to the game, and most coaches we've talked to seem excited about the possibility.

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