May 09, 2013
The NCAA is looking to open up scoring with new rule changes.
They're trying to stop the slide of offensive production that's occurred in recent years. Per-game scoring has dipped in each of the last four years, with last year's average of 67.5 points per game the lowest in 31 years.
Two major rule changes would be to the block/charge call and hand-checking by defenders.
The proposed block/charge rule change states that "a defensive player is not permitted to move into the path of an offensive player once he has started his upward motion with the ball to attempt a field goal or pass," according to the NCAA website. "If the defensive player is not in legal guarding position by this time, it is a blocking foul. The current rule calls for a defender to be in legal guarding position before the offensive player lifts off the floor."
The potential change won't eliminate the controversy over the calls. It's still a blurry line and there will be plenty of whistles that go disputed.
But it tilts the call a little more toward the offensive player -- the officials should consider the start of his upward motion, not his actual jump -- and that's a good thing.
The committee also wants more strict enforcement on calls on physical defensive players, including the use of hands and forearms to impede the offensive player.
All proposed rules must be approved by the Playing Rules Oversight Panel, which next meets June 18.
John Calipari has been in favor of changing the rules to help the flow of the offense. Here's a sample from earlier this season on how college basketball could improve its scoring numbers:
Q. There’s a lot of talk now about physical play and scoring being down and what can be done about it. What can be done about it?
JOHN CALIPARI: Call the fouls. Call the fouls. Call them all. 60, 70, call them all. Call them on us.
Q. Is there a correlation between the physical play being allowed and the lower scores?
JOHN CALIPARI: Yeah, when you get body checked and you miss a one footer when your team misses 17 one footers, unless they totally stink, they probably got body checked. Well, we’re not calling that, his hands are up. It’s still a foul. It’s a foul. I keep saying you shouldn’t this shouldn’t be about who wins in the weight room, this is about movement and spacing and that kind of stuff. But it’s where it’s going, and it’ll take time to change. I mean, people have to get together and say if you put this on a guy, it’s a foul. If you hip check a guy in transition or it’s body to body in transition, it’s a foul.