The NCAA men’s basketball rules committee announced a handful of recommended rules changes on Thursday afternoon that must be approved by the rules oversight panel on June 18 before becoming effective for the 2013-14 season. Here's a look at the four most significant proposed changes and their potential impact:
Proposed rule change: A defender will now receive a blocking foul if he moves into the path of an offensive player starting his upward motion with the ball in order to shoot or pass. The current rule calls for a defender to be in legal guarding position before the offensive player lifts off the floor.
Potential impact: This rule change won't reduce the number of questionable block-charge calls next season, but it should move the blurry line in favor of the offense. Couple that with the committee's recommendation that officials call more fouls when defenders hand check or use arm bars to impede movement, and it's clear there was a clear effort to boost scoring in college basketball. The average points scored by one team in Divison I last season was 67.5, lowest since the 1981-82 season.
Proposed rule change: No longer will an elbow above the shoulders be an automatic flagrant foul as has been the case the past couple years. Officials will now have the ability to use their judgment to determine if the elbow is worthy of a flagrant 2, a flagrant 1, a common foul or no foul out all. When the officials use the monitor to review a situation not called on the floor, the only options are flagrant 2, flagrant 1 or no foul.
Potential impact: This is a smart rule change in response to criticism over elbows that barely made any contact and were entirely unintentional being called as game-changing flagrant fouls. Referees will still be able to protect players and penalize vicious elbows that can hurt someone, but now they'll also be able to use some common sense when handing out penalties.
Proposed rule change: In the last two minutes of regulation and overtime, referees would have the ability to use the monitor to review shot clock violations and determine which team should be awarded the ball when it was deflected out of bounds. They'd also be able to use the monitor to determine who committed a foul when there is uncertainty after a call is made.
Potential impact: How you feel about this rule change probably depends on how strongly you feel about the final two minutes of college basketball games taking too long. I've always been more worried about the referees getting key calls right even if it comes at the expense of the flow of the game, but certainly this rule change would lead to even more stoppages late in close games.
WOMEN'S 10-SECOND RULE
Proposed rule change: The addition of a 10-second rule forcing teams to get the ball across the mid-court stripe as already exists in all other levels of basketball. In the past, women's teams could take as much time off the 30-second shot clock as they needed to get the ball across mid-court.
Potential impact: It's about time women's basketball implemented a rule that literally every other level of basketball throughout the world already has. The rule change would likely increase the pace of women's basketball and reward teams who play effective full-court pressure defense.