College basketball's major rule-making body agreed to adopt a change in how officials apply blocks or charges during games, according to an NCAA release this week.
The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel approved a change to the "airborne shooter rule," a regulation that was approved last year but only served to confound officials and players alike.
Now, defending players attempting to draw a charge are "required to be in legal guarding position" before the airborne player leaves the floor while passing or shooting. The defender is not allowed to move in any direction, other than vertically, before contact, or else it will be called a block.
Last year's rule
Under the rule change which went into affect last season, the defender only had to be in legal guarding position once the airborne player started the upward motion of shooting or passing.
Basically, the defender was given more time to slip under an airborne player.
The NCAA concluded that the new rule was more difficult for officials to call, after speaking with coaches, officials and coordinators.
Further experimental rules approved
Two experimental rules will be used in the 2014 preseason tournament. One introduces a change to shot-clock settings. It dictates that the shot clock will be reset to 25 seconds when a defensive foul occurs in the front court, with 24 seconds or less.
The NCAA states that the committee wants to find out if the rule will add possessions to the game and increase scoring, without penalizing the offense. The second rule adjust the distance of the restricted area under the paint, where defenders aren't allowed to stand if they want to draw a charge.
The new rule would move the restricted area from three feet to four feet, meaning defenders would be at a disadvantage to stop driving offensive opponents. The committee mentions that it wants to reduce the number of collisions made beneath the basket. However, it's a safe bet to say that they also wouldn't mind if it increased scoring as well, since dribblers would be able to drive into the paint with even more impunity. Two other experimental rules were approved for the 2015 postseason tournament. Once again, the rules were tailored to increase speed of play. The first approved a reduction of the shot clock from 35 seconds to 30, which would certainly increase overall scoring. The second allowed some timeouts to become a "media timeout" if it is made within 30 seconds of an already-scheduled media timeout.
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