The NCAA Men’s Basketball Rules Committee on Wednesday recommended a restricted area arc three feet from the center of basket where a secondary defender cannot legally take a charge.
The restricted arc, which must be clearly marked and discernable in the lane, would take effect in the 2011-12 season in all three divisions if it is approved by the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel. That group, which considers all proposals from playing-rules committees, has a conference call on June 9. No rules proposals are final until the oversight panel approves them.
The idea of a restricted area arc has gathered momentum over the last few years and was thoroughly vetted at the rules committee meeting held Sunday through Wednesday in Indianapolis.
“We have been very deliberate with our research and consideration of this rule. We believe this is the natural progression from all the data and feedback we’ve received,” said Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey, who chairs the committee. “A high percentage of coaches and administrators favored a visual mark on the floor. Our committee was unanimous in voting this into the game.”
In 2009, the committee created an unmarked area directly under the basket where a secondary defender could not legally take a charge.
By proposing the arc, committee members hope to limit the number of collisions near the basket on charge/block plays. The committee considers the matter as a student-athlete safety issue.
Last season, the committee experimented with a restricted area arc two feet from the center of the basket during multi-team events and exhibition games. The experiment extended the previous year’s rules change that made it illegal for a secondary defender to take a charge underneath the basket.
“The data and feedback indicated that two feet wasn’t enough, but it helped remove some plays at the basket,” said Brey.
Some basketball stakeholders wanted visible markings to better define the area where a secondary defender can legally take a charge.
After seeing the arc painted on the court and reviewing data, the committee recommended a three-foot arc as being the suitable distance for the college game where the lane is 12-feet wide.
“The arc at this distance fits the dimensions of our court,” Brey said. “We feel this is a rule that can help offensive players get to the basket and limit physical play.”
In other action, the committee changed the nomenclature on fouls that are deemed more severe than a “common” foul.
The terms “Flagrant 1” and “Flagrant 2” will now be used in these situations. A Flagrant 1 foul takes the place of an intentional foul and the Flagrant 2 foul replaces the previous flagrant foul.
An example of a Flagrant 1 foul would be a player who swings an elbow and makes non-excessive contact with an opponent above the shoulders. The team whose player was struck would receive two free throws and possession of the ball.
Previously, this type of foul was called an intentional foul. The committee wanted to move away from the word “intentional,” because a player’s intent was never the point to the rule.
“We want to be clear on the language so no one is confused,” Brey said. “The reason we used intentional last year was to increase the penalty. It didn’t have anything to do with intent.”
An example of a Flagrant 2 foul would be a player who swings an elbow excessively and makes contact with an opponent above the shoulders. In this case, the player who threw the elbow would be ejected from the game, and the other team would receive two free throws and the ball.
Committee members had a lengthy discussion on a proposal that would have allowed head coaches to call timeouts only during dead ball periods.
One area of concern for coaches calling timeouts during live-ball situations was the loose-ball scrums that occur during games.
Examples shown during the meeting amplified the dilemma officials face in these scenarios. They have to discern if it is indeed the head coach requesting the timeout and make sure his team has possession of the ball when the timeout was called.
The concept wasn’t recommended by the committee, which felt head coaches should still be allowed to call timeouts during live-ball situations.
The committee requested that continued education be provided to officials to handle these scenarios.
• The committee is recommending that coaches can request a monitor review by officials at any time during a game. An example would be a team being credited for a two-point field goal, when the coach believes the shot was a three-point basket. If the replay shows that the coach was wrong, that team is charged a timeout. If the team has no more timeouts, the team is assessed a technical foul for taking too many timeouts.
• The committee also talked about the rare “double foul” and agreed that in such cases, the more egregious foul will be enforced. For example, Player A reaches in and commits a common foul against Player B. Player B responds with an elbow that is considered a Flagrant 1 or Flagrant 2 foul. If in the in bonus, both players will shoot free throws with the lane cleared, with Team A shooting last and receiving the ball. Previously, this scenario was considered as offsetting fouls.
• In another matter, the committee agreed that if a team is late returning to the court for play after a timeout, officials will formally warn the team. Any subsequent time that the team is late taking the court for play, the official will whistle for play regardless if the team that has received a formal warning is ready. No technical fouls will be assessed in these situations.
• In other committee business, members nominated St. Peter’s head coach John Dunne as the new chair of the group.