basketball-men-d1 flag | February 6, 2015

Experimental rules to be implemented for NIT

Men’s basketball teams selected to play in the 2015 Postseason NIT will compete using experimental rules, including a 30-second shot clock and a four-foot restricted-area arc. The rules will be in effect for all 31 games of the tournament.

The shot clock in men’s basketball is now 35 seconds, where it has remained since the 1993-94 season, and the restricted-area arc extends three feet from the center of the basket.

The shot clock is being reduced by five seconds in the 32-team NIT field to see what effect it will have on pace of play and scoring. The restricted-area arc is being extended a foot to determine whether that change reduces the number of collisions under the basket.

The restricted-area arc became a men’s basketball rule in the 2011-12 season. A secondary defender cannot establish initial legal guarding position in the restricted area for the purpose of drawing a charge while defending a player who is in control of the ball -- either dribbling or shooting -- or who has released a pass or shot. When contact occurs within this restricted area under these circumstances, a blocking foul should be called unless the contact is a flagrant foul.

The NCAA Men’s Basketball Rules Committee, which meets May 13-15 in Indianapolis, will collect the information and compare it to data from the 31 games played in the 2013 Postseason NIT, when the block/charge guarding rules were the same as they will be for the 2015 event. Committee members hope to have some initial findings by the 2015 Men’s Final Four, which will be played April 4-6 in Indianapolis.

Coaches who participate in the NIT will be surveyed about how they prepared and practiced to compete using the experimental rules.

The committee will examine the data and discuss possible rules changes and identify ways to improve college basketball.

“The committee discussed both of these potential rule changes during its May 2014 meeting, knowing that the May 2015 meeting would be the committee’s next opportunity to make a change to either of these rules,” said Rick Byrd, head men’s basketball coach at Belmont and chair of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Rules Committee.

“Although the committee will discuss a number of potential rules changes at the meeting, having specific data on these two rules should help the committee make a decision about whether such potential rule changes might further improve the flow and competitiveness of college basketball,” Byrd said.

“The NIT has always been recognized as a pioneer event in postseason college basketball and at this key time in college basketball’s history and evolution, it is fitting that the NIT can help provide valuable analysis on the potential effect of these experimental rules changes,” said the NCAA’s Vice President of Men’s Basketball Championships Dan Gavitt. “We think this is an important initiative for the NIT to take a leadership role for the future benefit of our game.”

The NIT Committee is in full support of the utilization of experimental rules. The NIT field and bracket are announced on March 15 at 8:30 p.m. on ESPNU. The tournament will be broadcast in its entirety on ESPN networks culminating with the championship game at Madison Square Garden on April 2.

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