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Greg Johnson | | May 18, 2016

College basketball: Timeouts change recommended by rules committee

The NCAA Men’s Basketball Rules Committee on Friday recommended a proposal to allow head coaches to call timeouts while that coach’s team is in the process of inbounding the ball, starting in the 2016-17 season.

Before becoming final, all rules changes must be approved by the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel, which is scheduled to discuss the basketball proposal via conference call June 15.

A rule prohibiting coaches from calling a timeout in live-ball situations went into effect last season, allowing officials to grant only timeouts that were called by players. That rule left coaches unable to call timeouts once the referee began the five-count for the player inbounding the ball to a teammate.

Committee members, who met last week in Indianapolis, discussed the rationale behind last year’s rules change and said it was intended to allow only players to call timeouts while the ball was in play between the lines, especially during scrambles on the floor for a loose ball.

This new proposal would tweak  last year’s rule and allow a coach to ask for a timeout if, for example, a player has trouble inbounding the ball and is close to committing a five-second violation.

Restricted-area arc interpretation

The committee made an adjustment to an interpretation of the restricted-area rule when it involves secondary defenders who are airborne.

The committee is clarifying that a secondary defender in the restricted area will be allowed to jump straight up to block a shot.

In this specific case, the restricted-area rule is not in effect, and the play should be officiated as any other basketball play.

Secondary defenders who remain on the ground will still be called for blocking fouls if they are inside the restricted area and make contact with an offensive player driving to the basket.

“This revised interpretation will ensure that defensive players will be able to block shots and defend the rim when they leave floor from the restricted area as long as they adhere to the verticality rules,” said committee chair Keith Dambrot, men’s basketball coach at the University of Akron.

Post play

Committee members are still concerned about physical post play in men’s basketball.

The committee issued a directive to NCAA National Coordinator of Officials J.D. Collins to instruct officials to call fouls on defensive players who clutch and grab to get position and on offensive players who ward off defenders with a straight arm.

Committee members would also like to see officials watch the physical play that takes place in the lane on free-throw attempts and to officiate sportsmanship issues between players more closely.


The committee also discussed how new technology might impact the game in the future. Members of both the Women’s and Men’s Basketball Rules Committees will form a joint subcommittee to study technology that could be used in basketball. The subcommittee will look at technologies that could benefit the health and well-being of the players, video reviews and coaching strategy.




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