IRVING, Texas -- Women’s basketball stakeholders convened for a 2014 WCBO, LLC Rules Strategy Session at the Big 12 Conference office August 5-6 with a primary focus on ways to improve the collegiate game.
Attendees included representatives from the NCAA women’s basketball staff, NCAA Women’s Basketball Committee, NCAA Rules Committee, Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA), USA Basketball, Women’s Collegiate Basketball Officiating (WCBO, LLC) and the Conference Commissioners Association (CCA).
The group identified focal points that drove its discussion on playing rules changes that would appeal to fans and players, create more parity among programs, foster a positive public image and support USA Basketball’s efforts for a youth development program.Recommendations for experimental rules changes include widening the lane to 16-feet, increasing the 3-point shot line to 22-feet and utilizing four 10-minute quarters instead of two halves. Additionally, discussion included the merits of allowing bands or electronic music to be played during certain dead ball situations to enhance atmosphere during the game and encouraging all Division I programs to include names on the back of uniforms for easy fan and media identification.
The implementation of a National Women’s Basketball Media Day was also among the proposals. The format would bring together coaches, student-athletes, officials, administrators and media partners in one setting, or participants could be located in multiple sites and participate through video to promote the game.
The recommendations will be discussed by the WCBO Competition Committee with their formal recommendations to be considered by the WCBO Board of Directors in January, prior to the February 1, 2015 deadline for the submission of rules proposals to the Rules Committee. Feedback will be solicited from valued stakeholders, such as the NCAA Secretary Rules Editor, WBCA Playing Rules and Officiating Subcommittee, WCBO, MCBO, NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Committee, game officials, coordinators and student-athletes.
Nora Lynn Finch, chair of the WCBO Competition Committee, summed up the rules strategy session.
"Nationally recognized members of the collegiate women's basketball community looked at our game through the lens of fan appeal, image and parity, and it produced an understanding of how to invest the multiple and varied viewpoints of our coaches, officials and administrators into rules considerations. The passion for our game and determination to grow its popularity were echoed in every conversation."