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October 30, 2009 at 5:05 PM

NCAA rule changes

You’ll notice a changes in how officials call the games this season. Some of the changes were long overdue, while others will have you scratching your head.
Here’s a couple of the new rules:
— The “under the basket” rule is the most controversial. We’ve touched on it earlier. Essentially the NCAA is adopting the NBA’s charge/blocking/player control rule in the painted area, however, the college courts won’t have the little arc beneath the rim to help the refs. The NCAA rules committee decided court markings were not needed, but changed its rule in reference to a secondary player establishing initial guarding position under the basket.
The rule says: “Under the basket” is defined as from the front and side of the ring to the front of the backboard. A player is considered under the basket when any part of either foot is in this area. In establishing position in any outnumbering fast break situation, a player may not establish initial legal guarding position under the basket since there is no primary defender. In both cases, when illegal contact occurs, such contact shall be called a blocking foul, unless the contact is intentional or flagrant.”
In addition to the rule change, the NCAA has told officials to “discourage a secondary defensive player from attaining initial guarding position under the basket with the sole purpose of drawing a charge rather than making a legitimate attempt to play the offensive player. … A secondary defender has been defined as a teammate who has helped a primary defender who has been beaten by an opponent because he failed to establish or maintain a guarding position.”
The “under the basket” rule will be a judgment call and open for wide interpretations that’s going to drive coaches, players and fans crazy.
It’s going to affect a defensive team like Washington because coach Lorenzo Romar preaches help defense and players like Venoy Overton and Justin Holiday have been very good in the past at taking charges. Conversely this will help guys like Isaiah Thomas, who can penetrate and get into the lane. After beating their man, they won’t have to worry about non-shot blockers sliding under them to draw a foul.


— When a player is injured and is unable to attempt his free throw attempt(s), the coach from the opposing team shall select one of the four remaining players on the playing court to attempt the free throw(s).
When the foul is intentional or flagrant and the injured player is unable to attempt the free throw(s), the injured player’s coach shall select any player or team member to attempt the free throw attempt(s).
Here’s a look at a couple of the rule changes:
— Officials will use the monitor to determine whether a flagrant foul occurred.
— Players can wear a headband or “head control device” that is beige.
And here’s a look at some of the points of emphasis:
— Officials will crackdown on excessive swinging elbows and start handing out flagrant fouls. Here’s what the NCAA decided: “When the arm and elbow, with the shoulder as a base (pivot) are swung with a speed that exceeds the rest of the body as it rotates on the hips or on the pivot foot, that action is considered to be excessive.”
If contact is made, refs will call a flagrant foul. Even if there’s no contact, it’s considered a violation. And here’s where it gets a little confusing. If a player swings his elbows and the action is not considered to be excessive, he could still be called for a foul if he draws contact.
Essentially the NCAA is saying don’t swing your elbows. If you do, it better not be excessive and you better not hit anybody.
— Players can no longer taunt, bait, gesture or delay the free throw shooter when he has the ball at the line. Refs will crackdown on players on the lane who raise their arms when the shooter is in his motion. Any infraction is considered unsportsmanlike, which will result in another free throw.
— Refs are going to closely monitor how opposing players interact on the court to curb taunting, baiting, ridiculing, finger pointing, trash talking or inappropriate gestures considered obscene, provoking and intimidating.
— Officials will also pay closer attention to the three-second violations. The NCAA believes this infraction hasn’t been called enough and it’s giving offenses an advantage.

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