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Experimental 3-point line recommended for women’s basketball

The international line could be used in non-NCAA championship postseason tournaments

The NCAA Women’s Basketball Rules Committee approved an experimental rule to use the international 3-point line for postseason events, excluding the NCAA championships in each division.

Committee members, who met this week in Indianapolis, want to examine whether moving the line back to the distance of 22 feet, 1¾ inches will enhance the game. The current women’s 3-point arc sits at 20 feet, 9 inches.

“Our committee feels the game is in a really good place, and before making a change of this magnitude, we want to make sure we have data,” said Linda Cimino, committee chair and women’s basketball coach at St. Francis Brooklyn. “We discussed moving the line back to the international distance thoroughly. We haven’t seen a lot of support from the membership, and we’d like to experiment with this rule for the next two years.”

Last season in Division I, teams made an average of 6.05 3-point field goals and attempted 19.13 shots from beyond the arc per game. Both are all-time highs in Division I. Teams made 31.6% of their shots from 3-point range, which was a slight dip from the 31.9% in the 2017-18 season.

Division II and Division III teams also had all-time highs in 3-point field goals attempted and made last season. In Division II, teams made 6.14 3-point shots per game on 19.44 attempts. In Division III, the averages were 5.53 and 18.7, respectively. Division II players shot 31.6% from 3-point range, while Division III made 29.5% of their attempts.

Conduct

The committee proposed that if a player receives one technical foul and one unsportsmanlike foul in the same game, the player would be ejected. If the change is approved by the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel on June 5, the rule would become effective for the 2019-20 season.

Committee members also proposed changing a rule related to technical fouls. If approved, the team shooting two-shot technical foul free throws also would be awarded possession of the ball at the division line when play resumes.

Another proposal would allow referees to address any acts of misconduct, provided the official is already at the monitor to review for an unsportsmanlike or contact disqualifying foul.

Shot clock reset

The committee recommended resetting the shot clock to 20 seconds after a field-goal attempt hits the rim and the offensive team rebounds the ball in the front court.

The committee made the proposal in an effort to continue to enhance the pace of the game. It reasoned that a full 30-second shot clock is not needed since the offensive team is already in the front court after securing the rebound.

Also, committee members proposed that when the shot clock is below 20 seconds, it will reset to 20 seconds when a single personal foul is called or a violation, such as an intentionally kicked ball or if the ball is hit by a defensive player’s fist in their opponents’ front court, occurs. When the shot clock is at 20 seconds or above, it will not be reset in these situations.