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Experimental rules approved for 2017 NIT

Team fouls to reset after 10 minutes in each half

The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel has approved experimental rules that will reset team fouls to zero at the end of 10-minute segments of each half in the upcoming 2017 NIT postseason tournament. 

The panel also approved experimental rules that will reset the shot clock to 20 seconds instead of 30 seconds at times when the ball is inbounded in the front court during games in the NIT.

In the experimental rule regarding resetting the team fouls, the one-and-one free throw bonus will not occur. Instead, teams will shoot two free throws in the following examples:

  • Each team is limited to a team total of four personal and technical fouls (excluding administrative technical fouls) during each 10-minute segment of each half.
  • The first 10-minute segment of each half will begin when the ball becomes live to begin the half and will end when the game clock reads 10:00. The second segment will begin when the game clock reads 9:59 and ends when the half ends.
  • When a team has reached the four-foul limitation, all subsequent personal and technical fouls (excluding administrative technical fouls) will be penalized by two free throw attempts.
  • Each team’s foul total will reset to zero when any 10-minute segment has ended.
  • The rules regarding penalties for fouls in the act of shooting, flagrant fouls or technical fouls will not be affected by this experimental rule and will always result in two free throws unless the rules specifically say otherwise.
  • In any overtime period, when a team has reached a total of three personal and technical fouls (excluding administrative technical fouls), all subsequent personal and technical fouls will be penalized by two free throw attempts.

The NCAA Men’s Basketball Rules Committee has heard discussion in the college basketball community about possibly changing games to four 10-minute quarters instead of two 20-minute halves. One of the main reasons for contemplating the possible change is to allow for the team fouls to be reset to zero at the end of each 10-minute quarter.

The committee believes resetting the team fouls to zero at the 9:59 mark of each half may have the same effect as resetting the team fouls to zero at the end of each quarter, while at the same time allowing for men’s college basketball to retain the unique format of two 20-minute halves.

In the other experimental rule, the shot clock will remain the same as when play was interrupted or reset to 20 seconds, whichever is greater, at any time any of the following occurs:

  • A personal foul by the defense, which results in no free throws, and the ball is inbounded in the front court.
  • Any technical foul assessed against the defense, and the ball is inbounded in the front court.
  • The game is stopped for a bleeding player or blood on a uniform and the ball is inbounded in the front court.

The NCAA Men’s Basketball Rules Committee wants to see if resetting the shot clock to 20 seconds when the offensive team is taking the ball out of bounds in the front court will increase the number of possessions for each team over the course of a full game, which may also increase scoring.

Experimenting with these rules changes during the 31 games played in the 2017 NIT will provide valuable information for the Men’s Basketball Rules Committee to review during its May 2017 meeting. The committee will allow other postseason tournaments to use the experimental rules as well if the tournaments agree to gather the appropriate data for review by the committee.