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Women’s Basketball Rules Committee wants cleaner post play, freedom of movement

Committee members are happy with how officials implemented last year’s rules changes and want to continue to improve players’ ability to move in the game

For the 2014-15 season, the NCAA Women’s Basketball Rules Committee wants officials to clean up post play and allow more freedom of movement by offensive players who do not have the ball.

The committee is pleased with the progress made last season on permitting freedom of movement for players with the ball, and it wants that to continue. Committee members, who met May 5-7 in Indianapolis, will communicate with conference administrators and conference coordinators of officials to ensure the message is received by on-court officials and coaches around the country.

In the past, one of the strengths touted about women’s basketball was how well players cut, passed and shot the basketball. In recent seasons the committee has expressed concern the game is becoming too physical in terms of players posting up in the lane and players being obstructed while making cuts.

Other points of emphasis the committee would like officials to continue to watch closely are:

  • contact on and by the dribbler
  • contact on the shooter
  • illegal screens
  • block/charge plays where officials must determine whether a play started inside or outside the lower-defensive box and overall legal guarding position
  • sportsmanship

Because this meeting occurred during a non-rules change year, the committee also identified possible rules changes for next year.

Those include a possible change to the 10-second backcourt rule in which the count would not reset after a timeout or if the defense deflects the ball out of bounds before the offensive team crosses the mid-court line. This change, which is now only at the discussion stage, would mean a team could have only one count of 10 to get the ball over the mid-court line, regardless of a new throw-in into the backcourt.

Additionally, the committee talked about relaxing the rules regarding when the band can play or when music over the public address system can begin. The committee discussed the possibility of allowing music after certain dead ball situations to enliven the atmosphere during games.

Music is now allowed in NCAA men’s and women’s basketball competition only during pre-game, halftime and timeouts.

In other action Michael Shafer, head women’s basketball coach at the University of Richmond, was elected chair for the 2014-15 academic year.