You are here

Panel holds preliminary discussion on future of rules

Playing Rules Oversight Panel considers impact of new DI governance structure

NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel chair Jon Steinbrecher (left) and NCAA managing director for championships and alliances Ron Prettyman discussed how the new Division I governance structure could affect playing rules.

The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel held a preliminary discussion regarding recent changes to the Division I governance system Wednesday at the NCAA Convention in San Antonio.

When the Division I governance structure changed last year, oversight committees for men’s basketball, women’s basketball and football were formed. That has led to conversations about what the roles of the oversight committees should be regarding approving rules for those three sports.

Currently, the Playing Rules Oversight Panel approves all proposed rules changes for all NCAA sports.

“An overriding issue is – do you go to federated sports rules?” said Jon Steinbrecher, the panel chair and commissioner of the Mid-American Conference. “Obviously, something like that would be a long way off, and no conclusions have been reached. It is an issue we need to start getting our hands around, and we need to think about what it would mean.”

Panel members talked about some of the potential consequences of federated rule books. For example, there are officials who work games in different divisions. That means officials would likely have to know the nuances of rule differences between divisions.

“What does it mean to the ability of those officials to do a really good job across the board,” Steinbrecher said. “There are a lot of ramifications, and you have to make sure you don’t make knee-jerk reactions.”

Examining the rules

The panel recommended that all rules committees vet their rule books to determine whether they have a penalty structure in place to handle appeal, protest and forfeit scenarios that could arise.

The group also reviewed the rules committees’ findings regarding how each handles fighting, ejections and suspensions. Additionally, all the rules committees are asked to review polices on non-compliant field and court markings and uniforms.

The goal of these reviews is to examine how consistent the rules are in this area from sport to sport.

“We recognize there are differences in sports cultures and what is appropriate for one may not be appropriate for another,” Steinbrecher said. “It is a matter where we could share best practices and put the best rules in place.”