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NCAA Basketball

NCAA Changes Basketball Rules, Protects Players and Game

The NCAA released a press release Wednesday concerning the change of two of the most controversial rules in college basketball.

First, sticker decals will no longer be allowed on the court for any reason. Usually, a sticker would be placed on a court, commonly during neutral-court sites or non-conference tournaments, that would display the sponsor’s logo. The stickers were commonly used because it was easier to take them up or replace them if necessary.

Now, the NCAA has mandated that each basketball court be “of a consistent surface” and match the rest of the floor.

The decals provided a hazard to the players, causing some to slip and potentially hurt themselves. A slip during a play could also ruin a players chance of winning the game.

The now infamous occurrence of this took place last season during the West Coast Conference basketball tournament in Las Vegas. Here, many players slipped on the decals that were placed around the court, as they did not match the same materials that the court was made of.

The Carrier Classic also saw its share of slipping.

“They gotta get those things off (the court), man,” Tom Izzo of Michigan State told SI.com last November after Branden Dawson slipped during the Carrier Classic. “They’re just not safe. Let us wear the sponsor logos. I know we need the sponsors. I want ‘em. But it’s just too dangerous out there.”

The rule does not ban all decals, however. It simply states that decals used must be of the same or similar materials as the rest of the court. The court area has also been defined as a 3-foot area beyond the sidelines and a 6-foot area beyond the base lines.

If league or game officials determine the surface to be in noncompliance, they are authorized to suspend the game.

The other notable rule change comes in the form of the controversial block/charge rule.

Members of the NCAA rules committee said, “charge/block calls in some cases were not made correctly, sometimes giving the defense an advantage.”

In order to change this, the committee released the following guidelines when judging a block/charge call:

  • Before the offensive player (with the ball) becomes airborne, the defender must have two feet on the floor, be facing the opponent and be stationary to draw a charge. Otherwise, it should be a blocking foul.
  • Secondary defenders (help defenders) moving forward or to the side are also in violation and those should be blocking fouls.
  • Contact that is “through the chest” is not de facto proof of a charge. The rule in its entirety must be considered before determining a foul.
  • In some cases, it appears a defender is being rewarded solely for being outside the arc, without considering the other aspects of the rules.

The other issues discussed at the meeting involved sportsmanship rules, monitor reviews and the use of advanced technology, such as tablet computers, on the bench.

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