INDIANAPOLIS-- Several new rule changes have been adopted for NCAA women's basketball this season.
The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel approved recommendations from the women's basketball national committee on several changes that take effect this season. The most significant change is the scrapping of two, 20-minute halves in favor of four 10-minute quarters. The 20-minute half had been in place since women's basketball was officially recognized as a varsity sport by the NCAA in 1981. The format change is hoped to increase the pace and flow of play throughout the game.
There will be a 75-second break between each quarter. Halftime will remain 15 minutes in length.
Free throw shooting around fouls has been modified in conjunction with the quarter change. Once a team has committed five fouls in a quarter, the opposing team will be awarded two free throws. This replaces the former rule of awarding "one-and-one" free throws, which has been scrapped entirely.
Team fouls will reset at the end of each quarter, with the exception of an overtime game. All fouls committed in the fourth quarter will roll over to the overtime period(s).
In the final minute of the fourth quarter or overtime, an inbounding team will now have the option to advance the ball to half court following a made basket and timeout. The new rule follows the format used by the NBA. This rule change has been adopted to increase excitement on the final possessions of close games. Teams will not have to advance the ball the entire length of the court after calling time out following a made basket by the opposing team.
There have also been several modifications to the 10-second backcourt violation rules. The 10-second count will now reset in the following scenarios: when a ball is deflected out of by the defense; a jump ball is called with the possession arrow favoring the offensive team; a technical foul is called on the offensive team while the ball is in the backcourt.
The final significant change affects timeout situations. In games not using media timeouts, teams will be awarded three 30-second and two full timeouts. In games using media timeouts, teams will be awarded three 30-second timeouts and one full timeout.
The Trine women's basketball team will face IPFW in an exhibition contest tomorrow at 11:30 a.m. The regular season tips off Sunday when the Thunder host Franklin at 2 p.m. in Hershey Hall.