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Change to legal guarding position recommended for NCAA men’s basketball

Greg Johnson, NCAA, Press Release

The NCAA Men's Basketball Rules Committee this month proposed a rules change for the 2023-24 season to the legal guarding position on block/charge scenarios involving defenders around the basket.

Under the recommendation, a defender would have to be in position to draw a charge at the time an offensive player plants his foot to go airborne to attempt a field goal. If the defender arrives after the offensive player plants a foot to launch toward the basket, officials would be instructed to call a block when contact occurs between the two players.

A secondary defender still would have to be outside the restricted-area arc to legally draw a charge.

Currently, defenders must be in position to draw a charge before the offensive player goes airborne.

All rules proposals must be approved by the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel, which is scheduled to discuss men's basketball recommendations via a virtual call June 8.

Rules committee members made the proposal after receiving feedback from the membership that too many charges are being called on these types of plays. Through the years, block/charge calls have been among the toughest for officials to judge.

The rules committee thinks the change would give officials more time to officiate these plays.

"Our goal is to try to reduce the number of charges that are called," said Rick Barnes, the committee chair and coach at Tennessee. "We want to give more time to the offensive player to adjust to defensive player movement and reduce the hard collisions that are taking place."

Other rule proposals:

• An optional rule would allow for preloaded/live video to be transmitted to the bench area. This has been an experimental rule for the past two years.

• Officials would be able to review goaltending/basket interference calls during the next media timeout to ensure the calls were accurate, as long as the official calls it on the floor. If there is a foul on the shooter while the ball is in the air with a goaltend/basket interference, the review would be immediate to properly adjudicate the potential free throws.

• Nonstudent bench personnel would be allowed to serve as peacekeepers when an altercation occurs.

• Under two minutes, when a coach requests an out-of-bounds play be reviewed, that team would be charged a timeout if the original call is not overturned.

• Anytime the ball hits the rim and the offense retains possession in the front court, the shot clock would reset to 20 seconds.

• If a player is called for a foul and instant replay officials see that the foul is a direct result of a flagrant 1 or flagrant 2 foul against the player who was originally assessed a foul, officials would be allowed to remove the foul on the player who was flagrantly fouled.

• A timeout would be able to be granted when a player has possession of the ball even though the player is airborne. (An example would be a player grabbing a loose ball and calling timeout before landing out of bounds.)

• If a player commits three flagrant 1 fouls in a game, the player would be disqualified from the game.

• Players would be allowed to wear numbers 0-99.

• Schools would no longer have to submit a waiver for players to wear religious headwear, provided it is safe for competition.

• Red and amber lights would be allowed on the backboard.  

The rules committee also approved experimental rules for the 2023-24 season:

• To continue the experimental rule with the standard media timeout format in the second half (first dead ball under 17 minutes, 14, 11, eight and four) for any interested conference, as well as in the National Invitation Tournament.

• In the NIT, widening the lane to 16 feet.

Note: The experimental rules for the NIT must be approved by the NIT Board.