Thursday, May 03, 2007

NCAA To Move Back Three-Point Line

By The Associated Press

College basketball players might want to start polishing up their long-range shooting.

The men's basketball rules committee approved a measure
Thursday that would move the 3-point line back one foot in 2008-09 —
from 19 feet, 9 inches to 20 feet, 9 inches. If approved by the playing
rules oversight committee on May 25, it would mark the first major
alteration to the 3-point shot since its inception in 1986-87.

The move comes after more than a decade of debate about
whether to move the line. The extended line has been used on an
experimental basis in some early-season tournaments and NCAA statistics
have not shown a dramatic change in shooting percentages from the
longer line. But the rules change had never previously had passed the
rules committee for regular-season and postseason games.

Chairman Larry Keating said the committee considered two
proposals. The other would have moved the line to 20 feet, 6 inches,
the same distance as international 3-pointers. Both are shorter than
the NBA line, which is 23 feet, 9 inches at the top of the key and 22
feet at its shortest point in the baseline corners.

"We made it a point to come up with a distance that was
correct for us and that didn't necessarily mimic the international
line," Keating said.

Women's rules committee chairwoman Ronda Seagraves said the
3-point line will remain unchanged in women's basketball, and Bruce
Howard, spokesman for the National Federation of State High School
Associations, said he's unaware of any discussion about moving it on
the prep level. High schools also use the 19-foot, 9-inch distance.

The new men's rule would be adopted by all three college divisions, and Keating expects the measure to pass in three weeks.

"It (the committee) has passed what we've done for the most
part unless there are financial or safety issues, so, yes, I think it
will be approved," he said.

The reason for delaying the change until November 2008 is money.

Keating said it was unfair to charge schools a surprise
expenditure when most of the budgets for next year have already been
approved. Still, Keating has been anticipating change for two decades.

"I like to say the day that it passed was the day we began
discussing moving it back," Keating said. "The basic percentages
haven't changed. I think it's safe to say you might see some reversal
on that (percentages) for men."

NCAA statistics show that 3-point percentages since 1992 have
hovered between 34.1 and 35.6 percent each year. Stats from the
experimental line showed shooting percentages between 34 and 35 percent.

Still, some coaches prefer no change.

"I come from the school of thought that if it's not broke,
don't fix it," Indiana's Kelvin Sampson said in a statement released by
the university. "I think the 3-point shooting percentages will stay the
same, there just won't be as many kids shooting 3s. Coaches will have
to be a little more judicious determining who can and can't make the

UCLA coach Ben Howland took issue with the decision not to use the international 3-point line.

Howland, who has taken the Bruins to the Final Four two
straight years, believes it will lead to more zone defenses and said he
expected UCLA players to make a smooth adjustment.

"I didn't think it was a bad change to move it to the
international line. I think the feeling was there were too many
3-pointers being shot," Howland said. "The 3-point shots I think have
been a great part of college basketball and professional basketball.
Hopefully this will work the way the rules committee is anticipating."

Keating said the primary reason for making a change was to
create more space between perimeter and post players. Ideally, that
would help the rules committee continue on its mission to spread the
floor and reduce physical play.

In another move, the committee approved a measure that would
change the way players line up on free throws. Rebounders would have to
move back one spot on the floor, following the same rules women's
basketball teams currently use.

But the committee rejected adding the arch underneath the
basket for charge-block calls, a line the NBA uses, in part because it
believed there would be too many lines on the court.

It also passed measures that would allow officials to use
replay monitors when trying to determine flagrant fouls and to assess
who started a fight. Next year's points of emphasis will include the
block-charge calls underneath the basket, enforcement of the coaches'
box and palming.

The women's rules committee passed a measure requiring
officials to use replay when a fight breaks out. Current rules allow
officials to use replay monitors, but do not make it mandatory.

The points of emphasis in the women's game next year will
focus on traveling, unsportsmanlike behavior and enforcement of the
legal guarding position. The committee also rewrote its rules on
technical fouls, which will now count toward individual and team fouls.



At May 30, 2007, 11:31:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This will give the players more range on their shooting and allow them to become more prep for the NBA 3 point line. Also now there will be less and less players who will be able to shoot from such a distance...


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