3-point line, shot clock highlight changes to men’s game in 2019-20

By Brian Hattab, Sports Editor
On June 11, 2019

The 3-point line and how the shot clock resets are among the major rule changes in men's basketball this season. ORACLE PHOTO/BRIAN HATTAB

Get ready for a slightly different looking court at the Yuengling Center in the fall.

That’s because the 3-point line will be moved back a few feet for men’s basketball, the NCAA announced last week.

Effective with the 2019-20 season, the 3-point line will be moved to the international distance of 22 feet, 1 ¾ inches, back from 20 feet, 9 inches.

The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel cited a desire to slow the trend of the 3-point shot becoming too prevalent in men’s basketball and a desire to make the lane more available for dribble/drive plays from the perimeter. Additionally, the panel cited a desire to require the defense to cover more of the court.

The international 3-point line distance was experimented with during the 2019 NIT. Teams averaged 23.1 3-point attempts during the tournament compared with 22.8 3-point attempts during the regular season, according to the NCAA. Additionally, the 3-point percentage in the NIT was 33% compared with 35.2% during the regular season.

While the new 3-point line will be consistent with FIBA international rules, it will still remain a different distance than in the NBA, where the 3-point line is 22 feet from the basket in the corners and 23.75 feet beyond the key.

The change will not affect women’s basketball, at least for the 2019-20 season. Even in men’s basketball, Divisions II and III will not adopt the new line until 2020-21 due to the potential financial impacts of placing a new line on the court.

Another major rule change the NCAA will implement for men’s basketball in the fall will be a change in how the shot clock is reset after a missed field goal.

Previously, after any shot that hit the rim was rebounded, the shot clock was reset to a full 30 seconds. Beginning with the 2019-20 season, if an offensive player rebounds a missed shot in the front court, the shot clock will only be reset to 20 seconds.

The primary reason cited for the change was pace of play. The committee decided a full 30 seconds is not necessary because the offensive team is already in the front court.

Like the 3-point line, this rule change was first experimented during the 2019 NIT. Unlike the 3-point line, this change will also be implemented in women's basketball for 2019-20.

Other implementations for NCAA men’s basketball in 2019-20 include the ability for a coach to call live-ball timeouts during the last two minutes of the second half and the last two minutes of any overtime. Prior to this rule change, coaches were not allowed to call any live-ball timeouts during a game.

During the last two minutes of the second half or the last two minutes of any overtime, instant replay can be used if a basket interference or goaltending call has been made.

Players will be assessed a technical foul should they use derogatory language about an opponent’s race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, gender, gender expression, gender identity, sexual orientation or disability.

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