5 Changes For Men's College Basketball
The college basketball season is in full swing. Conference play begins for most teams in about 3 weeks. Before you know it everyone will be talking about brackets and getting ready for the best postseason of any sport. Before we get there, though, here are a few rules that I would like to see changed, implemented, or stay the same (for next season.)
1. Four quarters instead of 2 halves
I would like to see the game go to four 10-minute quarters instead of two 20-minute halves. Men's college basketball is the only basketball game that plays with halves instead of quarters. The NBA, women's college basketball, high school basketball, and the international rules all use quarters. Going to 4 quarters would also cut down on the amount of free throws shot in the final minutes of each half. Right now, with 20-minute halves, a team starts shooting 1-and-1 free throws on every non-shooting foul after the opponent commits 7 team fouls (and 2 free throws after each non-shooting foul when the opponent commits 10 fouls.)Team fouls are reset after halftime. In a game that has a lot of fouls called, the end of each half sometimes seem to be just free throw shooting contests. Not very exciting for the fans to watch. Going to four 10-minute quarters, team fouls would be reset 3 times (at the end of each quarter) instead of just once (after halftime.) This means there would be less team fouls accumulated at the end of 2nd and 4th quarters, leading to less free throws, leading to more game action and a more exciting game to watch.
2. Move from a 30-second shot clock to a 24-second shot clock
The game moved from a 35-second shot clock to a 30-second shot clock just a couple of seasons ago. It did exactly what it was meant to do: It gave every team more possessions during a game which lead to more points being scored. Changing it again and taking it down to 24 seconds (like the NBA and the international game) would have 2 benefits: It would give more possessions to each team during a game leading to more scoring and also would better prepare the players who go onto play in the NBA or internationally after their college careers are over.
3. Head coaches being able to call timeouts whenever their team has the ball
Currently, head coaches can not call timeouts during live action. They can only call a timeout during dead ball situations. They can tell their players to call timeouts while in possession of the ball but cannot call the timeout themselves. Head coaches should be able to call timeouts during dead ball situations and also whenever their team has possession of the ball. It does not make sense that the head coach can't call a timeout during live play when in possession of the ball. The head coach is the ultimate leader of the team. If he or she wants to call a timeout, grant him or her the timeout!
4. Disqualifying a player after committing 6 fouls instead of 5.
There has been a little bit of talk of granting each player an extra foul before being disqualified. Currently, if you commit 5 fouls you are disqualified for the rest of the game. I get the reasoning behind giving each player an extra foul: the best players will be on the court more often. Sometimes a team's best player picks up 2 personal fouls early on in the game and has to sit on the bench for long periods of time. Giving a player 6 fouls instead of 5 will allow the player to be on the court even after committing a couple of early fouls. Fans tune in and go to games to watch the best players play. However, giving each player an extra foul will just lead to more fouls. Players will be more aggressive leading to more fouls. That, in turn, would lead to more stoppages in the game and more free throws being shot. 5 fouls is fine just the way it is.
5. Too many "moving screen" fouls being called
Over the last couple of years, a point of emphasis for the officials has been making sure the screener is perfectly still while setting the screen. While I agree that the screener should have to be still while setting the screen, far too often the player is whistled for a moving screen foul when he is simply turning to move on with the play. To be fair, the referees are calling this correctly based on the rules. However, the rule needs changed. The pick/screen and roll is one of the most used plays in basketball. The screener should be able to set the screen and turn simultaneously. This does not mean the screener can throw a hip or elbow at the defender when setting the screen but he should be able to naturally turn or move after screening.