Rules changes hit women's basketball for 2015-16

By Jacob Knabel on Oct. 14, 2015 in Women's Basketball

Rules changes hit women’s basketball for 2015-16

SEWARD, Neb. – A number of rules changes will impact all levels of collegiate women’s basketball, beginning this season. Most notably, games will now be broken down by quarters instead of halves. Such changes were instituted by the NCAA and adopted by the NAIA. Below is a rundown of the most pertinent rules changes for 2015-16. To view a more detailed breakdown, click HERE.

Women’s basketball rules changes:

  • Periods: Games will consist of four 10-minute quarters instead of two 20-minute halves.
  • Fouls: A team is awarded two free throws for each common foul beginning with the fifth team foul in a period. Previously, teams received a one-and-one bonus on the seventh foul of each half and a two-shot bonus on the 10th team foul. In the new four-quarter format, team fouls reset at the beginning of each quarter. However, a bonus situation achieved in the fourth quarter carries over to any overtime periods (still five minutes in length).
  • Timeouts – granted and charged: Teams receive two full timeouts (60 seconds) and three 30-second timeouts each game. However, if a team does not use a timeout in the first half, it loses one 30-second timeout. Teams are awarded an additional 30-second timeout for each overtime period. Prior to 2015-16, teams were allotted four full timeouts and two 30-second timeouts per game.
  • Timeouts – advancement of the ball: Coaches now have the option to advance the ball to the 28-foot mark in the front court on the same side of the floor as the scorer’s table following timeouts that occur in the final minute of the fourth quarter or overtime periods. The NBA and WNBA use similar rules.
  • Post defense: Defenders are now allowed to place a forearm or open hand with a bend in the elbow on an offensive post player with the ball whose back is to the basket.
  • 10-second backcourt exceptions: The 10-second backcourt violation was first implemented in collegiate women’s basketball in 2013-14. Beginning this season, a team will not receive a 10-second backcourt violation under the following circumstances:
    • When the ball is deflected out of bounds by the defense.
    • When there is a held ball and the possession arrow favors the offensive team.
    • When a technical foul is called on the offensive team while the ball is in the backcourt.

Olson believes these rules will have minimal impact on his team. However, he has been familiarizing his squad with the four-quarter configuration by separating scrimmages into quarters. In addition, he says that Concordia’s signature pressure defense will have to limit bonus fouls that now result in two shots on every trip to the free throw line.

“We actually haven’t talked about the changes,” Olson said. “I wrote an email informing them of the changes, but I’m not sure how big of a factor it’s going to be. The four quarters just mean you get the timeout at the 10-minute mark. It’s the same length of game. I think the fouls and the bonus is a little bit interesting because we are an aggressive team. We have to be a little bit careful that we don’t get into that early in a quarter, but we do get the benefit of fouls starting over each quarter. It is more high risk, high reward because you will be giving up two free throws as opposed to the one-and-one.”

Famed University of Connecticut women’s basketball coach Geno Auriemma provided public support for the adoption of the rules changes, saying they are a “great step forward for our game.” Auriemma applauded the rules in the way that they more closely match professional and international standards in an increasingly globalized sport.

Concordia senior forward Becky Mueller says the changes will take some getting used to

“In the summer and preseason I didn’t think about it much, but lately in practice we’ve been trying to implement some of those things,” Mueller said. “When we’re scrimmaging we’ll go four quarters and Coach has been calling some fouls in practice just to get us used to how tight they’re going to call it and getting us in the mindset that we only have five fouls before they shoot. It’s definitely different, but it will be fun playing in a scrimmage when we actually have the rules.”

Mueller and the Bulldogs are scheduled to officially open up their season on Nov. 6 when they take on Mayville State University (N.D.) as part of the two-day, 16th annual Cattle Classic hosted by Concordia.