NCAA… Getting it Right?
The NCAA will be implementing new rules for college basketball. While the sporting world awaits refbots, the rule changes will help the games and the officals. The womens’ game will now be featuring a 10-second backcourt rule, which is fairly self-explanatory. But there will be several changes to the mens’ game.
First, expanded instant replay to review calls. In the final two minutes of a game or overtime, the referees will be allowed to consult TV monitors on issues involving the expiration of the shot clock and deflections out-of-bounds. This is a nice compromise in allowing additional accuracy during the crucial times in games. An officiating error in the first 38 minutes is disappointing, but there is plenty of time to overcome it. In the last few minutes, it can be crucial to both the score and the psyche. So this is a nice compromise. Minor criticism–how about all of overtime???
Second, speaking of replay, when the refs go to the monitor to decide about an elbow above the body, the refs will now have discretion to call an ordinary foul or no foul at all. In prior seasons, the options were Flagrant 1 and Flagrant 2. Frankly, it is unclear why this minimal-discretion rule was implemented in the first place.
Third, regarding replay and 3-pointers, the refs will have to wait for the next media timeout to review line disputes. The exception will be during the final four minutes of a game or overtime–when it will be immediately reviewed. Minor criticism–why not do it up until the last media timeout and then do immediate reviews? 4 minutes is pretty arbitrary. And the next dead ball will be a media timeout anyway.
Fourth, officials can now use the monitor to determine which player committed a foul. In the past, such review was limited to determining the free-throw shooter.
Finally, in a non-replay rule change, there will be some reduction in the number of charging calls, given this change:
The defender is no longer able to slide into the offensive player’s path to the basket at the last moment and draw a charge. The defender has to be in position when the player on offense starts his upward motion with the ball. In addition, greater emphasis is being placed on calling fouls on defensive players who keep a hand or forearm on an opponent or use an arm bar to impede the progress of an opponent.
Coach K and Jay Bilas have long been advocating for some revisions to how the refs make these calls. The rule changes should help that. Minor criticism–can Syracuse fans appeal the Brandon Triche foul against Michigan? No.