Bo Ryan plays by no one man's rules. He plays by his own! Mandatory Credit: Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

Which college basketball rule changes need to be implemented

Welcome to the obligatory offseason college basketball rule changes post. Every site does one, or at least some version, of this sort of thing. You know, where we discuss which newly proposed college basketball rule changes need to be implemented quicker than a hiccup.

Last offseason we saw the rules committee hurl some stricter guidelines as far as bumping offensive players, charges and impeding the path to the basket, be put into place. Rules that were meant to open the game up more, increase offense, and make the game more watchable. While they were (and still are) noble ideas, they were met with much criticism throughout the entire season.

In April, though, reports started to surface that more new rules were going to be reviewed this offseason. So let’s take a look at which ones are up for grabs, which of those should be implemented, and why they would be all kinds of swell for the evolution of college hoops.

Less Timeouts

This is fantastic. College basketball coaches micromanage the game enough as it is. Given the fact that they usually have nearly every timeout left at the end of the games only gives them more power and, unfortunately, makes the closing minutes of games last longer than the first 10 minutes of the first-half.

Reducing the number of timeouts would not only help speed up the game, but would also force the coaches to let players play more. Which is the reason you watch. Not to see the head coach of the Club State Pool Cleaners draw up a play that takes 30 seconds off the clock, to only then have a play drawn up for a mid-range jumper.

Shortening the Shot Clock

Well, yeah. This has been talked about for years. Still, somehow — magically, even — the shot clock is currently set at 35 seconds per offensive possession.

No other basketball league (NBA, Women’s CBB, FIBA regulated leagues) have such a lengthy shot clock. As with the timeouts, the 35 seconds only makes college basketball more of a coaches’ league. Which I am not entirely against, but it happens to indirectly make a slew of games unwatchable.

Namely, teams who stink or a coach who uses a system the implements a three-man-weave until there is 10 seconds left on the ticker.

I don’t think the clock needs to be set to 24, although, having it reduced to 30 seems like a pretty reasonable and rationale change.

Speed up the game, add more possessions, all of which makes the viewing experience more enjoyable.

Also, to debunk a myth, it wouldn’t lessen the quality of each possession. Most of the teams who use the entirety of the shot clock do so because they either stink or they just so happen to actually run their legitimate offensive set with 10-15 seconds left on the clock. By reducing the number by five seconds, it just means they have to adjust a tad bit.

No More Live-Ball Timeouts

A player is trapped? Coach or player calls a timeout. Again, unlike the NBA and FIBA, only in the realm of college basketball is this allowed to happen. All this does is punish a defense for playing good defense, while rewarding the offense for having the ability to scream timeout.

I don’t think this rule is desperately needed, but it would help keep offensive players more accountable and go a long way in rewarding teams who are defensive-minded.

Continuation Rule

I am so torn on this rule. The fact that the NBA lets players get fouled, then take (approximately) eleventy-billion steps and still count the basket, boggles my mind. However, if used to a lesser and less atrocious degree, I like it.

It goes hand-in-hand with the impeding the path to the basket rule. It will help prevent defenses from giving a ticky-tack foul as a player goes to the rim. As of right now, defenses use this maneuver as a last-ditch effort to keep a player from scoring an easy bucket after some lackluster defense.

Now, it shouldn’t be used the same way the NBA implements it, though. The rule is pretty subjective as it is, so a really strict guideline would need to be drawn up. Say, the continuation rule only works if the player is actually en-route to the basket and is a mere eight-feet or closer to the rim.


Those are all on-the-court college basketball rule changes. We aren’t even going to attempt to open the worm can that is off-the-court rule changes or rules out of the NCAA’s or college basketball’s control.

What rules would you guys like to see changed or added? Which ones would you like to see removed?

Let us know or something.


Tags: College Basketball Rule Changes NCAA

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