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NCAA Basketball: Minor Rule Changes Coming For The 2017-2018 Season

Thankfully, it’s “less is more” when it comes to college basketball rule changes for the 2017-2018 campaign.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Second Round-Florida State vs Xavier Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

There won’t be any widening of the free throw lane or increasing the distance of three-point stripe, but in 2017-2018 (as with most off-seasons), some minor tweaks to the rules of college basketball will be coming. The NCAA men’s basketball rules committee proposed these minor rule changes listed below, which will still need to be voted on in June.

Via Mike DeCourcy of the Sporting News

— On a foul or other violation that occurs in the frontcourt inside the final 20 seconds of a shot-clock cycle, the reset will be to 20 seconds rather than 30. This is similar to a FIBA rule that assumes since there aren’t 10 seconds required to advance the ball, the offense shouldn’t need a full 30 seconds to pursue a shot. If the violation occurs before the 20-second mark, there will be no reset.

— The coaches’ box will grow by 10 feet, making it easier for coaches to communicate with players at the opposite end of the court (and more difficult for officials to call them for technical fouls for being out of the box).

— Allowing use of replay monitors in the final two minutes of regulation or of overtime to determine whether a secondary defender attempting to draw a charge has his feet inside or outside of the restricted area (the no-charge zone).

— Requiring offensive players who are screening have the inside of their feet set no wider than their shoulders.

In general, the rules won’t effect the regular flow of game-play on a nightly basis but do show the committee’s allowance of more types of instant replay to be used in the college game, as well as their openness to making small alterations. According to CBS Sports’ Matt Norlander, some other rules to be voted on include regulating any “legally touched” deflection to be at least 0.3 seconds long.

The worry for most college basketball fans heading into the off-season was that the NCAA men’s basketball rules committee would begin to push the game into a more NBA-driven direction, with an expanded free throw lane and a deeper three-point line. Additional potential rules that were rumored to be discussed included moving the game away from it’s two-halves format to four quarters (just as the women’s college game had previously done) and expanding upon the “10 minute rule” implemented in last year’s post-season NIT.

The “10 minute rule” which reset team fouls half-way through each half, pushed the free-throw bonus situations for both teams to just five fouls per each ten minutes. The alteration was widely met with more ridicule than admiration, being mostly viewed as a “rule for rules sake” and not a change that would actually help the game in any way. Those types of rules seem to be a point of concern for fans of the college game, specifically in the “one-and-done” era of college basketball, where all amendments to the game seem to be made with the NBA in mind.