New rule fouls game flow

New rule fouls game flow

By Tyler Dixon

How the NCAA rules change has affected the season so far

Rules change means more fouls, confusion

The college basketball season has been a bumpy road — not only for the top teams in the country, but for fans, players and coaches alike.

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Many changes were added to the rulebook for this season. Eddie Jackson, Coordinator of Men’s Basketball Officials, said the NCAA has 28 rule changes for men’s college basketball.

Most of the rules pertain to when officials could look at the monitor during a game and other details. Two of the bigger changes concerned how to defend a player with the ball and the block/charge call.

According to the NCAA website, there are four components to the rule on players defending a player with the basketball. All four of these infractions are fouls. Jackson said it is about freedom of movement for the ball handler.

1. Placing and keeping a hand/forearm on opponent.

2. Putting two hands on opponent.

3. Continually jabbing by placing hand or forearm on opponent.

4. Using an arm bar to impede the progress of the dribbler.

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Jackson said the block/charge rule was changed to deal with the airborne shooter. The NCAA website said when a player begins his upward motion to pass or shoot, the defender must be in legal guarding position.

“The reason we did this is we were so inconsistent on the block/charge play, this dribble drive play to the basket,” Jackson said. “Now, we’re going to give the officials a little bit more time to get this play right and be consistent with it.”

Jackson said these rules were put into place to change certain aspects of the game.

“All this started with trying to do something to number one, improve scoring, number two, try to get the physicality out of the game of basketball, make it more finesse,” Jackson said. “Teach your kids to play defense with their feet, not their hands, arms or bodies.”

Coach Barry Hinson said basketball is a physical game, so players need to be able to protect themselves.

This season, SIU and its opponents have commited 51 more fouls and 69 attempted more free throws than last season. Through nine games last season, there were a combined 323 fouls and 358 free throws attempted; Through nine games this season, there have been 374 fouls and 427 free throws attempted.

Jackson said players and coaches have to adjust to the new rule or players are going to foul out — but it is not only players and coaches that have to get used to these changes.

“I think fans have got to understand that these are rules, and the men out there that (are) refereeing this game, they’ve never done it this way but they’re being asked to do it this way,” Jackson said. “They’re doing exactly what they’re told.”

Jackson said he has more than 100 officials in the Missouri Valley Conference and those officials trained all summer and most of the fall. The officials were taught the new rules through clinics and different meetings, he said.

Hinson said the change in rules has caused some coaches to change their team’s playing style, and in the game against Missouri University of Science and Technology, the effects of the change were brought to light. Hinson said the Missouri S&T coach told his team to drive to the basket in the second half and get fouled.

“The second half showed me and I refuse to do it, the fans probably want us to beat them by 30 or 40 and all we had to do was just drive it and be fouled,” Hinson said. “I’m not going to play basketball like that, if I have to play like that, I’m getting out of coaching because that’s not basketball.”

Sophomore guard Jalen Pendleton said in a press conference after the loss to St. Louis University the new rule helps him because of his physicality in going to the basket.

“It helps me a lot, last year guys could bump me and the ref wouldn’t call it but now they touch me and I usually get to the free-throw line,” Pendleton said.

Hinson said in one game this season, one referee called a block and another called a charge on the same play.

“They both came up to me and said ‘We’re sorry coach, we just don’t know what to do,’” Hinson said.

Hinson said he has a problem with referees calling a game based on what is mandated and not by what is right and wrong.

“If it is a TV game, it will be called extremely tight because those guys are so worried that they’re going to be downgraded or they won’t be able to call in the tournament, they won’t be able to call in the Final Four,” Hinson said. “They’re holding these officials at ransom, they’re really threatening them. It is a modern-day blackmail in my opinion.”

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