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Proposal would extend 3-point line in men’s basketball

Tyler Herro (Vicky Graff Photo)

The NCAA Men’s Basketball Rules Committee on Friday proposed moving the 3-point line to the international basketball distance of 22 feet, 1¾ inches.

If the recommendation is approved by the Playing Rules Oversight Panel on June 5, the rule would be effective for the 2019-20 season in Division I. Due to the potential financial impact, the new 3-point line would go into effect for the 2020-21 season in Divisions II and III.

Committee members proposed the rules change after receiving positive feedback from the annual rules survey and from coaches whose teams competed in the 2018 and 2019 National Invitation Tournament, where the international 3-point distance was used on an experimental basis.

The committee cited the following rationale for extending the line:

  • Making the lane more available for dribble/drive plays from the perimeter.
  • Slowing the trend of the 3-point shot becoming too prevalent in men’s college basketball by making the shot a bit more challenging, while at the same time keeping the shot an integral part of the game.
  • Assisting in offensive spacing by requiring the defense to cover more of the court.

“After gathering information over the last two seasons, we feel it’s time to make the change,” said Tad Boyle, committee chair and coach at  Colorado. “Freedom of movement in the game remains important, and we feel this will open up the game. We believe this will remove some of the congestion on the way to the basket.”

Teams in the 2019 NIT averaged 23.1 field goal attempts in the tournament from behind the arc, compared with 22.8 3-point attempts in the 2018-19 regular season. The 3-point shooting percentage of teams in the 2019 NIT was 33%, compared with their regular season average of 35.2%.

When the line was moved before the 2008-09 season, the distance went from 19 feet, 9 inches to 20 feet, 9 inches. The percentage of 3-point shots made during that season compared with the previous season declined from 35.2% to 34.4%. The percentage of made 3-point field goals steadily increased back to 35.2% in Division I by the 2017-18 season.

Shot clock reset

The committee also recommended resetting the shot clock at 20 seconds after a field goal attempt hits the rim and the offensive team rebounds the ball in the front court.

The proposal was made to enhance the pace of the game. The committee decided a full 30-second shot clock is not needed because the offensive team is already in the front court after securing the rebound.

This was an experimental rule in the 2019 NIT, as well.

Other proposals

  • The committee recommended players be assessed a Flagrant 2 technical foul and ejected should they use derogatory language about an opponent’s race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation or disability.
  • The committee recommended allowing coaches to call live-ball timeouts in the last two-minutes of the second half and the last two minutes of any overtime periods. Currently, coaches aren’t allowed to call any live-ball timeouts during the game.
  • The committee recommended that during the last two minutes of the second half or the last two minutes of any overtime, instant replay review can be conducted if a basket interference or goaltending call has been made.


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  1. That would be a good thing for the game. It would focus more attention on the mid range and paint areas for a better game. They really should move it to the NBA range. If these OAD kids can’t score from that distance in their one year dress rehearsal, why would one think they would do so a year later? Too many teams are throwing up 40 three point shots a game and are not playing basketball…they’re just playing HORSE.

  2. Agree Catman on moving the 3pt shot back to the pro line. Also like:

    The committee recommended that during the last two minutes of the second half or the last two minutes of any overtime, instant replay review can be conducted if a basket interference or goaltending call has been made.

    Get it right!

    1. They also need to say that anytime a review is made, regardless of the reason, any other wrong call or missed call that is observed in the review can be corrected. The LSU basket interference wasn’t called, all they did was make sure it beat the clock. The new proposal doesn’t address that.

      They also need to put a 30 second time limit on reviews. Have all 3 refs view the replay together, show 2 different angles and grow a pair and make the right call regardless of how unpopular it may be with either team but don’t take 5 minutes to do it.

  3. Oh! One last thing not on the list: Do away with ‘time outs’ in overtime. Let the players decide the outcome and get the game over, without all the irritating commercials-getter done!

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