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Basketball Game Changers

If you have been to a college basketball game this year, you have probably noticed a few changes. And not just at MVNU, but any NAIA or NCAA basketball game.

Perhaps the most obvious change to an outsider is the women’s transition from halves to quarters. Instead of two 20 minute halves, the women now play four 10 minute quarters. The panel hopes that this will both add to the excitement of the game and create unity between all levels of play from high school to professional.

Women’s coach Amanda Learned said that she enjoys playing in quarters and foresees the men switching to quarters soon as well.

Another big change for women’s basketball is the foul change. In previous years, a team would be allotted per half seven fouls before shooting 1-and-1 and 10 fouls before reaching a double bonus. This year the double bonus is reached after five fouls, and the fouls reset after each quarter.

The goal is to speed up the game, but “there are more girls on the line, so it actually slows the game a lot,” Learned said.

The panel also approved a decrease in the number of timeouts each team can use. Coaches now have to work with three timeouts in the second half instead of four, and there is one less full timeout.

“Overall we haven’t really had any issues,” Learned said in regards to her team’s adjustment.

The men’s basketball team has had to learn to adjust to changes as well. A few of the major changes include the shot clock moving from 35 seconds to 30 and that coaches are no longer able to call a timeout during a live ball.

“This is in hopes to increase overall possessions and pace of play,” said Jared Ronai, head coach of the men’s team. “It was a learning curve for not only myself but also our players.”

Some other minor rule changes occurred down at the post. The NCAA officials committee is trying to reduce the physicality in the box.

A defender is now allowed to use a forearm in the back before and after the catch to establish defensive position. The goal is to increase offensive play.

“You will see much offensive displacement and illegal screens being called this year on the offense,” Ronai said.

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