DURHAM, N.C. – The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) announced on Monday that its Playing Rules Oversight Panel approved moving women’s basketball games to four 10-minute quarters beginning in the 2015-16 season.
The NCAA Women’s Basketball Rules Committee, which initially recommended the rule change, believes the four-quarter format will enhance the flow of the game.
The change also was endorsed by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Board of Directors.
“It’s always exciting to see the game developing and changing to make it better for the student-athletes and also better for the fans,” commented Duke Blue Devils head coach Joanne P. McCallie.
“Continuing to develop a quality product is so important. It also is great to grow our game closely with the international rules as well. We welcome these changes as we look forward to another great season for women’s basketball.”
Other changes to the rules include:
- Teams will now reach the bonus and shoot two free throws on the fifth team foul in each quarter. Previously, teams reached a one-and-one bonus on the seventh team foul of each half and reached the double bonus (two shots) on the 10th team foul.
- In the four-quarter format, team fouls reset to zero at the start of each quarter. However, if a team reaches the bonus in the fourth quarter, that team would remain in the bonus during any additional overtime periods.
- The panel also approved a rule that allows teams to advance the ball to the frontcourt following a timeout immediately after a made basket in the last 59.9 seconds of the fourth quarter and any overtime periods.
- Teams also will be allowed to advance the ball to the frontcourt after securing the ball from a rebound or a change of possession. In these scenarios, the ball would be inbounded at the 28-foot mark on the side of the court where the scorer’s table is located. The committee made the initial recommendation because it felt this change would add more excitement to offensive possessions at the ends of games because teams would no longer be required to travel the length of the court after inbounding the ball.
- NCAA women’s basketball implemented the 10-second backcourt rule during the 2013-14 season. For the upcoming season, a team will not be subject to the 10-second backcourt count when a throw-in results from the following: The ball is deflected out of bounds by the defense, there is a held ball, and the possession arrow favors the offensive team and a technical foul is called on the offensive team while the ball is in its backcourt.
- The panel approved a new rule that allows defenders to place a forearm or an open hand with a bend in the elbow on an offensive post player with the ball whose back is to the basket.
- In an effort to improve the overall fan experience, bands or amplified music may be played during any dead-ball situation during a women’s basketball game. Previously, rules allowed music to be played only during timeouts and intermission.