The block/charge rule is something that has irked many over the years, with fans, players and coaches alike voicing their displeasure with calls made by officials. The men’s basketball championship committee sought to provide some clarity last summer, with a secondary defender required to be set before the offensive player went into an upward motion in order to draw a charge.
But with that change came more confusion than clarity, and to be fair that will be the case regardless of what changes are made due to the fact that such calls depend upon the official’s viewpoint. Friday afternoon the NCAA announced that a defender will now have to be in “legal guarding position before the airborne player leaves the floor to pass or shoot.”
“This alteration will impact block/charge plays in an effort to make this play easier to coach and officiate,” said Rick Byrd, head coach at Belmont University and chair of the committee, which met jointly with the National Association of Basketball Coaches board of directors and the Division I Men’s Basketball Championship Committee. “In our discussions, the men’s basketball community, including coaches, officials and administrators, agreed that this rule needed adjustment.”
So would it be fair to argue that the NCAA will bring back the original rule, provided the measure is approved on June 25? That sure seems to be the case. But while this is the most notable proposed change it isn’t the only one, as the committee has proposed the expansion of the restricted area around the basket (where a charge cannot be drawn) from three to four feet.
Other proposed changes focus on areas such as when officials can go to the monitor for a shot clock review and television timeout procedures when a team timeout is taken with 30 seconds of the next media stoppage.