Rules committee proposes four quarters for women’s basketball

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The NCAA women’s basketball rules committee proposed a rule change on Friday, which would switch the game from two halves to four quarters.

“The rules committee is very excited about the change to the four-quarter format for the 2015-16 season,” Richmond head coach Michael Shafer, chair of the NCAA Women’s Basketball Rules Committee Michael Shafer said in a statement. “We believe this change, along with the associated changes to the timeout and foul rules, will address flow of the game and physicality. The overall format will strengthen the connection of college basketball with women’s basketball globally.”

The rule change will have to be approved by the Playing Rules Oversight Panel before becoming official. But if it does, it require other changes to the game:

  • Teams would reach the bonus to shoot two free throws on the fifth team foul in each quarter. In the current format, teams reach a one-and-one bonus on the seventh team foul of each half and reach the double bonus (two shots) on the tenth team foul.
  • In the proposed four-quarter format, team fouls would be 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 in any additional overtime periods.
  • Media timeouts in televised games would also be changed to one in each quarter. Media timeouts would occur at the first dead ball under the five-minute mark of each quarter and at the end of the first and third quarters. However, if a team calls timeout before the five-minute mark, that would be treated as the media timeout.

Our own Scott Phillips mentioned this as a change he would like seen in the men’s game. The men’s rules committee also announced its proposed changes on Friday. One of those rules is to reduce the physicality of play. With a greater focus on perimeter and post defense, college basketball will see more fouls called, which would lead to more time at the free throw line with seven team fouls putting the opposition in the bonus.

A shortened shot clock and fewer timeouts were also among the changes proposed by the men’s committee.