College basketball fans will notice some major changes when they attend or watch games next season. The NCAA men's basketball rules committee adopted several of them Monday, and most of them are designed to help add more offense to the game.
The biggest change is a shortening of the shot clock from 35 seconds – which has been the norm for more than 20 years – to 30 seconds, according to The Sporting News.
That will be the most noticeable change for players, coaches and fans. But not everyone agrees it will have the desired effect.
Yahoo Sports notes that proponents claim the shorter shot clock should lead to more possessions in a game, which should result in more points. But it could also have a different effect.
"Opponents will question whether the change will achieve its goal of a more watchable sport since a shorter shot clock favors defenses and could result in a decrease in shooting percentages."
The NCAA notes that scoring in Division I men's basketball neared historic lows for the sport last season, at 67.6 points per game.
The committee is recommending other changes as well.
- The committee wants to cut the allotted number of timeouts from five per team to four, with only three permitted to be carried into the second half.
- When a team calls a timeout within 30 seconds of a media timeout – at 16, 12, 8 and 4 minutes – it will replace the media stoppage.
- The rules committee also asks officials to enforce rules against physical contact and to give the same verticality protection to offensive players as it does defenders.
- The 2016 NIT Tournament will feature an experimental rule change allowing players six personal fouls instead of five.
On the women's side, another major change is recommended. Instead of playing two 20-minute halves, the women's game will be played with four 10-minute quarters.