Big-12 Unveils Twenty-Six New Rule Changes

Big-12 Rule Changes

Curtis Shaw, the Big-12 Coordinator of Men’s Basketball Officials, unveiled 26 new rule changes on Tuesday at Media Day, with only 12 of them having an impact on the game itself.

“I want to spend a few minutes to update you on what’s going on with the Rules Committee, the men’s oversight and the men’s rules committee dictates college basketball and how they want the game to look and they do the rules accordingly,” said Shaw. “This year we have 26 new rules, so it’s been a busy cycle for them. Truly about 12 matter to the game, a lot of it is administrative stuff.”

The new rule changes involve loose ball fouls, a new restricted area, and a new emphasis on traveling. Shaw broke down the new loose ball rule:

“There has been confusion in the past when the defense knocked the ball away, it hit the offensive player and it would go in the backcourt and the offensive player couldn’t be the first one to pick it up and that didn’t seem correct to the Rules Committee,” said Shaw. That’s now a loose ball foul. Once the defense causes a deflection there is no team control so. No matter who it touches in the backcourt anybody can pick it up.”

“The same loose ball designation goes in on a play where team A has control of the basketball, team B would knock it away and as the two went after it, team A would foul the guy who knocked it away. Under the old rule that was team control to team A, so team B wouldn’t get any free throws if they were merited. The Rules Committee felt like the defense made a good play but wasn’t getting rewarded appropriately. So we came up with a loose ball definition when any defensive player deflects the ball away it’s now loose, there is not team control. That will be a different one. The fans went nuts because they didn’t understand it the old way, so I think this will help.”

Shaw also broke down the new rules involving the restricted area, where for the last few years, and in the last year in particular, “officials have allowed the defensive player to go vertical, so if he was in or over the restricted area and a person drove toward the basket he was allowed to go vertical, then if contact occurred he was not considered in the restricted area.” He went into more detail on the new rule:

“In order to be legal you have to face the offensive player, you have to go vertical and you would have had to have come down in basically the same spot,” said Shaw. “What that does, you can’t turn into anybody, you can’t go forward into anybody. There was kind of a feeling among a lot of teams that as long as you went vertical he was cleansed and he couldn’t foul. That’s not the case. You have to go vertical and then be able to come down in the same spot.”

The last and most talked about rule change is a new emphasis on traveling, as Shaw described:

“This year you’re going to see a heavy emphasis on traveling both on the perimeter and in the post whether there is defense involved or not,” said Shaw. “We’ve had a lot of plays in the past where the guard is out on the perimeter, might make a step to get started and we ignored it because there was no defender around or they catch it in bad shooting position and they have to reset their feet in order to get in good shooting position; and, again, there was no defender around and we ignored it.”

“No more. They want the footwork called by the letter of the law. They also want it in the post. Our big guys taking an extra shuffle step and reset to get off an offensive move they want it by the letter of the law to the point where we designated a different official to watch this than in the past. So if you’re at a game and all of the sudden you hear a whistle coming from one of the outside two officials, maybe not the person on the play, don’t be shocked because they’re now designated to watch the footwork. Those are three things that you’re going to see that is going to help clear up a lot of the game and a lot of the fan confusion.”

Shaw also spoke about rule changes in regards to illegal screens, offensive post play, and free throw rebounding, among other topics.

Among other topics unrelated to new rule changes, Shaw also brought up concerns regarding contact between fans and referees during games, as the Big-12 is “worried” for the safety of referees.

For more articles from Big-12 Media Day, click here.


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