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College Basketball

Major Rules in College Basketball May Be Changing

CBS insider Matt Norlander recently shared some screenshots of an NCAA rules survey obtained Wednesday. The screenshots proposed 13 NCAA rule changes for college basketball in the 2021-22 season.

One of the most interesting rule changes on the list is a six-foul rule. This would let college basketball players be allowed one more foul than the current limit of five. Another part to this rule states that a player with more than three fouls in one half would be disqualified.

There is a mixed reaction from college basketball fans to such a drastic change in the game. On Twitter, ESPN analyst Jimmy Dykes stated, “Every official I have talked to is in favor. Game is too fast and physical to stay at 5.”

If this rule would be implemented, it would parallel that of an NBA game, which has a six-foul limit. However, NBA games last 48 minutes while college basketball games only last 40. Thus, many fans who oppose this new rule change state that it makes sense for the 5-foul limit in college basketball to remain, as longer games should equate to more fouls allowed.

Some other possible changes include getting rid of the one-and-one free throw, limiting timeouts in the final two minutes of the game and allowing for more instant replays.


Here is the complete list of the 13 potential revisions:

  • Widen the lane to 16 feet
  • Reset team fouls at the 10:00 minute mark of each half and begin double bonus on the 5th team foul of each 10-minute segment. This would eliminate the one-and-one free throw.
  • Allow laptops, tablets, or similar devices in the bench area for coaching purposes.
  • Adopt a modified six-foul rule with the following provisions:
  1. A player may not commit more than three personal/technical fouls in anyone half. Penalty – disqualification.
  2. A player may commit three personal/technical fouls in the first half and three in the second half. In this case, the player is allowed six fouls before being disqualified.
  3. A player may commit two personal/technical fouls in the first half and would be disqualified on his fourth personal/technical in the second half. Total – six fouls.
  4. A player may commit zero or one personal/technical fouls in the first half and would be disqualified on the player’s fourth personal/technical in the second half. See #1.
  •  Award possession of the ball to the defense when they create a held ball situation.
  • Limit the number of timeouts that may be called by any one team in the last two minutes of the second period or of any overtime period to two.
  • In the last two minutes of the second period or of any overtime period, allow instant replay review of potential shot-clock violations when the shot is unsuccessful.
  • Eliminate the 10-second backcourt rule.
  • Permit the use of Instant Replay on all basket interference/goaltending calls throughout the game, but only when a call has been made by an official.
  • Permit a team to decline free throws in the last two minutes of the last period or of any overtime period and elect possession of the ball for a throw-in instead.
  • Eliminate offensive basket interference after the ball hits the ring or flange. Would make the rule consistent with the FIBA rule.
  • Adjust the traveling rule to allow a player to take two steps after lifting his pivot foot which would make moves such as the spin move, Euro-step and step-back shot legal.
  • Eliminate the five-second closely guarded rule.


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