NCAA Committee Approves New Flopping Rule for Women's Basketball

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Women's basketball players judged to have flopped will be issued a warning on the first offense, with a technical foul being charged for any subsequent infractions, beginning in the 2023-24 season. 

The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel approved the new rule during a virtual meeting Thursday. 

Under the new rule, the second and any subsequent flop calls will add to the team foul count but would not count toward a player's five fouls leading to disqualification. 

NCAA Women's Basketball Rules Committee members think the new rule is needed for the sport after receiving feedback from all three divisions about their concerns regarding flopping.

The committee hopes this change will reduce situations where players are trying to fool the officials.

Restricted-area arc, lower defensive box

The panel approved reducing the restricted-area arc from 4 feet in the lane to the area directly underneath the basket. Defenders cannot establish a legal guarding position directly underneath the basket. This rule also eliminates the lower defensive box rule.

Under this new rule, there will be no need for any additional court markings on the floor. 

The committee hopes simplifying the rule will bring about a better understanding for officials, coaches, players and fans. 

Previously, secondary defenders had to be outside the 4-foot restricted-area arc to draw a charge. The lower defensive box was an imaginary area designated by two tick marks on the end line and the second lane space marks from the free-throw line and distinguished when the restricted-area rule was in effect.

Other rules changes 

  • Players will be allowed to wear numbers 0-99.
  • Schools will no longer have to submit a waiver for players to wear religious headwear, provided it is safe for competition.
  • An amber light strip will be permitted on the backboard to signal the end of a shot-clock period. 
  • An optional rule will allow for live video to be transmitted to the bench area. This has been an experimental rule for the past two years. 
  • A new class of technical fouls will be assessed to the team and not an individual offender. Delay-of-game warnings and flopping will fall under this category.
  • When the shot clock is off at the end of a quarter or overtime, officials will use the game clock to determine when a 10-second backcourt violation has occurred.
  • A permissive rule will allow conferences to implement an off-site collaborative replay system to assist game officials with replay situations.
  • The shot clock will be reset to 20 seconds or the time remaining, whichever is greater, when there is a foul by the nonshooting team, but not against the shooter, during a try in flight that does not strike the rim.
  • Officials will be allowed to use replay throughout the entire game for off-ball foul scoring plays; the review would be conducted during the next media timeout or intermission.

Point of emphasis

Women's Basketball Rules Committee members are concerned about the uptick in bench decorum and misconduct incidents that took place during the 2022-23 season. 

There were significant increases in intentional fouls, technical fouls and disqualifying fouls last season.

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