The NCAA women's basketball rules committee is hoping to make the college game look more like the pros.
The committee came up with suggested changes this week that include playing four 10-minute quarters instead of two halves, advancing the ball to the frontcourt in the final minute of game after a timeout and shooting two free throws after the fifth foul of each quarter. Those rules are used in the WNBA.
''What a great step forward for our game,'' said UConn coach Geno Auriemma. ''As the game becomes more global, each year it's important that we start the process toward standardizing the rules. This is just the beginning of what I hope are many other changes to improve this great game.''
The proposals will be evaluated on June 8 by a playing oversight panel. If they're passed, they'll be implemented next year.
''The rules committee is very excited about the change to the four-quarter format for the 2015-16 season,'' said Michael Shafer, chair of the NCAA Women's Basketball Rules Committee and women's basketball coach at the University of Richmond. ''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 new rules would be used across all three divisions of women's basketball.
''I think it's great, rules that can help make the games more exciting,'' Louisville coach Jeff Walz said. ''It will speed up the game and make for a lot more end of the game situations that can be entertaining for the fans.''
While most new rules tend to be experimented the year before they are implemented, Shafer said that these changes are something the coaches already know.
''I think we felt like we had enough models and enough information,'' he said. ''We're the only one that didn't play quarters. We felt like we know it, we know what it is we're discussing.''
Quarters are already used in high school, pro and international games. Both men's and women's college basketball are the only ones using 20-minute halves. The men's rules committee also met this week, but isn't changing to quarters.
Media timeouts would be reduced from four each half to one each quarter. Fouls would also reset to zero after each period except for the fourth quarter, if the game were to go into overtime.
The committee also wants to change the 10-second backcourt rule which was put in place last season. A team will no longer receive a new 10 seconds following a defensive deflection out of bounds, a held ball with no change in team control or a technical foul assessed to the defensive team.
''That will be great,'' Walz said. ''You play really great defense and now they can't get bailed out as easily.''
Shafer said the men also will be adopting the 10-second rule change.
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