Rules committee proposes changing women's games to four quarters

The NCAA Women’s Basketball Rules Committee on Friday proposed a package of rules changes.
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The NCAA Women’s Basketball Rules Committee on Friday proposed a package of rules changes.

One significant proposal is to divide the game into four 10-minute quarters.

Professional and high school games use the quarter format, but women's and men's college games are played in two 20-minute halves.

“What a great step forward for our game,” UConn coach Geno Auriemma said. “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 change to a quarter format would result in changes to other rules regarding timeouts and fouls.

• Men's committee proposes 30-second shot clock, other changes

From the official NCAA release:

  • Teams would reach the bonus to shoot two free throws on the fifth team foul in each quarter. In the current format, teams reach a one-and-one bonus on the seventh team foul of each half and reach the double bonus (two shots) on the 10th team foul.
  • In the proposed four-quarter format, team fouls would be reset to zero at the start of each quarter. However, if a team reaches the bonus in the fourth quarter, that team would remain in the bonus in any additional overtime periods.
  • Media timeouts in televised games would also be changed to one in each quarter. Media timeouts would occur at the first dead ball under the five-minute mark of each quarter and at the end of the first and third quarters. However, if a team calls timeout before the five-minute mark, that would be treated as the media timeout.

The committee is also proposing to reduce the range of scenarios in which a team is granted a new 10-second backcourt count.

The proposed changes will need to be approved by the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel, which is scheduled to discuss them on a conference call on June 8.

The complete list of proposed changes can be found here.