Men’s basketball rules changes

An NBA-like “restricted area” arc will be placed, and flagrant fouls will be more closely monitored.

by Charlie Armitz

CHICAGO — On Thursday morning at Big Ten Media Day, the list of rules changes for the 2011-12 NCAA men’s basketball season was made available to the media. No single rule stands out, but several are likely to make a small impact over the course of the season.

A few notable changes:

– An arc will be placed three feet from the center of each basket, and will serve as a “restricted area” for secondary defenders. Such defenders will not be allowed to take a charge while positioned at any point on or inside the arc. According to the NCAA, the rule is intended to reduce collisions at the basket. In past years, the “restricted area” was just an unmarked area under the basket.

– Flagrant fouls will now be called as “Flagrant 1” and “Flagrant 2” fouls, similar to the NBA. The term “Flagrant 1” replaces the old NCAA term of “intentional” foul, which the committee felt was an inaccurate word — a player’s intent was not the point of the rule.

– Coaches may request to have officials review whether a Flagrant 2 foul occurred, but will be charged a timeout if the officials determine that neither a Flagrant 1 nor a Flagrant 2 foul occurred. If the requesting team has no timeouts left, it will be assessed a technical foul.

– When a Flagrant 1 foul and common foul are assessed at the same time (a double foul), both fouls will be enforced, not offset as in past year.

– Elbow fouls should not be called without contact. (Slight contact may be considered incidental contact and not subject to penalty.)