Women’s basketball rules changes

The 3-point line has been moved back to the men’s line at 20 feet, 9 inches.

Charlie Armitz

CHICAGO — In one of several NCAA basketball rules changes released Thursday afternoon at Big Ten Media Day, the women’s 3-point line has been moved from 19 feet 9 inches to 20 feet 9 inches for the 2011-12 season.

The men’s line is also 20 feet 9 inches, so courts will now have one line for both the men and women’s 3-point lines.

According to the NCAA, the two lines from past years caused confusion, and data indicates that most of the women’s 3-point shots came from behind the men’s line. The shooting percentage for shots taken behind the men’s line was also higher than the percentage for shots taken in-between the two lines.

Gophers’ senior guard Kiara Buford said she took most of her shots behind the men’s line last season because it was easier to see. Both Buford and Minnesota head women’s coach Pam Borton said they believe the new line will make little difference in shooting percentages.

Other notable rules 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.

– When coaches request a monitor review to determine whether a Flagrant 1 or Flagrant 2 foul occurred, they will be penalized if the officials determine that no such foul occured. The standard penalty is to charge the team a timeout; if the team is out of timeouts, a technical foul will be assessed.

– Officials will be permitted to review the monitor for a foul to ensure there was or was not elbow contact above the shoulders on an opponent.