Rule book: How college basketball is changing to reduce physical play

jtipton@herald-leader.comOctober 31, 2013 

Kentucky forward Alex Poythress was called for a charge as he shot over Tennessee forward Jarnell Stokes on Feb 16 in Knoxville.


College basketball leaders hope to bring more finesse and scoring to the game this season.

They want the referees to help reduce physical play by calling more fouls in games, beginning for Kentucky with Friday night's exhibition game against Transylvania.

Actions that used to be simply "physical play" that are now supposed to be fouls include:

■ Placing and keeping a hand or forearm on an opponent.

■ Putting two hands on an opponent.

■ Continually jabbing a hand or forearm on an opponent.

■ Using an arm to impede the progress of a dribbler. (Note that simply touching the player with the ball is not an automatic foul.)

The other significant change involves the block-or-charge decision. In the past, a defender had to be in position to take a charge when the offensive player left the floor.

Now, the defender must be in what's called "legal guarding position" when the offensive player "begins his upward motion" to either pass or shoot.

Referees have greater flexibility in calling elbowing fouls. Last year, when referees went to the monitor to check a foul, the only thing they could do is stay with the call made on the floor or upgrade it to a flagrant 1. If there was elbow contact above the shoulders regardless of severity it had to be a flagrant 1. Now, when determining an elbow foul, officials have all options at their disposal.

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