Thursday, November 14, 2013

New Rules Thoughts

After watching 2 games live, I can plainly see a trend that I don't like in college basketball. Everyone predicted it in the preseason and talked at length about it. The problem is these new foul rules and the chaos it is creating.

Tuesday night saw a combined 49 fouls called and 63 free throws shot. Opening night against High Point, there were 48 fouls called and 67 free throws shot. Both games slowed to a crawl b/c the teams had to go into a zone defense in order to protect players with multiple fouls. I've heard the idea was to make the game flow better, but both games lasted well over 2 hours. Both games were slow and got completely ugly at times. Teams and the fans from both sides were irritated and upset with how these games are being called.

Now let me say this first ... I don't blame the referees for this problem. Yes, I think they missed 2 calls at the end of the ECU game. However, they were calling a ridiculously tight game from the beginning. Teams needed to adjust. Otherwise, the refs are just doing as they have been instructed. They are supposed to call almost every touch foul and clean the game up. As a result, cleaning the game up has turned into a long free throw shooting contest where the officials are playing a much bigger part of the game than ever before.

I really believe the NCAA is trying to turn the college game into something that is played like the NBA. While I'm not a huge fan of the NBA, I do think there is some merit to the change. Those games do play a lot cleaner and the offenses are a lot of fun to watch. The problem with trying to carry this down to college is that the rules (among other things) don't match.

In the NBA, players get 6 fouls, not 5 before fouling out. The NBA doesn't have the traditional 1-and-1. Their bonus free throws are 2 shots and start after at the 5th foul of each quarter. Also, NBA teams have large benches and play at least 12-13 guys each game. These teams are built around these rules.

To try to implement new rules (or enforcement) into the college game without modifying other things seems silly. I don't mind the idea of officials calling a tight game and enforcing the rules as they have been directed. I just think it's time to look other things too. Should we be giving players an extra foul before fouling out? Should the bonus start with 8 team fouls or even 9? I'm not sure what should be done, but it's obvious that there needs to be more tweaking to them.

What are your thoughts? Leave a comment and let me know.