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Women’s basketball: Changing the game in 2015

Brooke Bowen and
(Left) Brooke Bowen, senior guard and forward, and (right) Kayla Taylor, transfer forward and center. Photo credit: Ryan Pressey

The NCAA has decided to make big changes to the rules for the 2015 women’s basketball season. These changes will make the game more entertaining for fans. Some of the changes were proposed by the NCAA Women’s Basketball Rules Committee. The biggest changes in rules for the 2015 women’s basketball season include:

Change in time format

The teams will now play in four 10-minute quarters instead of two 20-minute halves.

Change in fouls

Teams will now shoot two free throws on the fifth team foul in each quarter. The past rule allowed teams a one-and-one bonus on the seventh team foul and a double bonus on the 10th team foul.

Advancement of the ball

Teams will now be able to advance the ball to the front court after calling a timeout immediately following a basket during the fourth quarter with 59.9 seconds remaining and any overtime period.

Teams can also advance the ball to the front court after securing the ball from a rebound or a change in possession. For these instances, the teams will inbound the ball from the 28-ft. mark on the court on the side of the scorer’s table.

10-second backcourt exceptions

Teams will now receive a 10-second backcourt violation when a throw-in is deflected out of bounds by a defense, when there is a held ball and the possession favors the offensive team or when a technical foul is called on the offensive team when the ball is in the backcourt.


Defenders will now be allowed to place a forearm or an open hand with a bend in the elbow on an offensive player whose back is to the basket.

Bands and amplified music

Bands or amplified music will now be allowed during any dead ball situation during the games. The previous rule only allowed for bands and music during a timeout.

Kayla Taylor
Transfer forward and center, Kayla Taylor, shoots a free throw. Photo credit: Ryan Pressey
Brooke Bowen
Senior guard and forward Brooke Bowen prepares to shoot a free throw. Photo credit: Ryan Pressey
Kayla Taylor
Junior transfer forward and center, Kayla Taylor prepares to shoot a free throw. Photo credit: Ryan Pressey

The Wildcats aren’t too excited about the new rule changes. Both players and coaches will have to learn how to adjust. Coaches will have to make changes to their game plan and coaching strategies. And the players, who have practiced their entire basketball career with the older rules, will now have to forget those rules and adapt to new ones.

Head coach Brian Fogel has yet to the address the big changes with his team, but plans to do so are set for the first official practice on Oct. 15, he said.

“It’s the most significant rule change since they installed the three-point line,” Fogel said. “That’s how drastic of a change it is.”

Brooke Bowen, senior guard and forward, found out about the changes on Twitter when she saw someone from the Chico State Athletic Department retweeted a tweet from the NCAA that mentioned rules changing games from going from two halves to four quarters of play.

“I haven’t played quarter system since high school, so that’s going to be a weird adjustment,” Bowen said.

Free throws are undergoing major changes as well in 2015. With the old rule, players had to make the first shot in order to receive a second free throw opportunity. Now after the fifth foul in each quarter, teams will receive two free throws regardless of making the first or not. It’s giving a second chance to the teams who struggle making free throws.

Kayla Taylor, transfer forward and center, is concerned these changes are going to slow the game down a lot, she said.

“It’s hard because we’ve played our whole lives by those rules. It’s definitely going to take a lot of mental memory,” Taylor said. “Taking away the one-and-one, that’s rough because we’ve done it our whole lives.”

Last season, the young team got in trouble over high foul counts early in the games. This season, the ‘Cats will have to find a way to avoid fouling so much.

The players will have to be both aggressive and smart, said Taylor.

Referees will have to watch the games even more closely and pay attention to the calls they are making.

“The refs in this league call some questionable fouls that you wouldn’t think would be a foul, but they will call it,” Bowen said. “You’re just going to have to play defense straight up.”

With these changes, it seems as though the NCAA is trying to be more like the NBA. And Fogel isn’t sure if that’s a good thing.

“It’s going to make for some really interesting finishes,” Fogel said. “They’re going for the dramatic flare of it all.”

The fans will benefit from the rule changes because there’s going to be more pressure on the teams down the stretch in games. More pressure means more action and exciting finishes. A game can come down to the last second— that’s when the free throws really count.

“I don’t know exactly what’s going to happen, until we get into it and we see,” Fogel said.

Julie Ortega and Carlos Islas can be reached at [email protected] or @julieOrtega_ and @CislasRUNews Twitter.

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Carlos Islas
Carlos Islas, Staff Writer

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