Basketball – 2015-16 Men’s Basketball Rules Changes

ncaaThe NCAA Men’s Basketball Rules Committee made more than 25 rules changes, most of which increase the pace of play, reduce the number of stoppages and provide better balance between offense and defense.

The Men’s Basketball Rules Committee also issued a directive, supported by the NABC Board and the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Oversight Committee, to the officiating community to reduce physicality in order to create freedom of movement specifically in the following areas:

• Hand checking/body bumping the ball handler. (Rule 10-1.4)

• Physical post play and rebounding.

• Freedom of movement for players without the ball – cutters.

• Screening – stationary screens required.

• Offense initiated contact with legal defenders.

Key Rule Changes

• Shot clock reduced from 35 seconds to 30 seconds. (Rule 9-11.3)

• Restricted area arc expanded from three feet to four feet. (Rule 1-8)

• Timeouts:

  1. • Reduction of 30-second timeouts from four to three; only two carry over to the second half. (Rule 5-14.10.e)
  2. A 30-second timeout called within 30 seconds of a media timeout will become the media timeout. (Rule 5-14.10.e)
  3. Coaches can only call timeouts during a dead ball situation. (Rule 5-14.1.c)

• The 10-second backcourt count resets except when:

  1. Defender causes the ball to go out of bounds;
  2. Offense retains possession on a held ball; or
  3. A technical foul is called on the offensive team.

Note: A charged timeout by the offensive team results in a new 10-second count.

• Removed the five-second closely guarded count on a dribble. (Rule 9-14.2)

• Guarding in the post: Arm bar allowed in post area when offense has back to the basket with or without ball.

(Rule 10-1.5)

• Airborne shooter charge plays – cannot score basket; player-control foul. (Rule 4-15.2.c.1)

• Removed the prohibition against dunking the ball while the ball is dead; teams will be allowed to dunk during pregame and halftime. (Rule 10-4.1.e)

• Guarding exception: When a defensive player is clearly not going to contact a jump shooter (fly by), the offensive player cannot “seek out” the defender. ( Rules 4-17.4 and 4-17.6 and A.R. 89)

• Faking being fouled: Officials can penalize a player for faking being fouled only when the officials are conducting monitor review for a flagrant foul. The penalty is a Class A technical foul, two shots and the ball put in play at the point of interruption. (Rule 10-3.1.d)

• Class B technical foul and administrative technical foul penalties reduced to one shot and the ball put in play at the point of interruption. (Rules 10-2 and 10-4)

• Causing a delay following team huddles will result in a Class B technical foul. A warning will be issued for the following before a penalty is applied. (Rule 10-4.2.g)

  1. Disqualified player.
  2. Injured player.
  3. End of a timeout.

• Reduced time to 15 seconds for replacing disqualified players. (Rule 2-10.9)

• Instant replay:

  1. Officials will use 0.00 on the shot clock to determine violations. (Rule 11-1.3)
  2. Officials will be able to look at the release of the ball on potential shot clock violations at any point during the game for made baskets only. (Rule 11-2.1.b)
  3. During all instant replay reviews in the last two minutes of the second half and the last two minutes of overtime(s), substitutions or timeouts will not be permitted until the results of the instant replay review have been reported to both coaches. (Rule 11-2.1.e and Rule 3-2.1.i)

Please note that this document is not meant to be all-inclusive. For a complete listing of all of the men’s basketball rules, please visit For questions on these rules/directives/interpretations, please contact J.D. Collins, NCAA National Coordinator of Men’s Basketball Officiating:

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