Block/charge among NCAA men’s basketball rule changes

Photo courtesy West Texas A&M Athletics

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The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel sought to clarify one of the most controversial calls for an official by changing the definition of a block/charge as part of a slew of rule changes for the 2023-2024 men’s basketball season.

A defender will have to be in position to draw a charge when an offensive player plants a foot to go airborne to attempt a field goal. If the defender arrives after the offensive player plants a foot to launch toward the basket, officials are instructed to call a block when there is contact between two players.

Previously, defenders had to be in position to draw a charge before the offensive player went airborne. Whether this clarification will satisfy coaches and fans is yet to be determined. However, the rules committee believes this will give officials more time to officiate these plays.

The NCAA Men’s Basketball Rules Committee made the proposal to the panel after receiving feedback from members about their displeasure with the number of charges being called on these types of plays.

Other rule changes include:

  • An optional rule to allow video to be transmitted to the bench area.
  • Officials will review goaltending/basket interference calls during the next media timeout as long as the official makes the call on the floor. If a foul occurs on a shooter while the ball is in the air and a possibility of goaltending or basket interference remains, the review will be immediate to decide the number of potential free throws.
  • Bench personnel who are not students can now serve as peacekeepers when an altercation occurs.
  • A timeout will be charged to a team if the coach requests an out-of-bounds play reviewed and the call isn’t overturned with under two minutes remaining in the game.
  • The shot clock will reset to 20 seconds anytime the ball hits the rim, and the offense retains possession.
  • Officials will be allowed to remove a foul on a player initially charged with a foul if the instant replay official determines the foul is a direct result of a flagrant 1 or flagrant 2 foul against the player initially assessed a foul.
  • A team will be granted a timeout if the player possesses the ball, even though the player may be airborne. A typical example is a player jumping to grab a loose ball and calling a timeout before landing on the floor.
  • Any player that commits three flagrant 1 fouls in a game will be disqualified.
  • Players can wear numbers 0-99.
  • Schools no longer need to submit a waiver for players to wear religious headwear, provided it’s safe for competition.
  • Red and amber lights will be allowed on the backboard.

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