KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Yesterday was the Big 12 Men’s Basketball Media Day, and one of the topics (as always) was new rule changes. While there were no official new rules, there were tweaks to rules that are already in place. Some of these are a bit confusing, so let’s go through them and see if we can figure some of this stuff out. Let’s take a look at some tweets and quotes and maybe you can understand it a little better than I can.
Big 12 Coordinator of Officials Curtis Shaw took the podium to discuss the rule changes for the 2016-17 season. If you want to see the full transcript of what Shaw had to say, click here.
Let’s break his press conference down a bit, and get reactions from Twitter.
Restricted Area Play:
This sounds to me to be a lot like the NBA. If a defensive player is in the restricted area and gets run over, it is supposed to be called a block. Every. Single. Time. I have no problem with this rule, and honestly didn’t realize it wasn’t already a rule in the NCAA. There will still be charges, just not inside the restricted area.
Notice Shaw specified “if the player doesn’t leave his feet”. He expounded a bit on how a player can make legitimate contact inside the restricted area.
This will make fans irritated, because any bit of contact will be called a foul, unless it is done in the manner just described above.
Shaw: "You’re gonna have what seems like minimal contact called a foul... Trying to open the court up for more offensive style of [play]."— CRFF (@CowboysRFF) October 25, 2016
Along with the restricted area tweaks, there are also post play tweaks.
Rachel Kilmer from Time Warner Cable Kansas City put it perfectly.
Big 12 officials cracking down on traveling, rebounding fouls, & post play offensive and defensive fouls this year. Expect more whistles.— Rachel Kilmer (@rachellkilmer) October 25, 2016
I get what the rules committee is trying to do but fans are (predictably) going to freak out over these calls the first couple of weeks.— Rachel Kilmer (@rachellkilmer) October 25, 2016
The other big point of emphasis is cylinder play. When introducing the cylinder rule, Shaw said
Big 12 changing fouls on elbowing defender. Basically if a guy gets elbowed in the face, foul prob on him bc he's in ball handler's space.— Rachel Kilmer (@rachellkilmer) October 25, 2016
Cylinder rule in the Big 12. Defender can not violate the ball-handler's cylinder. He could be elbowed, but the foul is still on defender.— CRFF (@CowboysRFF) October 25, 2016
Offensive players are expected to keep arms bent. Extended arms in the post to establish position is a foul on the offense. #Big12MBB— CRFF (@CowboysRFF) October 25, 2016
This is the one that gets me. Unless I’m not interpreting the rule correctly, the Big 12 is trying to have their basketball games become like football games? High scoring and low defense?
Apparently, my coaches were wrong to tell me to get up close and play tight defense. That isn’t how basketball should be played. Enough about me though, let’s get back to the presser.
If the offensive player leans out to initiate contact, it still will be an offensive foul. The way the referees judge a player’s cylinder is their forearms. If the forearms are vertical, then an offensive player is legal to move anywhere inside that cylinder.
This cylinder also applies when shooting.
I’m still not sure what to think of this “cylinder play” - it sounds like the Big 12 is encouraging offensive games instead of defensive (Big 12 specialties).
I expect the games to take longer with the extra whistles and stoppages, which will be tougher for fans to get used to. As I said before, I encourage you to read the full transcript of Shaw’s presentation and see if you can make more sense of it.