Women’s basketball leaders hold strategy session on ways to improve the collegiate game

Leaders in the women’s basketball community convened for a 2014 Women’s Collegiate Basketball Officiating, LLC (WCBO) rules strategy session at the Big 12 Conference office August 5-6 in Irving, Texas to focus on ways to improve the collegiate game.

Attendees included representatives from the NCAA women’s basketball staff, NCAA Women’s Basketball Committee, NCAA Rules Committee, Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA), USA Basketball, WCBO and the Conference Commissioners Association (CCA).

The group identified focal points that drove its discussion on playing rules changes that would:

  • Appeal to fans and players
  • Create more parity among programs
  • Foster a positive public image
  • Support USA Basketball’s efforts for a youth development program

Recommendations for experimental rules changes include:

  • Widening the lane to 16-feet
  • Increasing the 3-point shot line to 22-feet
  • Utilizing four 10-minute quarters instead of two halves

Discussion also included:

  • The merits of allowing bands or electronic music to be played during certain dead ball situations to enhance atmosphere during the game
  • Encouraging all Division I programs to include names on the back of uniforms for easy fan and media identification.
  • The implementation of a National Women’s Basketball Media Day. The format would bring together coaches, student-athletes, officials, administrators and media partners in one setting, or participants could be located in multiple sites and participate through video to promote the game.

The recommendations will be discussed by the WCBO Competition Committee with their formal recommendations to be considered by the WCBO Board of Directors in January, prior to the February 1, 2015 deadline for the submission of rules proposals to the Rules Committee.

Feedback will be solicited from valued stakeholders, such as the NCAA Secretary Rules Editor, WBCA Playing Rules and Officiating Subcommittee, WCBO, MCBO, NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Committee, game officials, coordinators and student-athletes.

Individual attendees included:

  • Val Ackerman, Big East Conference
  • Patty Broderick, Women’s Basketball Officiating Consortium
  • Anucha Browne, NCAA
  • Doug Bruno, DePaul University
  • Dan Calandro, NCAA
  • Kelsey Cermak, NCAA
  • Leslie Claybrook, Southeastern Conference
  • Chris Dawson, Pac-12 Conference
  • Jay Demings, USA Basketball
  • Danielle Donehew, WBCA
  • Carolyn Schlie Femovich, Patriot League
  • Nora Lynn Finch, Atlantic Coast Conference
  • Dru Hancock, Big 12 Conference
  • Connie Hurlbut, Western Athletic Conference
  • Dee Kantner, Official
  • Tina Krah, NCAA
  • Jon Levinson, NCAA Secretary Rules-Editor
  • Michael Schafer, Richmond University
  • Rachel Seewald, NCAA
  • Debbie Williamson, NCAA National Officiating Coordinator

The NCAA and the Collegiate Commissioners Association created the WCBO and MCBO in 2010. They are  limited liability companies for men’s and women’s basketball officiating to enhance consistency during regular-season and postseason play. According to the NCAA, the mission of the companies is to “increase the pool of officials; standardize messaging; more consistently apply playing rules, points of emphasis and mechanics; and remove ‘entry barriers’ to those who are interested in becoming basketball officials.”

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