Basketball Rule Changes That Could Improve High School & College Games

After officiating over 150 games and watching another 200 on TV this season I would make the following recommendations to IAABO and CBOA Rule Committees, Players and Coaches.

Rule Changes to Improve the High School and College Games

1. Dunking in College and High school should be changed so that it is either legal to do in pre-game warmups or it should be illegal to do in a game.

The main reason is for the safety of the players. In what other sport is it illegal to do something in pre-game warmup, yet legal to do in a game?

By not allowing especially high school players not to dunk in pre-game warmups is just an injury and lawsuit waiting to happen.

Hypotherical Situation: High School pLayer A takes his first field goal attempt 2 minutes into the game and it is an attempted dunk, which fails and the player is seriously injured. The players parents/guardians complain to a injury lawyer that their son was not allowed to warmup dunking because it is a rule that it is a technical foul on the player and the player is charged with as personal foul towards the 5 for disqualif8cation and a team foul towards the bonus and penalty shots.

They argue that not warming up properly in pre-game warmups for that skill was the reason he was injured while attemting to dunk.

They argue that the player was not allowed to warmup dunking because of the rule. The lawyer agrees and takes their case.

During the deposition the lawyer asks the defendants (IAABO Board for High School) “why is it illegal to dunk in pre-game warmups and then legal in the game”?

Only possible answer for the defendants is, “to protect the equipment backboard and rim from being damaged”.

The lawyer says. “the NBA allows its players to dunk in pre0game warmups and they are much stronger then high school and college players and do not damage the equipment”.

Lawyer, ” So it is more important to protect the equipment then it is to protect the players”?

Defendants lawyers; “can we settle out of court and then have the rule changed to make it legal to dunk in pre-game warmups if it is legal to dunk in a game.

2. College and High School Coaches Should Not Be Allowed to Ask Officials to Call time outs when the clock is running.

Go back to the old rule that said the only time a coach could call a time out was when the clock is running is by asking one of his players to call a time out when his team is in team control of the ball.

This way you would not have the coaches yelling to the officials for a time out, the officials would not have to look and see which teams coach is calling the time out. Sometimes officials award a time out and then find out that the team did not have team or player control of the ball, but then has to award the time out because the ball is dead and the clock is stopped. Officials do this because they don’t look to see who is casllng the time out because they do not want to look away from the action.

3. Shot Clock change for Colleges:

Because teams resort to fouling to stop the clock late in games, change the shot clock to 20 seconds in the last 2 minutes of the game. This would result in offensive teams having to shoot the ball 15 seconds earlier and the defense would not have to foul as much to gain possession of the ball.

4. Put the jump ball back Or Give the Defense the Ball when held ball is called in a college or a high school game.

The two major reasons for eliminating the jump ball except to start a game or an overtime period was because of so many jump balls were happening in girls games and that officials had a hard time throwing the ball up properly on the jump ball. Officials could practice this by throwing the ball up into the basket to rim height from underneath the basket to improve their skill in administrating the jump ball.

There are fewer jump balls in the girls/womens game today. You could keep the alternating possession arrow for middle school play.

It is very frustrating for defensive teams who work hard to tie up the offense and then have to look over to the table to see if they have the alternating possession arrow.

The offense never ties up the defense. It is the defense that ties up the offense. I would prefer giving the ball to the defense if they tie up the offense and if it was a simultanously held ball then go to the jump ball.

5. In College and High school Eliminate the penalty bonus of 2 shots when an opponent commits its 10th team foul.

This would put a higher premium on foul shooting. It would be a one and one unless in the act of shooting, intentional, act of shooting or flagrant fouls. This way you put more pressure on the foul shooter to make the first one in order to get the second try.

6. How to Eliminate Games Being Decided by Who is in Foul trouble For High school and College.

How many games of basketball are decided by who is playing or who is not playing because of foul trouble? Install the old CBA Rule that on the 5th foul if the coach does not take the player out of the game the penalty is 2 shots and possession of the ball at the spot of the foul like an intentional foul or when a player commits any foul over 5.

This would also increase coaching strategy by is the player needed so much that the coach continues to play the player? Does the coach go into a zone to protect the player from fouling? Does the opponents try to go after the player in the 2 and the ball penalty to take advantage of the situation?

If not that, then at least for college games allow 6 fouls before a player is disqualified. If you get 5 fouls for a 32 minute game in High school then you should get 6 fouls for 40 minutes because you are playing 8 more minutes in a college game. The NBA because it is a 48 minute games should have 7 fouls instead of 6. Games should be decided by who is on the floor, not by who is not on the floor.
7. College and High School Mechanic Change on All Free throws and throw ins.

Make it a mandatory mechanic for all officials to hold the ball in one hand with the arm straight out up in the air when administrating any throw in or free throw. This would let the timer see that the timer can blow the horn for any substitute at the table. Many times the timer cannot see where the ball is when a throw in is being made on the offensive endline because players are in his line of vision and the ball is at the waist of the official.

So long as the timer could see the ball up in the air he knows that he/she may blow the horn for the subsitution.

Teams would not start their out of bounds plays under the offensive basket because they would see where the ball is an if it is still up in the air then the ball is still dead, until the official hands the ball to the player making the throw in and the ball alive.

Rule changes for high school usually come from an end of season questionaire sent to coaches by the IAABO Rules Committee..

Most rule changes are made as official friendly to make it easier to officiate the game. The last coaches friendly rule was when the coaching box was installed and the last player friendly rule was the 3 point line.

The suggested rule changes mentioned above are friendly to all three the officials, the players and the coaches and improve the game for all involved including the fans.

If you have a suggestion for a topic then e-mail it to The BND Blog is still operating just go to and hit sports and then hit Blog.

Dave: If you need to take something out please take out number 5 rule change.