Rule Changes

The following rules changes were approved by the NCAA Men’s Basketball Rules Committee and the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel. Both
rules are effective beginning with the 2018-19 season.


On the Court:

  1. To permit elbow, hand, finger, wrist or forearm guards, casts or braces made of fiberglass, plaster, metal or other non-pliable substance to
    be used by players during competition as long as the protective device is completely covered with not less than 1/2-inch thickness of slow rebounding foam.     Rationale: Rule 1-26.2 currently prohibits a player from competing if the player has an elbow, hand, finger, wrist or forearm guard, castor brace that is made of fiberglass, plaster, metal or any other non-pliable substance. This proposal is based on a recommendation from the NCAA Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports (CSMAS) that the padding requirements of Rule 1-26.4
    [i.e., pliable (flexible or easily bent) material, covered on all exterior sides and edges with not less than ½-inch thickness of slow-rebounding
    foam, may be used to immobilize and protect an injury] are sufficient to protect other players who may contact or be contacted by an
    injured player’s protective equipment. This proposal is subject to Rule 1-26.1, which states that the referee shall not permit any player to
    wear equipment that in his or her judgment is dangerous to other players.
    Note: The institution’s medical staff is still responsible for first determining if the injured player is medically cleared to participate with
    the protective equipment.
  2. To adjust the current delay of game rules by delineating the types of delays of game caused by a coach and delays of the game caused by a
    Article 2: Coach delays:
    • Failure to have the court ready for play after the final horn to end any timeout (currently Rule 4-10.1.e).
    • Delaying the game by failing to resume play immediately following the second warning horn indicating the end of the timeout or
    when a disqualified/ejected or injured player must be replaced (currently Rule 4-10.1.g).
    Article 3: Player delays:
    • Repeatedly delaying the game by preventing the ball from being promptly put into play, such as delaying the administration of a
    throw-in or free throw by engaging in a team huddle anywhere on the playing court (currently Rule 4-10.1.d).
    • Attempting to gain an advantage by interfering with the ball after a goal or by failing to immediately pass the ball to the nearest
    official after a whistle is blown (currently Rule 4-10.1.f).
  •  Article 4: One team warning shall be given to either the head coach or a player for a delay assessed to the coach or a player for a delay per
    Article 2 or 3 above. Each warning shall be reported to the official scorer and recorded in the scorebook. Thereafter, when a coach has
    been warned for any delay per Article 2 above, and the coach commits another delay violation under Article 2, the coach shall be assessed a
    technical foul. When any player on the team which has committed a previous player delay commits another delay violation per Article 3
    above, a technical foul shall be assessed.
    Rationale: To clarify and revise the rule approved in 2017, which became complicated and cumbersome for coaches to understand and
    officials to enforce. The revised rule divides the types of delays into those for which the coach is responsible and those for which the
    players are responsible. In either case, the coach or the player would receive one warning for any delay in the category for which each is
    responsible. Thereafter, a technical foul would be assessed to the coach or any player, or teammate of the player, who committed a second



There are a few rule changes that fans need to pay attention to this season.

Off the Court

Undrafted college players can return to school … if they were invited to the combine

The way this works is that a college basketball player may request from the Undergraduate Advisory Committee to have an evaluation and if they are not drafted they can return to their school if they notify their athletic director of the intent to return by 5 pm on the Monday after the draft.


The NCAA is allowing “elite” high school players and any college player to be represented by an agent

College basketball players can be represented by an agent beginning after any basketball season if they request an evaluation from the NBA Undergraduate Advisory Committee. Pending a decision by the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association, high school basketball players can be represented by an agent beginning July 1 before their senior year in high school, provided they have been identified as an elite senior prospect by USA Basketball.

The effective date will be decided if/when the NBA and the NBPA permit high school students to enter the draft.

The idea of letting college players work with agents is a good one. Agents can now pay for meals and transportation for players and their families when they’re going through the process of selecting an agent. This is available to any college basketball player in the offseason once their team’s season is finished.


The NCAA no longer has to do it’s own investigating into rule breakers

People charged with investigating and resolving NCAA cases can accept information established by another administrative body, including a court of law, government agency, accrediting body or a commission authorized by a school. This will save time and resources previously used to confirm information already adjudicated by another group.


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