This afternoon the NCAA approved a rule change in men’s basketball allowing them to move the three-point line back to the International line effective immediately. The new distance for the three-point line will be 22 feet, 1 ¾ inch. For reference that’s still a foot and half difference from the NBA 3 point line. This pushes the line out by a little over a foot from the previous spot. The committee cited these three reasons as to why they are pushing it back.
The last time the NCAA made a move like this comes all the way back in 2008 when they moved the mark back a foot from the 19 feet 9 inches that were used on high school courts.
“Making the lane more available for dribble/drive plays from the perimeter”.
“Slowing the trend of the 3-point shot becoming too prevalent in men’s college basketball by making the shot a bit more challenging, while at the same time keeping the shot an integral part of the game”.
“Assisting in offensive spacing by requiring the defense to cover more of the court”.
🚨 RULES CHANGE 🚨
🏀 3-point line extended
🏀 Shot clock resets to 20 seconds after an offensive rebound
— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) June 5, 2019
Hard to disagree with their decision here, basketball is seeing threes shot astronomical rates and moving them back may deter that a little bit. The committee made excellent points about trying to encourage players to attack the basket and I definitely think we’ll see teams able to stretch the defense more creating more offensive opportunities. I’m very interested to see the stats at the end of the season for 3 point percentage, but also on offensive efficiencies. I’m interested to see how this will affect teams defensive styles, will Jim Boeheim be able to continue to effectively play his 2-3 zone or will they be stretched too thin?
If you were paying attention to the NIT this past season you’d have seen a few games already played with the international line, teams managed to shoot 33% from the three-point line, down 2% from the season average. However, data showed that teams still shot the same amount of threes in the tournament as the regular season. I doubt this change will have a significant impact on trying to slow the trend of the 3-point shot, but I still don’t see it as a bad move. The shooters will continue to shoot and adapt to the change.