Keeping up with the zebras

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Each year, Southeastern Conference director of officials Gerald Boudreaux does an excellent job filling us in on the various rules changes and points of emphasis. There’s a new somewhat convoluted way of classifying technical fouls (I warn you, you will be quizzed on this) and of course the obvious change in the 3-point line this season (back to 20 feet, 9 inches).

Anyway, here’s what Boudreaux went over with us Wednesday morning.

Points of emphasis for officials this season

*Illegal contact on screening or overplay

*Coaches behavior in the box
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Palming

*The charge/block call as it relates to the area underneath the basket (area underneath the basket where charges can’t be called, regardless of whether or not your feet are set).

Rule changes

*3-point line back to 20 feet, 9 inches (lines will be different color than women’s lines or NBA lines for college teams playing in NBA arenas)

*Restraining line/restraining box. This isn’t going to make photographers who sit underneath the basket too happy. No non-playing personnel will be permitted within six feet of the end line at either end of the court. Boudraux said this rule was primarily instituted for the safety of players and officials. He also said that the NCAA is working out logistics with some schools that don’t have that much room from the end line to the end of the court.

*Goaltending. Any time that ball is above the rim and hits the backboard and is contacted, it’s now goaltending. Before, the officials had judgment as to whether the ball was still on its upward flight.

*Technical fouls. Here’s where it gets tricky. (In the immortal words of the Sham Wow peddler, ‘Are you following me, camera guy?’)

*Techs will now be classified into two categories

Class A technical fouls ” Disrespecting an official, use of profanity/vulgarity, intentional contact by players during dead balls, any type of flagrant contact, coaches and individuals on bench disrespecting of an official, exciting crowd, gestures, players leaving bench to join a fight, etc.

Penalty: Two free throws and the foul will count toward the player’s personal foul count and the team foul count. If a member of the bench personnel gets a Class A technical, it also counts as a Class B technical for the head coach.

Class B technical fouls ” Indirect technicals that involve no contact. Indirect techs, involve no contact with opponent, falls below the limit unsportsmanlike or flagrant. Examples include: Calling a time out when you have none left, reaching over the end line to touch or dislodge the ball on an in-bounds play, coaching box infractions after the initial warning, failure to replace a disqualified player within 20 seconds, any bench personnel entering the floor not involved in contact.

Penalty: Two free throws, foul won’t count toward individual or team foul count.

Ejections: Players and coaches can get ejected through the following combinations

Two Class A technical fouls

Three Class B technical fouls

Or a combination of one Class A and two Class B techs.

It will be the responsibility of the official scorekeeper to keep track of the technicals, and the responsibility of the public address announcer to announce whether a technical foul is Class A or Class B.

Boudreaux reiterated during the session that the rules of palming haven’t changed, that it’s still defined as when an individual dribbles the ball, as his course changes, the ball comes to rest. “Of course, the cross-over move and some of those things have led to more and more,” Boudreaux said. “The enforcement is our biggest problem with palming. One of the thing that’s come to light is that at the beginning of the year it’s enforced a lot better than the end so we’re going to continue to work on that.”