The average length of an NCAA college basketball game has increased dramatically in the last 10 years. As a matter of fact, almost one minute per year, so games are lasting close to 10 minutes longer than they were in 2001.
First reaction? The problem comes from TV. Wrong, the problems comes from the NCAA not realizing they have a problem with their rules of the game and not recognizing unless this gets fixed they will lose fans both as viewers and live attendance.
Golf waited too long to fix its problem with slow play. Now for every golfer who enters the game, close to 1.8 are leaving the game. Golfers who leave say there are two major reasons, 1. The time it takes to complete a round of golf (Slow Play) 2. There is virtually no place for people to learn the game.
How does this equate to college basketball? While golf may have waited too long to fix their issues, college basketball has the power and time to fix their problems through the NCAA rules committee, but they at times do not seem to get it, instead focusing on rule changes that have no bearing on speeding up the time it takes to play a game.
I have previously written about how time outs could change for the better and speed up the game. Here are three more areas which should happen. While these changes might seem boring, the whole intent is to continue to make the game exciting for fans both in person and watching on TV, laptops, etc............
1. Do not allow coaches or players from the offensive team that scored either a field goal or free throw to call time out. All this does is prolong the game.
2. When teams do not break out of the huddle after a time out, do not let officials put the ball down on the floor, but instead just give the team a delay of game warning and the next time they do not come out it is an automatic technical foul.
3. When a player fouls out, do not allow the teams to go over and huddle with their coach. Time consuming and not necessary.
As mentioned, these might be boring issues, but when the big picture is looked at, if you put all the changes I have suggested both today and in my three other posts on NCAA, Fix It Please, it can help make the game of basketball better to watch and more exciting for all concerned.
The NCAA and its rules committee have never been known as being proactive, always reactive. As a consequence, we might be in danger of losing a generation of fans, if games are not speeded up.
Does pay me now or pay me later come to mind.
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