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NCAA Moves Women’s 3-Point Line to International Standard among 2021 Rule Changes



Major changes are coming to NCAA women’s basketball. The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel approved changes to the 3-point line that sees the distance moving to 22 feet, 1 ¾ inches, matching that of the international distance. This is a move back from the previous collegiate distance of 20 feet, nine inches.

The change will take effect this upcoming season. Reasoning for the approval of this change comes after the panel observed statistical data from Division I, Division II and Division III throughout the 2020-21 season. Out of the three levels of play, Division II teams attempted the most threes, averaging 20.5 attempts per game. 

Other rule changes are coming, too. Also getting the nod of approval is the allowance of live statistics to benches for coaches to use during games. As a result of this change, coaches can see how their respective teams are performing and make lineup adjustments accordingly. An experimental video rule that could allow teams to see in-game video of conference games is also receiving support. 

Adjustments are coming for the ever-changing replay rules as well. Out of bounds plays can be reviewed no matter how many players were involved in the play. In prior seasons, only plays with two players could be taken to replay review. Two additional plays are now up for review, including restricted areas and defensive box plays. Also up for review are plays that can decipher whether or not a basket should count when a foul is not committed by a player with or without possession. Coaches may challenge these plays at any point of the game now, not just within the final two minutes, although referees may call for review on their own accord in the time frame.


Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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