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NCAA moving three-point line to international distance in men’s basketball

March Madness 2020

SALT LAKE CITY, UT - MARCH 16: The NCAA logo is seen in the second half of the game between the Northwestern Wildcats and the Vanderbilt Commodores during the first round of the 2017 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at Vivint Smart Home Arena on March 16, 2017 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

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The NCAA announced rules changes for the upcoming men’s basketball season on Wednesday as the three-point line will be moved to the international distance of 22 feet, 1 3/4 inches for the upcoming 2019-20 season.

Voted by Men’s Basketball Rules Committee members after the international line was used in the postseason NIT the past two years, the longer distance received positive feedback. The change was highlighted for three particular reasons.

Deeper three-point range will ideally slow down the three-pointer “becoming too prevalent in men’s college basketball by making the shot a bit more challenging.” The lane will also become more available for players attacking off the dribble. And spacing will also be aided by the additional distance from the arc.

This is the first time college basketball has moved the three-point line since before the 2008-09 season when the distance changed from 19 feet, 9 inches to 20 feet, 9 inches. Since that change 10 years ago, the NCAA noted that three-pointer percentages steadily increased back to previous levels seen before the change as players and teams adapted to the deeper distance over time.

The international line is a bit more challenging than the current 20 feet, 9 inches, but there are also plenty of deep-ball specialists who are shooting regularly beyond NBA three-point range. The new distance will give those players a bit of an advantage (and more value in recruiting).

Resetting the shot clock after offensive rebounds is another change in the works for men’s college basketball. After an offensive team corrals an offensive rebound, the shot clock will reset back to 20 seconds instead of the full 30-second shot clock in an effort to enhance pace. The NBA has also made this similar shot-clock reset change, so this is a rule that has been changing steadily across all levels of basketball.

The panel also approved a proposal where players will receive a technical foul for using derogatory language regarding an opponent’s race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, gender, gender expression, gender identify, sexual orientation or disability. Coaches will also be allowed to call live-ball timeouts during the final two minutes of the second half and the last two minutes of any overtimes. The previous rule didn’t allow coaches to call live-ball timeouts during the game.