The only thing certain in life: Death, taxes, and referees seemingly missing the block/charge call. Although the rule was just recently changed this past summer, the NCAA rules committee is proposing yet another change to the block/charge rule. This time, it’s essentially a step backwards in order to “make this play easier to coach and officiate.” The whole theory behind the change made to the calling of that play last season was to encourage and allow more creativity and freedom for the offensive player when driving to the basket. The new rule attempted to eliminate the defensive tactic of sliding in at the last minute on a driving player to draw a charge.
This past season, the number of block/charge calls diminished due to the rule change, which was initially made in order to avoid as many collisions underneath the basket. In the season that just concluded, a secondary defender had to be in legal guarding position before the offensive player initiated his move to shoot in order to draw a charge.
The new proposal states that a defender does not have to be established until the offensive player left the floor to pass or shoot. The goal of opening up the college game a bit more, and increasing scoring– which had been down in recent years, was aided by the new block/charge rules from last year. Scoring was up nearly 4 ppg in just one season with the new rules, which also included calling the hand-checks more closely.
For teams who play with a mentality to drive the ball to the basket (aka teams like John Calipari’s in many seasons, especially when utilizing the Dribble-Drive), the proposed rule change back to the old ways would not be ideal.
Although the rule is not final, we will know by June 25th whether or not the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight panel gives it the thumbs up.