New changes to the women’s game

As October begins, that means basketball training camp is underway. There is no team more in need of a winning season than the Waynesburg University women’s basketball team. 

The previous five seasons have not been the best for the Lady Yellow Jackets with the exception of reaching the PAC tournament four of the five years. In that span, the team has gone a combined record of 27-88 after having a 15-12 record in the 2017-18 season.

“We had a hard time scoring last year, so we brought some kids that can score the basketball,” said Head Coach Sam Jones. “Our returners have worked hard in the offseason and have gotten better in that area.”

That is some good news knowing that the Yellow Jackets were second to last in scoring last year averaging 52.4 points per game. 

Now there could be new ways to score more points because of the NCAA rules for the women’s game that were added during the offseason to take effect this season. 

“These rules were made to help better the game,” said former NCAA Division I official and now division III assigner Mary Day. “The rules will have more of an effect on Division I and II games, but there will be conferences on the division III level that have an effect as well.” 

The women’s game will now not feature a restricted area unless it is directly another underneath the basket and a new flop rule to eliminate flopping from the game.

According to the NCAA rule book, Rule 4-14 states, “To define faking being fouled and, following a team warning, penalize the team by awarding two free throws and the ball to the offended team. This will disincentivize players from faking fouls (flopping) to make it appear that a foul has been committed; by providing a team warning first, it gives the players and team an opportunity to play the game properly. To appropriately penalize infractions that occur following a team warning.”

“To create a new technical foul category that is the result of a subsequent infraction following a team warning. These technical fouls are charged to the team-foul count but are not assessed to any individual. It addresses the four delay situations in Rule 4-9.1.d through .g as well as when a player fakes being fouled during live play,” says Rule 10-12.3. “Players on the court may not be aware they are playing under a specific warning; assessing a technical foul directly to the player was deemed too severe.”

Prior to these rules changes, flopping has been a problem in not only basketball but in all sports as well.However, Jones doesn’t seem to believe that it will have a bad effect on his team.

“I have never been the one to encourage flopping, in fact, I have discouraged it,” Jones said. “It drives me crazy, that’s why I don’t let my kids.” 

With new rule changes on the women’s game, there begs the question: could these rules shift to the men’s game as well? 

“Only time will tell,” said Day. “Only time will tell.”

The Yellow Jackets open the season at Rudy Marisa Fieldhouse, on Nov. 9 vs Muskingham.