Pac-12's Violet Palmer: No rules changes, same points of emphasis for officiating
SAN FRANCISCO – Basketball fans won’t have to keep track of any new rules changes or points of emphasis for the 2014-15 season, Pac-12 coordinator of women's basketball officials Violet Palmer said Wednesday at 2014-15 Pac-12 Women’s Basketball Media Day.
Talking to a room full of Pac-12 Networks broadcasters, Palmer said she felt one point of emphasis in particular – contact on the ball handler (colloquially known as the “hand-checking rule”) –helped make the game more appealing to fans last season. “I think it opened up the game and scoring increased,” Palmer said. In the Pac-12 alone, scoring jumped from an average of 63.5 points per game in 2012-13 to 70.5 points per game in 2013-14.
In addition to contact on the ball handler (defenders are allowed one touch; the second one is a foul), the other points of emphasis are:
- Contact on jump shooters: Jump shooters must be allowed to return to the floor upon release.
- Freedom of movement: Defenders can't impede, re-route or displace offensive players trying to get to a certain spot on the floor.
- Screening: Fouls on illegal screens will only be called if contact is made and a screener must give the defender room to stop or change directions.
Talk of screening livened up the room. “You got some big girls with big booties!” Pac-12 Networks analyst Mary Murphy playfully argued to Palmer, trying to get a better understanding of how wide a player can get on setting a screen (a player's feet can't be wider than her shoulders).
“You can see why I got a lot of technical fouls,” added Murphy, a former player and coach.
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