NCAA Moves Men's 3-Point Line Back as Part of Rule Changes for 2019-20 Season

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistJune 5, 2019

Virginia's Kyle Guy shoots a 3-pointer over Clemson's Shelton Mitchell during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019, in Clemson, S.C. (AP Photo/Richard Shiro)
Richard Shiro/Associated Press

Beginning in the 2019-20 season, the men's college basketball three-point line will move more than a foot back after the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel approved new rules for the upcoming year.

According to Greg Johnson of NCAA.com, the line will be placed 22'1¾" away from the basket in Division I, a change from the 20'9" that has been in place since 2008.

The sport experimented with the different arc during the NIT last season and saw enough to go through with the change.

The new distance matches the three-point line in international competitions. The distance will change for Divisions II and III in 2020-21 to account for the costs associated with moving the line on courts.

Across Division I men's basketball, players hit 35.2 percent of their attempts from three-point range during the 2017-18 season. Five different teams hit more than 40 percent of their outside shots in 2018-19, while national champion Virginia made 39.5 percent during the year.

Although some players will struggle with the longer distance, it will likely decrease reliance on the three throughout the country. Perhaps more importantly, it should open up the court and create more space in the paint for drives and low-post play.

Meanwhile, another rule change that could improve offensive play is that shot clocks will only reset to 20 seconds after an offensive rebound instead of the usual 30.

"The change is being made to enhance the pace of the game," the NCAA said in the release.

Coaches will also get the opportunity to call live timeouts in the final two minutes of regulation and overtime, giving them more control at the end of games.

Finally, players will now be given technical fouls for derogatory language toward an opponent.

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