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Last week, the NCAA announced a rule change regarding the restricted area arc for men’s competition basketball.  Below is all the information you need to understand how this may impact your organization.

Question: What is the rules change?

Answer: The NCAA Men’s Basketball Rules Committee approved a proposal to expand the restricted area arc from 3′ to 4′.  The Women’s Basketball Rules Committee did not make any change to its rule and, therefore, the women’s arc remains at 3′.

Question: When will I need to have the 4′ arc painted on my floor?

Answer: First, a reminder that this rule change only applies to men’s competition.  For Division I men’s competition, the 4-foot arc must be in place for the 2015-16.  Divisions II and III institutions will play with the 3-foot arc in the 2015-16 season and be required to have the 4-foot arc on the court starting with the 2016-17 season.  The rule for Division II and III institutions will be to use the 3-foot arc during the 2015-16 season for consistency.

Question: If I’m a Division II or III institution, should I add the 4-foot arc this year or wait until the next off-season?

Answer: For Division II and III institutions, the committee would advise waiting until after the 2015-16 season, if possible.  However, it is understood that some institutions may not resurface-repaint floors every year.  Keep in mind that for Division II and III competition, officials will be instructed to use only the 3-foot arc in all games regardless of whether or not the 4-foot arc is painted on the floor.

Question: If the men’s and women’s teams share the same competition floor, should the two restricted area arcs be different colors?

Answer: YES.  Both arcs must be of a clearly constrasting color to the floor around them AND be of different colors from one another.  For example, if there is a wood-colored floor, a permissible arrangement would be to have the 4-foot arc be black and the 3-foot arc be white.  Obviously, there are many color combinations that will meet the rules, given school colors/markings, etc.

Question: Is it permissible for Division I institutions to have a temporary 4′ arc for the 2015-16 season if there is not enough time to have the 4′ arc painted this summer?

Answer: YES.

Question: Is there a chance that the Women’s Basketball Rules Committee will change the 3′ arc to 4′ following the 2015-16 season?

Answer: Playing rules are adopted on a two-year cycle, so the rules recently adopted are for the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons.  Unless there are extenuating circumstances, the next time the men’s and women’s basketball rules committees will make changes to playing rules will be for the 2017-18 season.

Question: Should the new men’s 4′ arc be measured in the same manner as the previous 3′ arc was measured?

Answer: NO.  The men’s arc shall be drawn as a two-inch line with the INNER edge (as opposed to the outer edge) of the line measuring 4′ from the center of the basket.  This is consistent with the procedure used to draw the National Basketball Association arc and was the intent of the rules change.