This morning I got an email requesting that I take part in an NFHS (National Federation of State High School Associations) Basketball Rules Questionnaire. There were a wide range of different questions with some fairly significant rule changes. Here's a brief summary of the proposed changes that stood out to me and my thoughts on them:
35 second shot clock in all states. Yes, absolutely yes. Washington State has had this in place for over a decade and it's been great. Playing Idaho teams in Idaho is a little annoying because they don't use a shot clock currently, but in fairness almost all the large classification schools there play at a fast pace anyway so it's not a huge issue.
Dunking in warmups. This has been stupid forever because teams begin warming up as early as 30 minutes before game time and referees do not take control of the court until the 15 minute mark. So teams with permissive coaches allow their players to dunk prior to the arrival of the officials anyway, and teams with old school coaches that are rules sticklers (thinking of my dad and me when I was younger) don't and are annoyed that the other team gets away with it. I can say with complete confidence that player athleticism has gone up in Spokane over the last 30 years and impressive dunks have become much more commonplace. It's a fun thing for the kids to do, it's entertaining to everyone in the gym, and I think it was made out to be an intimidation/sportsmanship thing that is just not the case today if everyone is allowed to participate. This was also the first year that a Spokane official at a team rules presentation before the season actually came out and flat out said that it was basically cool and fine to dunk in warmups before the officials come out, but once they arrive you will get a technical. So I'm fully on board with legalizing the practice.
Foul Shot Bonus Administration There were a bunch of related questions about rule variations on this topic so I have to think there's a lot going on behind the scenes with this one. The main proposal was to switch to a system where team foul totals reset after each quarter, 1 and 1s would be eliminated, and a two shot free throw would be awarded after the 5th team foul.1 I was not for this change because it appears to allow teams to foul more without repercussion, but I'd be curious to hear what NCAA women's coaches think about it. And the more I think about it the more open I am to it if there's a good explanation of the benefits of the switch.
Uniform Colors There was at least one question about uniform color and allowing the home team to wear solid colors with the visiting team going to white. Basically switching the longstanding tradition of white for home teams and dark colors for visitors. I'm a traditionalist and don't see any reason to change this one.
Gear Color Coordination Rules Asking coaches and officials to worry about which color compressions shorts, tights, sleeves, headbands, undershirts, etc. that players are wearing in addition to their jersey is just a waste of time for everyone involved as long as they're a neutral or team color. This has actually gotten better in the last few years, but there was at least one survey question about making it more restrictive again.
It was unclear to me whether you would shoot free throws on the fifth team foul or the sixth, but NCAA women do it after the fifth foul.