The Associated Press

Both the men's and the women's committees say they are pleased with the college hoops rules as is

OVERLAND PARK. — There will be few changes in college basketball rules next season.

The NCAA made that announcement yesterday as its Men's and Women's Basketball Rules Committees wound up three days of meetings in Scottsdale.

"The committee felt the state of the game was healthy," said George Raveling, the Southern Cal coach who heads the men's committee. "We have just completed one of the most exciting and successful seasons in recent years and the men's committee simply did not see a reason to make a lot of changes."

East Tennessee State athletic director Janice Shelton, who chairs the women's committee, said women's basketball "is in the best shape it has ever been in. There is just no need for major changes."

Raveling said there was "some sentiment" for changing two rules, but neither was amended.

He said there had been substantial discussion about changing the current distance of the three-point line from 19 feet, 9 inches.

He also said there was talk about the possible restoration of the rule awarding a turnover when a player with the ball is closely guarded for five seconds even though he continued to dribble.

That rule was changed last year so that there was no turnover as long as the player kept dribbling. Coaches whose teams specialize in pressure defense have wanted a change back to the old way.

The women's committee discussed the 30-second shot clock and the absence of a 10-second backcourt count, but made no changes.

Both committees expanded the mandatory suspensions for fighting to include coaches and team personnel, as well as players. The points of emphasis for conduct at games will add attention to such matters as abusive and vulgar language, taunting and baiting and bench decorum.

And, both committees agreed to allow a player with a bloodied uniform to return to the game before play resumes if the medical staff determines the uniform is not saturated. In the past, such a player couldn't return until the clock started again.

Some changes approved included:

• Allowing players to wear soft, pliable guards on their hands, fingers, arms and elbows.

• Restricting scoring attempts in the last three-tenths of a second in any period to tip-ins.

• Including hand-checking and illegal post play in the points of emphasis for both men and women, with hanging on the rim and traveling added for men.

• Allowing women to use the "wide-channel" ball.

• An experimental rule for men, allowing conferences to seek permission to allow one additional 20-second timeout in each half. Read Next Article