New WNBA rules include quarters, 24-second clock
WNBA teams will have less time to shoot and play 10-minute quarters next season under rule changes approved Tuesday by the league.
When the WNBA begins its 10th season next year, the shot clock will be shortened from 30 seconds to 24 seconds. Also, 20-minute halves will be dropped in favor of 10-minute quarters.
"We are thrilled with the continuing evolution of the game," said Renee Brown, chief of basketball operations and player relations. "The talent level of our players has continued to increase since the league's inaugural season."
International leagues, where many WNBA players compete offseason, is already using the 24-second clock. The shot clock will be reset to 14 seconds when a defensive foul or other defensive violation occurs with less than 14 seconds remaining. It will be left unchanged when a defensive violation occurs with 14 seconds or more remaining.
"It will force teams to run more, I hope," said Connecticut Sun coach Mike Thibault. "I think it's going to take a while for some of the teams to adjust to the 24-second clock. It helps our team right off the bat. We're kind of conditioned to it anyway.
"It was used in the last Olympics and didn't seem to be an issue."
Saving those six seconds would also translate into more possessions.
Minnesota Lynx coach Suzie McConnell Serio said WNBA teams use about 17 seconds of the shot clock.
"With the players we have coming into the league year after year, it's the next step up," she said. "The goal is to speed up the game and hopefully this will."
The new rules also limit the jump ball to start a new period to the opening tip and overtime. The winner of the opening tip will receive the ball out of bounds at the start of the fourth quarter. The loser gets possession at the start of the second and third quarters.
Jump balls will still be used to determine possession after a held ball.
Teams will be limited to four team fouls a quarter before getting bonus free throws.
Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press
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