<
>

New WNBA rules include quarters, 24-second clock

12/6/2005 - WNBA

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.