Painted No-Charge Arc Coming In 2011, Perhaps
One of the reasons the NCAA basketball playing rules committee last month didn't recommend a painted arc to go along with the new "no charge" zone under the basket for "help" defenders was because it could have taken four years to institute a new painted line.
But when the Playing Rules Oversight Panel approved the roughly-24-inch no-charge area earlier this month, it did something smart: It opened the door to quicker implementation of a painted semicircle, if one is ever recommended and approved by the membership.
The Oversight Panel agreed that if the committee opts next summer to suggest that the no-charge zone be painted, the markings won't need to go through an experimental stage in 2010-11. That could allow arcs to be added in 2011-12, when the next rule book is printed, said Ty Halpin, the NCAA's associate director of playing rules administration.
Previously the NCAA said that it could take four years to add the painted arc, thanks to a confluence of factors including dumbass bureaucracy, the need for an experimental trial run, and the fact that the NCAA rulebook is updated every two years.
I never understood why an experimental stage would be necessary in this case, because unlike, say, a change to the lane's dimensions or a change to the three-point line--modifications that could have significant effects on the way the game is played and thus require a wait-and-see period--the no-charge zone is less a fundamental modifier and more just routine maintenance. Not to mention a complete no-brainer.
It's encouraging that the rules committee seems to have reached this conclusion, but still frustrating that we're two years away at the earliest from seeing the arc implemented. Worse, we've got two years of the imaginary arc, two years of officials struggling to make a second judgment call on top of what's already a pretty damn tough original judgment call. My hope is that the imaginary arc goes the way of every other "point of emphasis"/"ineffectual crackdown"--officials pay extra attention at the outset before totally forgetting about it.
If there is a good thing about the imaginary no-charge zone, though, it's that we are a little bit closer to seeing Karl Hess's head literally explode on the court. Were his feet set? Was he in the imaginary arc zone? The fuck's the dimensions on that thing again? Shit. *kaboom*