Today, I bring you an exciting presentation about rules. (For those of you looking for hype on the Illinois/Wisconsin game, you should know the drill by now. Big Ten Wonk will not only have coverage, but coverage of the coverage, along with a steady diet of acronyms, all wrapped in a college-level vocabulary.)
The data is in, and in what should not be a surprise to anyone, the rules experiments for the exempt games of the 2005 season were once again a failure. The numbers for games through December 31st, which include all exempt games for this season, speak for themselves:
Exempt Regular Games Games (169) (1438) Poss/40 min 69.1 69.5 Points/Poss .969 .986 Points/40 min 133.9 137.1 3P FG% 33.7 34.8 2P FG% 47.3 48.0 3PA/FGA (%) 31.7 32.8 Fouls/Poss .272 .266
As a review, the experimental rules for this season included an expanded lane, a three point line at 20′ 6", and a silver-dollar sized "charge-free" arc under each hoop. The results are similar to what happened with the experimental rules for exempt games during the 2004 season. The disparity in offensive production between the exempt and regular games is less than last season. But that makes sense, because the larger international lane was used for the exempt games last season.
I expanded on the reasons for a reduction in offensive production under the experimental rules in this post over the summer. It’s simple really, the expanded lane forces offensive players further away from the basket, thereby producing a reduction in two point field goal percentage. Extending the three point arc naturally reduces three point accuracy. In addition, the game slows down as the offense works longer because it is more difficult to find an acceptable shot.
Putting this in the context of the current trend in college hoops of declining pace and scoring (2005 is even slower and more low-scoring than 2004), and it makes it obvious that implementation of these rules would be foolish.