Rule Changes for 2007 Season

January 30, 2007 - New York, NY - The Women’s National Basketball Association has approved several rule changes for the 2007 season. The changes include reducing the 10-second backcourt rule to eight seconds, permitting head coaches (in addition to players) to call timeouts and designating 11 active and up to two inactive players on playoff rosters. The modifications, which were recommended by the WNBA Competition Committee, were approved by the WNBA Board of Governors earlier today.

“The backcourt rule change coincides with some positive modifications we made to our game last season,” said WNBA Chief of Basketball Operations and Player Relations Renee Brown. “The adjustment to an eight-second backcourt rule continues the trend of speeding up the game and increasing the number of possessions. This leads to higher scoring games, which we saw last year when we implemented the 24-second shot clock and the four-quarter format. Teams across the league posted scoring increases, and fans enjoyed the up-tempo style of the game.”

The highlights of the rule change for 2007 are as follows:

- The backcourt rule will require offensive teams to bring the ball across the midcourt line within eight seconds rather than 10 seconds.

- The timeout rule will require officials to grant requests for a timeout (full or twenty-second) by a player in the game or the head coach. Previously, only players in the game were allowed to call timeouts.

- Teams will now designate 11 active players and up to two inactive players on playoff rosters, with the ability to activate any inactive players on a game-by-game basis. This is the same process as is employed during the regular season.

- Two free throw attempts and possession of the ball shall be awarded on the sideline nearest the spot where play was interrupted if an offensive player, or a teammate, is fouled while having a clear-path-to-the-basket. In previous seasons, the penalty for clear-path-to-the-basket fouls was one free throw and possession of the ball.