WNBA Announces Rule Changes for 2008 Season
NEW YORK, Jan. 29, 2008 The Womens National Basketball Association has approved several rule changes for the 2008 season. The changes include revising the inbounding rules at the end of a game, adjusting the positioning of players not occupying lane spaces during free throws, and changing the instant-replay rule to allow for automatic reviews of certain flagrant fouls. The modifications, which were recommended by the WNBA Competition Committee, were approved by the WNBA Board of Governors earlier today.
These rule changes correspond with the elevated levels of athleticism, versatility and pace of play across the WNBA, said WNBA Chief of Basketball Operations and Player Relations Renee Brown. The inbounding rule will have an impact on increased scoring and exciting finishes for our fans while the other rule changes positively contribute to the evolution and growth of the game.
The highlights of the rule changes for 2008 are as follows:
- The inbounding rule will permit a player to pass the ball anywhere (frontcourt or backcourt) on the court during the final minute of the fourth period and the final minute of any overtime period when the ball is being inbounded from the midcourt line or frontcourt. Teams are still required to inbound the ball into the frontcourt from the midcourt line and the frontcourt at all other times.
- Players not occupying lane spaces shall now remain behind the three-point line (above the free-throw line extended) during free-throw positioning. Players may not be touching the line or the floor inside the line when the ball is released. Previously, players were positioned three feet beyond the three-point line (above the free-throw line extended).
- Instant-replay rules will now require automatic video reviews by the officiating crew in the case of flagrant fouls that result in ejections and other player altercations.
About the WNBA
Now entering its 12th season, the WNBA is the longest-running and most successful womens professional team sports league in America. The WNBA features 14 teams with the Eastern and Western Conferences comprised of seven teams each. In 2008, the expansion Atlanta Dream will join the Chicago Sky, Connecticut Sun, Detroit Shock, Indiana Fever, New York Liberty and Washington Mystics in the Eastern Conference, while the Houston Comets, Los Angeles Sparks, Minnesota Lynx, Phoenix Mercury, Sacramento Monarchs, San Antonio Silver Stars and Seattle Storm continue to comprise the Western Conference.
The 2008 season will tip off on May 17 and, for the third straight year, ESPN2 will feature WNBA Tuesdays as the appointment viewing destination for WNBA fans. ESPN2 will televise WNBA Tuesdays for nine weeks during the regular season, beginning with a May 20th telecast featuring a Western Conference match up between the Sacramento Monarchs and Seattle Storm. Combined WNBA coverage on ABC and ESPN2 will include 21 national telecasts in 2008, while NBA TV, the leagues 24-hour television network, will offer 70 regular season contests.
Renowned off the court for its dedication to the community, the WNBA is deeply committed to WNBA CARES programs that improve the quality of life for all people, with a special emphasis on promoting health and fitness, breast health awareness, reading and youth basketball programs. For more information on the WNBA, log onto www.wnba.com.