NCAA Approves Extending Men's College Three-Point Line Back to International Distance

By Kevin Harrish on June 5, 2019 at 2:53 pm
The men's three-point line is moving back.

Downtown is getting a little deeper.

The Division I men's college three-point arc will be extended to the international basketball distance beginning this 2019-20 hoops season, the NCAA announced on Wednesday.

The new three-point stripe will be about a foot-and-a-half further, moving from 20 feet, 9 inches to 22 feet, 1¾ inches this season. The move comes after the NCAA's Men's Basketball Rules Committee received positive feedback from coaches participating in last year's NIT, which used the international line fo the first time.

The committee outlined three reasons for the change:

  • Making the lane more available for dribble/drive plays from the perimeter.
  • Slowing the trend of the 3-point shot becoming too prevalent in men’s college basketball by making the shot a bit more challenging, while at the same time keeping the shot an integral part of the game.
  • Assisting in offensive spacing by requiring the defense to cover more of the court.

Last month, Ohio State head coach Chris Holtmann told Joe Scalzo of the Canton Rep that he "would be shocked" if the three-point line was not moved back to the international distance for the upcoming season and that the Buckeyes were already preparing for the longer shooting distance.

“If they moved it back to half-court, our guys would think they could make it,” Holtmann joked to Scalzo, “so I think we’re gonna be in good shape.”

The changes in shooting percentages figure to be slight. Participants in this year's NIT shot 33 percent from beyond the arc compared to the 35.8 percent season average. The last time the three-point line was moved ahead of the 2008-09 season, three-point percentages fell from 35.2 percent to 34.4 percent.

The NCAA also approved resetting the shot clock to 20 seconds after an offensive rebound of a shot that hits the rim instead of the full 30 seconds.

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