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NCAA could change legal guarding position, limiting charges

While it may seem to give the offense more of an advantage, the goal would be to limit injuries.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament South Regional-San Diego State vs Alabama Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports

The Kentucky Wildcats may have to play by a different set of rules this upcoming basketball season.

After seeing many injuries happen in the NBA Playoffs and a clear need for adjustment to the rule to help give offensive players a safer landing, the organization may be aiming to change what a “legal guarding position” is.

“The NCAA Men’s Basketball Rules Committee on Friday proposed a rules change for the 2023-24 season to the legal guarding position on block/charge scenarios involving defenders around the basket,” wrote.

They continued with: “Under the recommendation, a defender would have to be in a position to draw a charge at the time an offensive player plants his foot to go airborne to attempt a field goal. If the defender arrives after the offensive player plants a foot to launch toward the basket, officials would be instructed to call a block when contact occurs between the two players.”

This move makes sense and should aid teams like Kentucky, given the ultra-explosive talent it will feature with players like DJ Wagner and Justin Edwards. At the same time, it is dangerous if a defender arrives after the offensive player is in the air.

That can clearly cause injury, and the goal isn’t to increase the pace or add free throws to a game but certainly is to reduce how often injuries occur and how frequently defenders slide under offensive players.

June 8th is the quickest this rule, which has to go through the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel, can be approved. This seems like it will be a slam-dunk change, but time will tell if it is something they want to implement.