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The NCAA is changing the charge rule (again)

Everyone will be happy and nobody will ever have any more complaints.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Second Round-Wisconsin vs Xavier
Picture not unrelated.
Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Everyone hates the charge rule. Nobody understands the charge rule. Just search "charge" or "#charbage" on Twitter if you don't believe, but I know you won't because you believe me. I'm very credible in this space.

Before we go any further, you deserve to know the text of the new rule. I'm sure the exact wording will be churched up a little for the rulebook, but the release says, "Under the new rule, a defender will have to be in position to draw a charge at the time an offensive player plants a 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 will be instructed to call a block when contact occurs between the two players." For clarity, when the rulebook says a player has to be in position to draw a charge, it means that he has to have two feet on the floor, facing the opponent. To my knowledge, that hasn't changed.

The basic nature of the rule hasn't changed; you can only draw a charge from the dude you're guarding. If you're a help defender, a player cannot be considered the dude you're guarding if he has already put his foot down to lift on a shot attempt.

I think this is a good thing. The lesser the incentive for a defender to slide under a guy who is trying to score, the better and safer the game will be. I'm all for an offensive player not being allowed to just bully his way to the rim through his guy, but if a secondary defender is coming over to help, it makes sense to me that he should have to make a play on the ball rather than just hold himself and fall down.

There a couple of other interesting tweaks in there. In what I'm gonna call the Jack Nunge Rule, goaltend calls can be reviewed at the next media timeout, though experience teaches me that's no guarantee they'll be gotten right. A player can now be awarded a timeout even when airborne, bringing back everyone's favorite hero play of snatching a loose ball and calling timeout before you land out of bounds. Players can now were any number from 0-99, which is... fine. It will be weird to see, but there's not a super compelling case against it aside from tradition.

In the words of Jon Bunch, change is coming, know it's nothing personal. I'm sure people will adjust to this with a minimum of fuss.