NCAA Basketball Practices to Start Earlier

May 3, 2013
NCAA Basketball Practices to Start Earlier
Impact in 2013 is up to three full weeks

As anticipated, the proposed changes to rules on the timing of NCAA men’s basketball  preseason practices have moved forward and should be in effect this fall.

Numerous others have reported on this today, but most have missed the mark when explaining some of the specifics (including a news release from NCAA.org).

Late Night Hoops Explanation & Clarification of the Change
Q:
Has the date that teams can first practice been moved up two weeks?
A: No. It depends on the year, but the impact to 2013 is three weeks for those teams who play their first regular season game on the earliest date allowable.

The former rules were such that the first practice could occur on the Friday nearest October 15 (no earlier than 5pm local time). The number of days between the first allowable practice and a team’s first game were dependent on the calendar.

In 2012, the first allowable practice date for all NCAA teams was October 12. This year it would have been October 18.

The timing of the first allowable regular season game for NCAA teams has not been changed – it remains the second Friday in November. In 2012 that meant November 9. This year it’s November 8. In 2014 it will be November 14.

Under the new rules teams can begin practice 42 days before their first regular season game. That said, different teams can and will have different start dates for practice.

The limits on days are especially important (we’ll leave out hour limits to avoid confusion, but those also exist). In the past teams were subject to a one-day-off per week requirement. In other words they could practice six (6) days per week beginning the Friday nearest October 15.

Under the new rules teams can only practice 30 days out of 42 (and are still subject to the one-day-off per week requirement). This averages out to practicing five (5) days per week beginning six (6) weeks before a team’s first game.

Summary
Teams will start practicing earlier, but will have more days off. In addition, all teams will have 30 available days of practice over the 42 days before their first game. In the past the number of preseason practice days available changed year to year and from team to team in any given year.

From a consistency standpoint (between years and teams) we like the change. For coaches it allows a plan/program that is consistent from year to year, if desired. In addition, the extra day off each week (on average) may ease the ramp up from summer workouts to the beginning of the regular season for student-athletes.

Impact on 2013
Assuming a team plays its first game on the earliest date allowable, the new rules would mean it may start practice three (3) full weeks earlier and have 12 more days of practice available than it would have under the old rules.

Impact on 2014
Assuming a team plays its first game on the earliest date allowable, the new rules would mean it may start practice two (2) full weeks earlier and have six (6) more days of practice available than it would have under the old rules.

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