WNBA announces rule changes for 2013 season

The WNBA announced on Thursday that it will implement new rules regarding flopping, defensive three-seconds and also extend the three-point line for the 2013 season.

“Flops that are intended to mislead referees into calling undeserved fouls or fool fans into believing a foul call was missed are a detriment to the game,” Chief of Basketball Operations and Player Relations Renee Brown said. “With that, both the Board of Governors and the Competition Committee felt strongly that a player who, upon video review by the league, is believed to have committed a flop will, after an initial warning, be given an automatic penalty.”

“Flopping” will be defined as any physical act that, upon review, reasonably appears to have been intended to cause the referees to call a foul on another player.

During the preseason, warnings will be given to players who have been judged to have flopped. In the regular season, any player who has been judged to have flopped will first be given a warning. Subsequent violations will result in increasing fines, beginning with the sixth violation a player is also subject to suspension.

The league will announce at a later date a separate set of penalties for flopping in the playoffs.

In addition to the flopping rule, the league has also announced in will extend the three-point line from 20 feet 6 1/4 inches to 22 feet, 1 3/4 inches, the same as FIBA competitions.

The new defensive three-second rule will result in a technical foul being assessed if a defensive player violates the “actively guarding” guidelines. Following the free throw for the technical foul, the offense will maintain possession of the ball. Basically, much like the NBA the defensive three-second violation is in place to eliminate players from camping in the key to stop players defensively.

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