clarification of free-throw lane regulations

The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) has clarified two basketball free-throw regulations.  Regulation 9-1-3d previously stated:

9-1-3d: No player shall enter or leave a marked lane space.

It now states:

9-1-3d: No player shall enter or leave a marked lane space by contacting the court outside the 36-inch by 36-inch space.

This change clarifies that a player may not reach across the lane line and touch the court while maintaining his or her feet within the lane space.  Thus a player cannot touch the floor across the lane line to prevent herself or himself from falling into the lane space.

The second change added an additional provision to Regulation 9-1-3g.  This new provision states:

A player shall position one foot near the outer edge of the free-throw lane line. The other foot may be positioned anywhere within the designated 36-inch lane space.

An earlier change in regulation moved players an additional lane space away from the basket.  This lane movement was designed to lessen rough play in competing for rebounds.  However, this regulatory change prompted some offensive players in the second lane position to move to the outside edge of the lane space to position themselves to cut quickly behind the defensive player in the first lane space and thus get a rebounding position in the extra space that the rule change had created.  The new regulatory change lessens possibilities for players to exploit the prior regulatory change.

Everyone wants clear, stable regulations.  But enacting such regulations is no simple task.

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