Penn St Iowa Basketball

Iowa guard Christian Williams shoots a free throw during a recent game against Penn State. When the Hawkeyes play in the NIT this week, there will be experimental rules about when teams go into the bonus and how many free throws they shoot.


When the Iowa basketball team takes the court against South Dakota on Wednesday night, it won’t be playing two 20-minute halves.

It will play four 10-minute “segments.’’ Don’t call them quarters. They’re segments.

It’s just one of a handful of special rules that will be used in the National Invitation Tournament over the next few weeks as part of an experiment suggested by the NCAA's Rules Oversight Panel.

There also will be changes in the number of fouls it takes for teams to be in the bonus and in the number of free throws that will be shot, and a few other things. Few of the coaches involved in the NIT seem too concerned about any of it.

“I’m fine with it,’’ Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said. “I’ve done this before. A lot of times you have experimental rules at different tournaments. I think it’s fine.’’

Other aspects of the experimental NIT rules:

--The game clock will begin at 20 minutes for each half and count down, as it does now, but there will be an automatic timeout at the 10-minute mark in each half.

--Teams will be in the bonus on the fourth foul in each segment and teams will then shoot two free throws. There will be no such thing as a 1-and-1.

--In overtime periods, teams will be in the bonus on the third team foul.

--Team fouls will reset at the end of each segment.

--Any time there is a stoppage of play and the ball is inbounded in the front court, the shot clock will reset to 20 seconds, not 30.

The rules panel plans to study data from the tournament to determine how the rules changes impact the game and whether any of them are worth adopting on a permanent basis.

“It really doesn’t change anything in terms of how we’re going to play,’’ McCaffery added. “We’re going to play defense the same way and I think everybody else will. It really just changes the way free throws are going to be shot.’’