college basketball rules questions

I know the NBA has basically removed travelling from the rule book, but after watching a few of the games in the tourney so far, I’m wondering if the NCAA has changed travelling as well.

Do the players get another 1/2 step? A full step? Seems that they get a bit more leeway than in the past.

This also includes the shuffling of the pivot foot. The foot no longer seems to need to be nailed to the floor. Am I just imagining this, or have the rules become a bit more flexable?

Also, 3 seconds. Guys are camped out in the lane much longer than 3 seconds. I don’t think I’ve seen it called yet. Is this still a rule on the books?


The written rules regarding traveling and three seconds haven’t changed, so any change lies in how they’re called, which is bound to be subjective. FWIW I agree that they’ve gotten a little more lenient on traveling, although nowhere near NBA levels. They seem less prone to call on picking up the pivot foot an instant before starting the dribble.

Regarding three seconds, I don’t watch it closely enough to have an opinion.

Regarding three seconds…
First, an official has to notice it. Then they count off the time, this will be very slow and highly visible (horizontal chopping motion with the hand).
Usually it’s the responsibility of the ref on the baseline, who is often busy with more important things. If you see 3 seconds called, it’s probably because the opposing coach complained about it.

Listened to some D1 officials a couple of weeks ago at a regional intramural tournament I was working.

“When in doubt, it’s not traveling.” You can’t come back down onto your pivot foot - that gives you two steps (pivot-non). But you can’t travel without control of the ball, either catching a pass or picking up the dribble, so it’s often going to be (especially when receiving a pass) a step before the pivot foot is established (catch-pivot-non).

So you can, and sometimes do, get a player who catches a pass, steps concurrent with the catch (left), takes a step and establishes the plant foot (right), takes the next step (left) then starts the dribble (right), picks it up after the next step (left), has the plant (right), takes the next step (left), and then goes up for a shot or passes. Seven footfalls to one dribble, and it can be completely legal. With high level athletes, this kind of thing can go a long way.

Shuffling the pivot isn’t allowed, but can be tough to catch, especially with a close defender when you’re watching body contact. That’s been something I’ve been personally working on improving in my own calls - good positioning helps

3 seconds. It exists, but referees are told to call it on an advantage-disadvantage basis (like most issues, just particularly prominent here). If you aren’t gaining an advantage from being in the lane too long it won’t get called immediately, though the ref should be talking and telling you to clear the lane. Then making the call if it doesn’t change.

Also: the 3 seconds in the lane call is NOT a visible count (Nor is 10 seconds to shoot your free throw). 10 seconds backcourt, 5 seconds closely guarded, and 5 seconds to inbound are all visible.

Official NCAA rules