WNBA tweaks rules, 3-point line

Dec. 13, 2012 at 1:10 PM

NEW YORK, Dec. 13 (UPI) -- The WNBA announced a series of rule changes Thursday, including pushing the 3-point line to the international standard.

The WNBA said it would move the 3-point arc from the current 20-foot, 6 1/4-inch distance to 22 feet 1 3/4 inches, which is the distance used in international competition. The NCAA 3-point distance is 20 feet, 9 inches.

"We extended the line to its current distance of 20 feet, 6 1/4 inches in 2004 and our 3-point shooting percentage increased," said WNBA Chief of Basketball Operations and Player Relations Renee Brown.

"Since then the talent level and the athleticism of our players has only continued to increase; and with a significant percentage of our players also playing -- and excelling -- internationally, this brings us into line with the international game."

The WNBA also said it was adopting an anti-flopping rule, meant to limit attempts by players to exaggerate contact with another player to influence foul calls by game officials, and established a defensive 3-second.

The anti-flopping rule is similar to one instituted by the NBA this year. Players found guilty of flopping can be fined or, after six such violations, suspended.

The defensive 3-second rule is meant to open the middle of the lane "to allow athletic players to drive to the basket," the WNBA release stated.

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