For women’s college basketball, the days of 20-minute halves, one-and-one foul shots and last-second full-court drives are over.

Monday, the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel approved a proposal to play all women’s basketball games in four 10-minute quarters starting next season.

Under the new format, teams will reach the bonus and shoot two free throws after the fifth team foul in every quarter. In past seasons, teams received one-and-one foul shot opportunities beginning with the seventh team foul of a half before reaching the double bonus (two free throws) with the 10th team foul.

Additionally, the new format features a rule that allows teams to automatically advance the ball to the frontcourt following a timeout in the final minute of the game.

The recommendation was initially made by the 13-member Women’s Basketball Rules Committee last month, and it aims to both “enhance the flow of the game” and emulate the rules of the WNBA and international basketball.

Michigan coach Kim Barnes Arico, who is working with USA Basketball for the second straight summer, welcomes the rule change as a means of creating a more universal game.

“We are excited about the changes,” Barnes Arico said. “Our game will now more closely mirror both the professional and international levels of competition, which I think is a great thing.

“I am very fortunate to have the opportunity to coach with USA Basketball again this year, allowing me the chance to play with international rules all summer as we prepare for next season. Many of the new college rules are reflected in the international game, so I am really excited that I get to experience that before the season kicks off in the fall.”

But Barnes Arico understands that the new changes will also bring a steep learning curve, especially when it comes to late-game strategy.

Games like the Wolverines’ one-point loss to Northwestern on Feb. 14 — which featured numerous bonus free throw attempts down the stretch and culminated in a futile near-half-court heave by then-senior guard Shannon Smith — would certainly have unfolded differently under the new rules.

“I think that with anything, when you make changes like this, it is going to take some time to get used to,” Barnes Arico said. “We always spend parts of practice going through situations, especially end-of-game situations. We will continue to do that, but now those situations will be a little different and will be a learning experience for both our players and coaches.”

With its eyes on creating a better fan experience, the panel also approved rules that allow more physical post defense and permit bands or amplified music to play during any dead-ball situation.

In addition to the changes it has already approved, the committee has plans to reduce the number of media and team timeouts per game — an issue that will be further discussed in a conference call on June 24.

“A lot of these changes are being made to make the game more exciting for fans,” Barnes Arico said. “I really think that our game is heading in the right direction, and I am excited to see it.”

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