Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Basketball Rule Changes Needed

Here’s a list of changes, but just one rule change, reducing the number of players from 5 per team, that is from 5-on-5, to 4-on-4 full court, 3-on-3 full court, 2-on-2 full court, or 1-on-1 full court, fundamentally changes basketball. Such games shift the style of play to fast break, run and gun, basketball. Basketball will be expressed far differently from today where players walk from three-point line to three-point line and pass around the three-point line. 

We basically keep changing the rules until the value of the 2-point shot equals the value of the 3-point shot, or is greater than the 3-point shot. But ideally, they will be approximately equal in value. Think of this way. If two teams shoot 100 shots, and Team A shoots only 2-pointers and makes 50% of them, they score 100 points. If Team B shoots only 3-pointers and makes 40% of them, they score 120 points. This is approximately what is happening today. The 2-point shot is worth 1 point and the 3-point shot is worth 1.2 points. We will keep using 4-on-4 as an example for all reductions in players per team.

Playing 4-on-4 will make players get easier two-point shots. Once they make 60% of 2-point shots, that shot will be worth 1.2 points. Once 2-point shots and three points are equal in value again, players can fast break all the time again. This makes more highlights. The more highlights the more fun for fans and players, and the better for advertisers. 

OFFENSIVE RULES - New Offensive Rules to consider or to implement right away until the math works out: 

Give three or four points for a full court fast break that ends with an alley-oop dunk. Could say all four players have to touch the ball?

The four-point shot. 

The five-point shot. 

The six-point shot. 

It's also time for the 4-point shot. Shooting from behind the half-court line will be 4 points, behind the three-point line at the other end of the court into your basket, will be 5-points. Shooting behind the free throw line at the other end of the court into your basket will be 6 points. If you make the shot of course.

Consider giving three points for a fast break alley-oop instead of only 2 points. If all four players touch the ball on offense and it ends up in a alley-oop 2-point basket, in this new system of four on four basketball It could be given three points.

180 degree, reverse dunk = 2.5 points.

360-degree, reverse dunk = 3 points.

Or other point amount variations for any of the above.

Free throws will be sped up. No more letting players leave their spots and slap hands between shots. Set up for free throws and have them done more quickly. 

When throwing in the ball, the players can move more than with the current traditional rules. They do not have to just stand in place. 

Add a red zone, or yellow zone, by extending the ends of the courts by 2 feet. This is so players can make moves to the basket from behind the basket. Players will be able to bank it in using the rim as a shield against the defense. They will also be running greater distances.

If the offense dominates too much, could have a rule have to let defensive player catch up sometimes. 

Again, the goal is to make the current two-point shots equal to the value of the three-point shots, or even greater than the three-point shot. This makes it better to fast break full court basket to basket.

Paint the 1, 2, or 3 feet, or some such length at the end of the court as the "red zone" or "yellow zone" or something so that there is more space to get to the basket, from behind the basket. Basically, increase the length of the court for more action behind and under the basket. This allows for using the basket and rim to block the defensive players. 

Consider point changes for other offensive shots and defensive plays. 

The one-handed, tip-in, offensive rebound could be given three points. 

Give three points for a backwards dunk or rotating more than 180 degrees to dunk. 

Speed up free throws because they really slow down the game.

Consider having no offensive rebounders at all.

Players can always grab the ball, and pass it into play immediately. Make it so the referee almost never holds the ball. 

Almost all players can dunk. It could even be a rule.

Almost all players can make a high-percentage of three pointers. This could be a rule as well.

Players cannot step out of formation and congratulate or high-five each other etc. between free throws as it slows down the game. 


Continuous motion offense.

Run and gun offense.

Alley-oop offense.

Three-point shot plays from behind the three-point line. 

Three man spread full court.

Four corners.

Stacked right or left.

Multiple picks set.

Single pick.

Double pick.

Triple pick.

Baseball passes.


Subtract 2 or 3 points for a blocked shot without fouling.

A block against the backboard, because it is such a difficult and unusual play, could be worth -3 points (negative three points). A block against the backboard, because it is such a difficult and unusual play, could be worth points, even up to -3 points (negative three points). 


Could have a rule that at least one player on each team has to be a "center." A center could be defined as someone over 7' tall. But there may not be enough of a supply of centers to mandate such a rule. In theory, four Michael Jordan type players could go against 4 Wilt Chamberlain type players. The all-around great players against the tallest great players. 


Back as fast as you can to the the half-court line.

Always between offensive player and the basket. 

Man to man.



Time changes. Other things to speed up the games. 

Game duration. 

Consider playing to 200 points, or another number, for example. 


Playing with reduced players changes the type of player to one who runs all the time, can handle the ball great, can dunk, and is great at shooting 3-point shots. Playing 4-on-4 changes the recruitment to faster, quicker, taller, great dunkers and shooters. 

Almost all players can dunk. It could even be a rule.

Almost all players can make certain high-percentage of three pointers. This could be a rule as well.


Players that can dunk, players that can make over 33.3% of their three-pointers in a game. 


Will want to recruit dunkers. Every player can dunk, as a rule, or as a publicity tool for teams that have it.


Will want to recruit players who shoot and make over 33.3% on three-point shots.


Want Pistol Pete Maravich, or Caitlin Clark ballhandling skills for full-court high-speed ballhandling and passing. 


COPYRIGHT (C) 2024 Bradley R. Hennenfent, M.D. All rights reserved. This blog is an ongoing script and treatment for basketball related videos, TV shows, games, exhibitions, and tournaments, including scripted and unscripted entertainment. 

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