WNBA announces four rule changes for the 2018 season

SEATTLE, WA - JULY 22: Elizabeth Williams
SEATTLE, WA - JULY 22: Elizabeth Williams /

More from High Post Hoops

The WNBA announced there will be three rule changes for the 22nd season of the WNBA. The Competition Committee introduced the changes earlier in the month. The four accepted rule changes pertain to WNBA Draft pick trades, selection of All-Star Game coaches, free throw administration, and concussion protocol. Here are the details:

WNBA Draft

At the next draft, teams will be permitted to trade first-round draft picks in successive seasons.  From Feb. 1 until the immediately succeeding draft, first-round draft picks in both the immediately succeeding draft and the next draft may be traded.

In prior seasons, teams were required to retain at least one first-round pick in either the immediately succeeding draft or the next draft.

All-Star Coaching Staffs

In 2018, the coaching staffs from each conference with the best record – as of the Friday slate of games two weeks out from the All-Star Game – will lead their respective teams. In previous years, the head coach of the prior year’s conference champion served as the All-Star head coach.

Free Throw Administration

Likely in an attempt to speed up the game, players will now be expected to remain within the three-point line during free throw.  A delay-of-game penalty will be assessed to a shooter who wanders between shot attempts.

Adjustment to Concussion Evaluation Process

The WNBA has amended a standing policy regarding injured players ability to return to the game.  Prior to the change, a player unable to shoot her free throws or participate in a jump ball due to injury is not permitted to return to the game (exceptions exist for Flagrant 2 fouls).

Beginning next season, a player that passes an evaluation under the WNBA Concussion Policy may then re-enter the game, despite having not taken her free throws or participated in the jump ball. The new exception is in line with a similar rule change adopted by the NBA prior to the 2017-18 season.