Rule Proposal: Ball Re-Entry

The following was proposed by Kevin Bailey.

If a ball exits the court on one team’s side of the neutral zone (and does not re-enter the court on its own), it must be returned in-bounds at that team’s baseline. If a ball exits the court through the neutral zone (and does not re-enter the court on its own), it must be placed on the spot in which it went out of bounds. No exception is made for a ball out of bounds but within reach for a player.

*If a live player possesses a ball at the same time as a designated ball retriever, the ball is awarded to the player.


Too many times (on courts with a close wall especially), a ball thrown by an opponent exits the court on a team’s side but not within reach. When this ball is the only one on that side, it becomes a major stall ball game, and almost always results in 10-15 seconds of standing still, then a shotclock violation call. Oftentimes this will repeat itself after the opponent comes up to make a solo throw after the balls over. At WAR, there were a few games with double digit stoppages due to this exact thing.

This rule will help speed up the game, by taking away some unnecessary stoppages. It will also help decrease bounceback stall ball in the scenario mentioned above. Also, taking away the ambiguity of what is/isn’t reachable helps simplify the out of play rule and will cause for less disputes.

Overall, this isn’t a major rule change that will have a massive impact on the game, but it will help in some cases to make the game much more watchable. Not to mention, more enjoyable to play.

Take a look at the image included in this post for a basic description of different scenarios.

No photo description available.

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