Basketball: Third-party wonkery
Ken Pomeroy has a "state of the game" post up which is, in the words of Napoleon Dynamite, flippin' sweet. It includes a graph charting field goal percentage, game pace, and offensive efficiency since 1948 with significant rules changes highlighted.
Pomeroy points out two main trends: the number of threes being launched continues to skyrocket and the pace of the game continues to plummet... 2005 marked an all-time-low. These are conveniently two of the three things I love to harp on when I talk about why I don't get behind college basketball as much as the pro game (number three: excessive timeouts). The three-point line has been the subject of much discussion in recent years. It got bumped back a little for the '03-'04 season but the nine inches they added have obviously failed to halt the three's rise to power. Pomeroy suggests that moving it back even further (perhaps to the full NBA length) is something that will happen in the near future.
What of the shot clock? Well, Pomeroy suggests it should actually be increased in order to force teams to play a more aggressive style of defense instead of waiting around for their zones to get cracked. That makes little sense to me, but who do you trust, me or Pomeroy? (ME? Wrong answer.)
I would prefer a vicious crackdown on charges, including a no-charge circle similar to the NBA's and the implicit understanding that if it's at all close the tie goes to the offense. The ability to drive and finish or kick out should be much improved. I fear that increasing the shot clock will invite bad teams to slow the game down extensively, like Michigan did against teams with a pulse last year.
Anyway, run over there and check it out. Pomeroy is the man, man.