West Basketball Bounces Past Rule Change

New defense regulation hasn’t been a problem for the Spartans

By Anthony Schlass, Current Staff

Starting a new season comes with adjustments for any team. The 2014-15 West Bend West basketball team is adjusting to a WIAA rule change regarding ball handler/dribbler contact.

The new rule limits the amount of contact between the defender and the ball handler. All of the following by a defender would constitute a foul: placing two hands on the ball handler; placing an arm bar (forearm contact) on the ball handler; placing and keeping a hand on the ball handler; and contacting a ball handler more than once with the same or alternating hands.

When asked about the effects on how a player can play defense, two-year varsity starter Kyle Wilde said, “Defenses cannot be as physical anymore. Move with your feet, hands out, chest up. It is easier for guards to get into the paint.”

“It takes out a lot of the aggression that players can have in the game. I cannot be as touchy with people,” senior Mitch Welker said.

Coach Ryan Wietor hasn’t found the new rule change to be a problem. “We found out about the rule in spring so we were able to mentor our guys through it early on,” Wietor said.

“Coach Wietor likes the rule change because he thinks it will give us an advantage. We have been playing tournaments since May so we are doing well with it,” Wilde said.

The Spartans used the rule to their advantage in the season opener against Bradley Tech, drawing north of 15 fouls to Tech’s nine.

“It has been a smooth transition for us so far,” Wietor said.

With the season underway and a record of 2-4, the Spartans are looking to be atop the Wisconsin Little Ten Conference. The next match up for the Spartans will be Tuesday as they take on Kettle Moraine Lutheran in the West Bend Fieldhouse at 7:15 p.m.

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