On Thursday, the WNBA announced some new rule changes for the 2015 season. The most significant changes will involve the increased use of instant replay
Next summer, instant replay triggers (for out of bounds, restricted area violations, shot clock violations) can now be used by officials during the last two minutes of a quarter and for each overtime period. Before, they could only do so in the last minute of a quarter and overtime periods. Officials can also use instant replay to review all off-ball fouls, whether on offense or defense and to determine when they do not know whether a foul was flagrant or not. I saw a good number of physical fouls last season that had to be called flagrants before being downgraded, so that last rule change is something I like.
There are also some minor changes in game play. The shot clock will not be reset to five seconds when the defense causes a held ball with that much time left. Midcourt throw-ins can now be done into the backcourt, as opposed to just the front court. Finally, teams can substitute players whenever any timeout is called -- before there were some cases when that wasn't allowed.
I don't know how much the game will change in 2015 as a result of the second set of rule changes. But I do like the increased use of instant replay, because this will ensure that the calls are right, even if this takes additional time.