When the NCAA decided to move the women’s 3-point line back just over 16 inches last summer to match the men’s distance, many people in the game didn’t think much would change. After all, for some players, navigating the confusion of multiple arcs on the floor since the men’s line moved back to 22 feet, 1.75 inches in 2019 had been more trouble than it was worth.
“It’s not a huge difference,” Valparaiso guard Shay Frederick told me before the season. “I think last year, with having two lines on the court, most of the shots were taken past the men’s 3-point line.”
But was the statistical impact of the move really negligible? To find out, we dug into the data on several aspects of the game to see which numbers were affected by a deeper 3-point line.
Let’s just go ahead and get the easiest one out of the way first. Yes, unsurprisingly, the Division I 3-point percentage did drop this season. In fact, it dipped below 31 percent for the first time since the two seasons after the women’s game first moved the 3-point line back — from 19 feet, 9 inches to 20 feet, 9 inches — before the 2011-12 season.