Jan 5, 2011
Debating The Use Of A Shot Clock At The H.S. Level

High school basketball coaches have been using the same tactic for decades.

When their team has a lead late in the game, hang on to the ball and force the other team to foul.

What would happen if they didn’t have that option?

Only eight states across the country have a shot clock in high school basketball, but as teams continue to use the old-school strategy of “taking the air out of the ball, the issue could gain more traction.

There are several arguments to both sides of implementing a shot clock, but the most compelling points against a shot clock include cost, manpower and a general understanding of playing with a shot clock by coaches, players and officials.

“The National Federation of High Schools rule book does have the option to go to a shot clock, but it hasn’t really been discussed much by our basketball steering committee, Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association executive director Brad Cashman said. It has been motioned in the past but rarely received a second (motion). If the issue got a second motion, it would fail by a vote in the steering committee. The main reason is that it calls schools for an additional expense. Most don’t have the adaptability to have a shot clock, but it is a financial consideration more so than anything else.”

With school budgets tightening on an annual basis, the implementation of a shot clock could cost some schools its basketball program. According to Daktronics, single-sided shot clocks are sold in pairs for a little less than $2, 000. Schools would need to purchase only one pair, but to be safe, they might have to buy two pairs in case one malfunctions or is damaged during a game.

That cost doesn’t include electric rewiring that could be necessary for some schools, as well as a game-by-game cost for someone to run the shot clock. Schools already pay a scoreboard operator, officials and an announcer — in some cases — per game. Having someone who understands how to operate a shot clock could be a headache as well.

“I don’t think we need a shot clock. The game has been good so far without it, said L.J. Frisina, the head of male officials in District 10. It’s another burden to worry about at the scorer’s table. People don’t realize how important it is to run the thing, and the game can really be screwed up by someone running it poorly. I think as a fan it would be exciting and bring a new dimension into the game, but as an official it is more of a burden to worry about.”

With costs and personnel issues aside, would a shot clock be good for the game itself?

Canisius boys basketball coach Kyle Husband is almost shocked that all states aren’t using shot clocks. Canisius is located in Buffalo, N.Y., one of the eight states that uses a shot clock. The other seven are California, Maryland, Massachusetts, North Dakota, South Dakota, Rhode Island and, as of 2009, Washington.

“I think using a shot clock makes a huge difference, said Husband, who is in his 10th year — seventh as the head coach — at Canisius. We’ve played in tournaments that don’t use them and it’s a much different game. I think the one game we played was a 38-32 final and I don’t know if that is what today’s game is all about.”

Husband’s Crusaders entered the week 6-3 and will travel to the Hammermill Center tonight to take on Cathedral Prep, a game to be played without a shot clock. He is familiar with the Erie area, as Canisius took on McDowell over the summer and was amazed to hear the Trojans defeated Fairview in a low-scoring 28-22 game earlier this season.

“McDowell has so much talent. They beat up on us pretty good without their two best players, Husband said. I honestly don’t see how that does anyone on either team much good. McDowell could score 60, 70 points a game, I believe. I think with a shot clock you can actually learn more on offense and defense, and even give your team a boost if you force a shot-clock violation.”

In McDowell’s 28-22 win over Fairview, the Trojans hung on to the ball for more than 2 minutes in the fourth quarter before the Tigers came out to guard them. It was only the second game of the season for both teams, but it is another example of teams holding the ball to run down the clock. Some coaches use it as strategy and some use it as sort of a timeout to give their players some rest.

McDowell’s biggest rival, Cathedral Prep, has traveled to different tournaments, and coach Mark Majewski feels that, for most teams, it wouldn’t affect their style of play.

“I think it depends on the coach and the style, but most teams around play fast enough where a shot clock wouldn’t be a big deal, Majewski said. We played at Canisius last year, and when I was at Villa Maria we played a few times in Ripley, N.Y. Initially, when I first went there, it was in the back of my mind that I had to really prepare for a 35-second shot clock.

“However, once you get into the flow of the game you really don’t notice it. If you work the basketball and move it around a lot, 35 seconds can be a long time, and it can be a long time to make a team defend.”

Coaches seem to be split on the issue, with some of the well-seasoned coaches wanting players to learn how to run the offense and take their time working for a good shot, while some of the newer coaches want their teams to play up-tempo basketball and learn how to make quick decisions.

“I’ve coached in tournaments with a shot clock, and I think it is a good idea, especially for the kids moving on to the college level, Mercyhurst Prep girls coach and athletic director Dan Perfetto said. I think it would help the kids get used to a shot clock in college by playing with it on the high school level. You get more possessions and make the game more interesting.

“Not only could it increase the offense, but players can learn how to play solid team defense. It also can prevent a safety issue of players running around trying to foul someone in the final minutes of the game.”

Perfetto is also in favor of experimenting with shot clocks for a season or two as a test run. However, Cashman said there needs to be a higher demand for a shot clock before the PIAA would begin to discuss it in committee meetings.

“There hasn’t been much support for a shot clock from the membership, Cashman said. The PIAA is an association of member schools and not fans. If the member schools begin to really push for it, then we could discuss adopting it.”

As far as District 10 goes, there hasn’t been an outcry for a shot clock. District 10 president Wally Blucas said that during his tenure (more than 20 years) on the D-10 committee, there hasn’t been any discussion among D-10 schools, but shot clocks were ready to be utilized as a part of Girard’s gym in the 1980s.

“We actually installed shot clocks at Girard more than 20 years ago anticipating that the National Federation Basketball Rules Committee was going to approve a 45-second shot clock, Blucas said. They ended up not approving it and we got our money back from Daktronics.”

The 24-second shot clock was first introduced to the National Basketball Association in 1954. The average points-per-game shot up from 76 to 93 per team in one season. The International Basketball Federation, also known as FIBA, implemented the shot clock in 1956, while the National Collegiate Athletic Association approved a shot clock for women’s basketball in 1971 and for men’s basketball in 1985.

“I remember growing up in New York, we’ve always had a shot clock, Husband said. It’s 2011 and the game has evolved. I think a shot clock should be in place in all high schools.”

Debating The Use Of A Shot Clock At The H.S. Level

GoErie.com

High school basketball coaches have been using the same tactic for decades.

When their team has a lead late in the game, hang on to the ball and force the other team to foul.

What would happen if they didn’t have that option?

Only eight states across the country have a shot clock in high school basketball, but as teams continue to use the old-school strategy of “taking the air out of the ball, the issue could gain more traction.

There are several arguments to both sides of implementing a shot clock, but the most compelling points against a shot clock include cost, manpower and a general understanding of playing with a shot clock by coaches, players and officials.

The National Federation of High Schools rule book does have the option to go to a shot clock, but it hasn’t really been discussed much by our basketball steering committee, Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association executive director Brad Cashman said. It has been motioned in the past but rarely received a second (motion). If the issue got a second motion, it would fail by a vote in the steering committee. The main reason is that it calls schools for an additional expense. Most don’t have the adaptability to have a shot clock, but it is a financial consideration more so than anything else.”

With school budgets tightening on an annual basis, the implementation of a shot clock could cost some schools its basketball program. According to Daktronics, single-sided shot clocks are sold in pairs for a little less than $2, 000. Schools would need to purchase only one pair, but to be safe, they might have to buy two pairs in case one malfunctions or is damaged during a game.

That cost doesn’t include electric rewiring that could be necessary for some schools, as well as a game-by-game cost for someone to run the shot clock. Schools already pay a scoreboard operator, officials and an announcer — in some cases — per game. Having someone who understands how to operate a shot clock could be a headache as well.

“I don’t think we need a shot clock. The game has been good so far without it, said L.J. Frisina, the head of male officials in District 10. It’s another burden to worry about at the scorer’s table. People don’t realize how important it is to run the thing, and the game can really be screwed up by someone running it poorly. I think as a fan it would be exciting and bring a new dimension into the game, but as an official it is more of a burden to worry about.”

With costs and personnel issues aside, would a shot clock be good for the game itself?

Canisius boys basketball coach Kyle Husband is almost shocked that all states aren’t using shot clocks. Canisius is located in Buffalo, N.Y., one of the eight states that uses a shot clock. The other seven are California, Maryland, Massachusetts, North Dakota, South Dakota, Rhode Island and, as of 2009, Washington.

“I think using a shot clock makes a huge difference, said Husband, who is in his 10th year — seventh as the head coach — at Canisius. We’ve played in tournaments that don’t use them and it’s a much different game. I think the one game we played was a 38-32 final and I don’t know if that is what today’s game is all about.”

Husband’s Crusaders entered the week 6-3 and will travel to the Hammermill Center tonight to take on Cathedral Prep, a game to be played without a shot clock. He is familiar with the Erie area, as Canisius took on McDowell over the summer and was amazed to hear the Trojans defeated Fairview in a low-scoring 28-22 game earlier this season.

“McDowell has so much talent. They beat up on us pretty good without their two best players, Husband said. I honestly don’t see how that does anyone on either team much good. McDowell could score 60, 70 points a game, I believe. I think with a shot clock you can actually learn more on offense and defense, and even give your team a boost if you force a shot-clock violation.”

In McDowell’s 28-22 win over Fairview, the Trojans hung on to the ball for more than 2 minutes in the fourth quarter before the Tigers came out to guard them. It was only the second game of the season for both teams, but it is another example of teams holding the ball to run down the clock. Some coaches use it as strategy and some use it as sort of a timeout to give their players some rest.

McDowell’s biggest rival, Cathedral Prep, has traveled to different tournaments, and coach Mark Majewski feels that, for most teams, it wouldn’t affect their style of play.

“I think it depends on the coach and the style, but most teams around here play fast enough where a shot clock wouldn’t be a big deal, Majewski said. We played at Canisius last year, and when I was at Villa Maria we played a few times in Ripley, N.Y. Initially, when I first went there, it was in the back of my mind that I had to really prepare for a 35-second shot clock.

“However, once you get into the flow of the game you really don’t notice it. If you work the basketball and move it around a lot, 35 seconds can be a long time, and it can be a long time to make a team defend.”

Coaches seem to be split on the issue, with some of the well-seasoned coaches wanting players to learn how to run the offense and take their time working for a good shot, while some of the newer coaches want their teams to play up-tempo basketball and learn how to make quick decisions.

“I’ve coached in tournaments with a shot clock, and I think it is a good idea, especially for the kids moving on to the college level, Mercyhurst Prep girls coach and athletic director Dan Perfetto said. I think it would help the kids get used to a shot clock in college by playing with it on the high school level. You get more possessions and make the game more interesting.

“Not only could it increase the offense, but players can learn how to play solid team defense. It also can prevent a safety issue of players running around trying to foul someone in the final minutes of the game.”

Perfetto is also in favor of experimenting with shot clocks for a season or two as a test run. However, Cashman said there needs to be a higher demand for a shot clock before the PIAA would begin to discuss it in committee meetings.

“There hasn’t been much support for a shot clock from the membership, Cashman said. The PIAA is an association of member schools and not fans. If the member schools begin to really push for it, then we could discuss adopting it.”

As far as District 10 goes, there hasn’t been an outcry for a shot clock. District 10 president Wally Blucas said that during his tenure (more than 20 years) on the D-10 committee, there hasn’t been any discussion among D-10 schools, but shot clocks were ready to be utilized as a part of Girard’s gym in the 1980s.

“We actually installed shot clocks at Girard more than 20 years ago anticipating that the National Federation Basketball Rules Committee was going to approve a 45-second shot clock, Blucas said. They ended up not approving it and we got our money back from Daktronics.”

The 24-second shot clock was first introduced to the National Basketball Association in 1954. The average points-per-game shot up from 76 to 93 per team in one season. The International Basketball Federation, also known as FIBA, implemented the shot clock in 1956, while the National Collegiate Athletic Association approved a shot clock for women’s basketball in 1971 and for men’s basketball in 1985.

“I remember growing up in New York, we’ve always had a shot clock, Husband said. It’s 2011 and the game has evolved. I think a shot clock should be in place in all high schools.”






75 Applewood Dr. Ste. A
P.O. Box 128
Sparta, MI 49345
616.887.9008
Interested in the print edition of Coach & Athletic Director?

Subscribe Today »

website development by deyo designs