Opinion: Adding a shot clock to high school basketball

 Since I’ve started reporting on High school basketball for Community Pioneer, I once again ask, why doesn’t high school basketball have a 30-second shot clock?  

The 30-second shot clock is the time required for a team on offense, once crossing the half-court line to shoot a shot before losing the ball to the opposing team.

 I asked the same question years ago when my kids were attending school. At that time, the National Federation of State High School Association prohibited the use of the time clock and penalized States who used it.

However, NFHS has just removed that restriction for the 2022-23 season.  Idaho, along with 42 other states, still prohibits the shot clock in high school basketball.

In my opinion, the Idaho High School Activities Association should require a 30-second clock. First, it will speed up the game allowing for a more entertaining and exciting outcome without heavy referee regulation caused by fouling. Second, it would give good coaches and more talented teams the ability to win games.

Presently, a team that goes up by 10 or 13 points over its opponent would be smart halfway through the third quarter to just come down the court, effectively pass the ball around, keep good ball control until they can take a good easy shot when possible. This game plan of clock management keeps the ball away from the other team, who has to foul to try to get back into the game.

 This creates a disjointed, low-scoring game and takes the excitement out of the event. The 30-second shot clock would change all of that.

In 2018, a poll was taken of high school coaches asking if they favored the time clock. The results were 84% of coaches want the time clock.

The question is how do high schools go about paying for the installation of time clocks?  The time clock would need to be installed at the top of the backboard at each end of the gym. High schools could use booster money or local businesses to sponsor these clocks.

If you agree high school basketball should have a time clock, contact IHSAA at admin@ihsaa.org or call at 208-375-7027, or message them on their Facebook page.

Jeff Kelley is co-founder of Community Pioneer Publication, Inc., and a reporter for the organization. His opinion does not necessarily represent the opinion of  Community Pioneer or its editor.

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