The Shot Clock


My question is why not the shot clock? Why is it that a shot clock in high school basketball in majority of the states a big NO NO? I understand that with a shot clock comes two things, the installation and someone to run it. Some colleges and a lot of high school who run them, use the same individual who runs the score clock to run the shot clock. Installation can be pricey, depending on a couple of factors what company you buy them from, who is installing them, and where you are having them placed. I’ve seen schools with shot clocks on top of the backboards as well as on the back of the gym wall. There are wireless shot clocks as well as wired shot clocks, and some companies have a full integrated system connected with the scoreboard main control system. Before I continue on and give you my opinion on why all high schools should have a shot clock, let's look at the history of the shot clock.

The shot clock first came into existence in 1952 with the ideal of speeding up the game, a way to separate the National Basketball Association from other professional basketball leagues. In 1954 the Syracuse Nationals which is now known as the Philadelphia 76ers experimented with it in a pre-season game with a (:24) second shot clock and from that moment on it took off, and is perceived nearly unanimously as having benefited the game, to the point of having been held up as possibly the best thing to have ever happened to it.

Following the success of the NBA, the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIWA) implemented a (:30) shot clock in 1970, then the National Collegiate Athletic Association [NCAA] implemented it in 1985 as a (:45) seconds shot clock, in 1983 it was reduced to a (:35) second shot clock, and in 2015 it was reduced to its current time of (:30) second shot clock. It took 33 years for College to implement it, it's been 35 years and all high schools across america still don’t have it. There is currently eight states that run a shot clock some (:30) or (:35) second shot clock. That is only 16 percent of the United States using a shot clock. I know of 3 states that will be testing out the shot clock this year only in early tournament settings (Illinois, Texas, and North Carolina).

The shot clock has been celebrated for its ability to speed up the pace of play, by limiting stalling tactics, and increasing scoring, which in the NBA lead to an increase in ticket sales. In high school it won’t be about the ticket sales but it will speed up the play of the game and also enhance coaching schematics. The purpose of adding a shot clock in high school is to normalize the rules of the game across a level playing field, and to begin the preparing stage earlier than what it is now for players who will be taken the next steps.

During the NCAA Live periods in July of 2018 i spoke to a total of 130 college coaches from all levels and I intentionally brought up shot clock in high school setting. From my study 83 percent of the college coaches said they would like to see a shot clock brought into the high school game and feel that a (:30) shot clock would be sufficient enough. All of them felt that it is also needed during the NCAA Live period as well. One coach stated “Live periods don’t really need it with the pace AAU

teams play, but still would be nice to add that dynamic.” One of the other coaches i spoke with said “I don’t think high school needs it during the regular season, but definitely during the postseason. I went to the UIL state game and there were points of the game when teams where taking 50 seconds to shoot a shot, because they wanted the best shot available, and I understand that but I mean come on your at state championship game it's about being smart and displaying your skills.”

My opinion is that all high schools should use a (:30) shot clock. I feel it’s better preparation for the next level. Now will there be more blowouts, higher scoring games, and a lot of shot clock violations? Yes, at first it would be this way, but coaching will play a big role in it. Coaches could still use the shot clock to there advantage, like some college coaches do, some teams are up and down other teams wait to really run there play until its (:10) left on the shot clock. I despise when teams stall the ball when they have the lead and want to take time off the clock, the bad thing about it is your team becomes complacent and ends up turning the ball over and plays lazier defense. It also makes the game very boring, and people lose interest quickly and begin to get on there phones and other things. That type of game play does not apply to the game on the next level, so let's prepare them for the next level.

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