By Brad Spencer
High school basketball hasn't exactly needed a pick-me-up over the years. The frenetic energy of the game has been maintained despite the presence of a shot clock and it seems as though it will remain that way for a while.
Last month, the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Basketball Rules Committee decided against a proposal to add shot clocks, stating that results of a questionnaire that was sent out to coaches, officials and state association administrators across the country did not indicate a strong desire to use the clock at the high school level.
"In addition to the fact that there is some concern about the costs associated with the use of a shot clock, the committee also expressed a belief that the game is typically played with an up-tempo style even without a shot clock," said Kent Summers, director of performing arts and sports at the NFHS, in a press release issued by the Illinois High School Association. "In addition, the committee believes that coaches should have the option of a slower-paced game if they believe it makes their team more competitive in specific situations. This could be especially true for smaller schools with limited budgets, which comprise a significant number of the 18,000 basketball-playing schools. Since the NFHS writes rules for all sizes of schools and teams, it has to consider what is best for the masses."
OPRF High School head boys basketball coach Matt Maloney said he'd like to see a shot clock at the high school level, but not at the 35 seconds like it is in college. The NBA incorporates a 24-second shot clock.
"I have discussed this topic with several coaches in the conference over the years and we have all agreed that a 45-second shot clock would suffice for the high school level," he said. "The 45-second clock would reduce stall tactics that certain teams incorporate into their game plans, as I have done at times in the past against certain opponents, but would still allow for some tempo control, especially in late game situations."